Pattern: Woolfork by Jacqueline Cieslak in Embody: A Capsule Collection to Knit and Sew (#woolforkpattern)
Size: Size 6 Sleeveless dress version with optional tie and patch pockets
Modifications: Full bust adjustment- added 1.25"
My adventure into garment sewing is still just beginning. I have been wanting to build a handmade wardrobe for a couple of reasons, the main being the ability to make clothing to fit my body. As a bustier woman, I have always struggled when shopping ready to wear clothes because items tend to be too restrictive in my chest or I have to choose sizes that are too large.
Since I am just beginning my sewing journey, I am still very nervous when choosing patterns and fabric. I want to make sure patterns are beginner friendly, while still stylish and versatile within my wardrobe. This mindset is what led me to Embody by Jacqueline Ceislak. The sewing pattern I chose in this book, Woolfork, is basically a choose-your-own-adventure sewing pattern. There are options for a crop, tunic, or dress length and then sleeveless, short or long sleeve options. Basically, if I could learn how to sew this pattern, then I would have a go-to pattern for any basic top for my wardrobe.
This pattern also includes bust darts for a standard C-cup. Based on my measurements, I did modify the size of the bust darts making them a bit larger. I was able to follow a tutorial online here, which has a great step-by-step guide on how to add bust darts to a pattern or how to modify patterns with bust darts in them already.
For my fabric, I picked a Double Gauze by Kokka. This was my first experience sewing with this fabric, and honestly, I am so hooked. The fabric is so plump, crinkly, and airy which I think just adds so much character to the finished dress. Taking the advice from my coworkers, I washed and dried the fabric before cutting out my pattern pieces. Since I knew I wanted the final garment to be quite crinkly when I wore it, and knew I wouldn't iron a dress every time I washed it, I just cut out my pattern pieces without ironing the crinkles out.
Overall, sewing this dress was absolutely lovely. French seams are used for the center and side seams, which provides such a great finish to the inside of the dress while also preventing the double gauze from fraying without having to use a serger. I learned so many techniques while sewing this pattern: french seams, bust darts, understitching, pressing seams with a tailor's ham, and attaching facings. Honestly, the hardest part for me was attaching the facings at the armholes and neckline, and in the future I will probably just use bias tape to finish.
I am so excited with how this dress fits into my wardrobe. The calf-length is perfect and I envision wearing this in the summer on its own and in the colder months with my handknit cropped sweaters. The pockets are also essential in my mind, and the tie is just a nice, polished way to complete the look!