Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tips for Choosing a Flattering Dress Pattern

It is so frustrating to make something and put it on only to find it doesn't suit you, but finding a flattering dress pattern reduces the chance of ending up with a garment that doesn't look right.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Tips for Choosing a Flattering Dress Pattern

Hit the Stores and Try on Some Dresses: One of the easiest ways to get an idea how a dress will look is to try on a similar dress in the store.

  • If it looks great in the store, find a similar pattern and make it up in your size, but be aware ahead of time that store sizes are different than pattern sizes, and take your measurements before stitching up the dress. 
  • If you like the style in the store, but it doesn't quite fit right, you can buy a similar pattern and follow the pattern's directions to make alterations according to your measurements.


Understand Your Body Type: If you don't want to go to stores to try on dresses, you can make an honest assessment of your body type, or have a friend help you, and consider which parts of your body you want to accentuate and which you want to downplay.

  • For example, if your hips are wide and you want to downplay that, you would want to avoid a dress pattern that features a tight waistband with a full, flared skirt or pleats. 
  • Or, if you have a very large upper body but you need a modest dress, you wouldn't want to choose a dress pattern with a deep v-neck or an off-the-shoulder style.

Tips for Sewing a Dress

Sewing a dress lets you get a custom-fitted garment that fits your body just right, but if you are new to sewing, you need to be sure you take the time to follow the steps described in the pattern. Also:

  • Don't skip cutting out interfacing. 
  • Don't skip stay-stitching on curves. 
  • Make sure you press the seams as you work (this is a big one that causes people who skip ironing to end up with shoddy-looking garments.) 
  • Ask for help if you run across a term you don't understand or if you don't know what something means. (You can always ask here if you want.) 
  • Make sure your sewing machine is making nice, clean stitches by sewing a scrap of fabric before you begin sewing your dress.

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