ITCH TO STITCH: Beausoleil Top & Dress

This dress is the culmination of a number of things falling into place perfectly.

  1. My BFF Betsy cleaned out her stash and gave me 2 yards of this sheer-black-poly-chiffon-something-or-other.
  2. #MeMadeMay2017 showed some glaring holes in my wardrobe, one being a LBD. I’ve been able to go without an LBD for quite sometime because I go nowhere and do nothing, but now that the older kids are closer to babysitting age, I needed a new LBD.
  3. I wanted to do a cold-shoulder, but I’m allergic to ruffles. I can’t quite tell you WHAT my “style” is, but I can tell you it isn’t ruffles. Every cold shoulder I see has ruffles, so when I got the pattern tester notice from Kennis for Itch to Stitch’s new Beausoleil Top & Dress pattern and saw how clean it is – You’ve never seen anyone email so fast: PICK ME!!!

About the pattern:

  • Dress or blouse options, with a lapped zipper.  I obvi made the dress, sans optional patch pockets.
    • Kennis made this really cool tutorial to go with the lapped zipper + facings instructions so that you don’t have to do the mental gymnastics.
    • dress is an A-line shape
  • It goes from size 00 to 20, with cup sizes from A to DD.
  • Cold shoulder, kimono-styled sleeves
    • top+sleeves pattern is 1 piece, 2 for back, then sleeve cuffs added=easy sew. You then choose to attach blouse or dress length bottom, add zip, hem, done.
  • Bra strap holders + another tutorial for that!
  • Modeled off of a 5’6″ block
  • Detailed instructions with illustrations. As mentioned above, tutorials for things needing more details.

At first I cut a straight 8DD to muslin with 1″ added to bodice for height, which is pretty normal for me being in the 5’8″-range. Final dress is a 4DD graded to a 6 waist and an 8 hip, with the 1″ still added to the bodice.

I probably could have dropped the bust darts down 1/2-1 inch, but I’m not going to sweat it.

Yeah, looking at these shots, the bust darts really should go down an inch. Whatevs.

I squeezed this out of 2 yards of 45 inch fabric, but the dress really does need closer to 2.5 yards of 45, or 2 1/4 of 60 inch… I was doing some tetris you just don’t want to do if you don’t have to…and there may be a bit of selvedge in a seam or two.

I’m really happy with this make….like super happy, bust darts be damned. The pattern has patch pockets for the dress, but on a sheer, easily shredded fabric, pockets aren’t a good idea.

This was my first time sewing a garment with cup sizes. TOTAL GAME CHANGER! Instead of too billowy under the bust or too tight over the bust, the cup size and grading really let me hit my measurements a lot closer. I’m into it. Also, the zipper called for is a 22 inch zipper, and with my added 1″ in the top, I cut down a 24″ to 23″ and love it. With my bust-to-waist ratio, a too short zip means I’m shimmying the top over my bust through a too-small waist opening, and that is such a pain.

Shout out to the husbeast for taking photos of me this time, and for making me talk and make weird faces! 😀

Disclosure: pattern was given to me to test, however, all opinions are my own.