Trend Patterns TPC Drawstring Dress Review

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TPC16 is my first make from Trend Patterns and I absolutely love it. Stripes, gathers, the longest drawstring ever – there’s so much going on in this dress and I’m in heaven.

I’ve had striped fabric in mind for this dress since I saw the TPC9 made by Heather White (Ingridsmom). I found this cotton seersucker instore at Sckafs Fabrics and decided it would be perfect; super drapey and hopefully minimal ironing will be needed in its lifetime (seersucker is MEANT to be crinkly. Right?).

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The drawstring is the star of this dress so I decided to play with the direction of the stripe for this feature – I’m really happy with the effect it gives.

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I’m normally an AU/UK 10-12 in patterns, and this is the case based on standard body measurements on the Trend Patterns site. However, I was a size 8 based on the finished garment measurements in the pattern instructions. Given this, I cut a straight 8. I was a little concerned it would be a bit snug on my bum – I contemplated grading the bottom of the pattern to a size 10, but I decided to chance it. I didn’t mind taking this risk because the drawstring is just a rectangle; I figured I could widen this if needed. In the end, I didn’t need to make any alterations to the bottom; the pattern is snug but fits well – I can sit and walk and do all the other important things you need to be able to do in your dress.

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After reading Shauni from The Magnificent Thread’s really helpful review, I was wary of fit issues for the back neckline and armholes. The armholes are a little roomy on me, but I quite like this; I don’t like feeling things tight on my arms. There is also a bit too much room at the back neckline. I’m not sure how to fix this so I’ve left it as is for now – I can only just pull it over my head so I don’t want to increase the back neckline darts. Let me know if you’ve got any suggestions on fitting this area.

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Overall I really love how this pattern has turned out. I’m normally quite self-conscious about anything that is tight across my stomach and hips, but I feel really comfortable in this dress and I find it quite flattering. I did find myself in the loop of ‘Is the dress too tight or is my bum just large?’ but I can sit and move easily, so decided to leave it as is.

I’d love to make another version of this dress; perhaps in some kind of silk for a formal event.

Edit 2

Things I would tell myself before starting again:

  • The pattern talks about ‘bagging out’ the neck and arms; In my limited experience, I hadn’t come across this term, but Trend Patterns have a blog post dedicated to explaining it. In short, it’s a new (for me) name for a widely used technique.
  • Finishing the armholes involved some unpicking – I initially sewed right sides together as you do for the neckline in the previous step. But then you can’t pull the facing through on the right side. There are four great pictures in the instructions (step 6) which show you how to do the arm facing; once I paid closer attention to these, I got it no worries.
  • Pay attention when you’re cutting interfacing (I didn’t initially) – the facing isn’t symmetrical (I am notoriously bad at this)

Edit 3

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