Reece Dress -A Pattern Tester’s Version

A good few months ago I had the opportunity to test the shift dress – Reece from Sinclair Patterns.

img-alternative-textThis pattern features: ‘fitted top, semi-fitted waist and bottom, has a zipper in the back that can be easily inserted using comprehensive step by step tutorial. Offers classic knee length. Perfect classic and timeless pattern for an iconic garment that every woman should own.’  This pattern offers versions for petite and regular, as well as including all sizes from US0 to US22.

What attracted me to this pattern in the first place where the side slits. A bit different, as most patterns have the slit on the centre back. The instructions are quite complete and feature pictures to explain the techniques. Love the fact that the pattern pieces for the facings are drafted smaller to help with the turn of cloth, which is the first time I’ve come across in a commercial pattern.

To make it, I used a stretch cotton I had in my stash from the all so famous local Abakhan Fabrics store, and for the facing, I used some scrap fabric left over from my Valley Blouse.img-alternative-textDue to a previous experience with this pattern company, I decided to cut a size US4 and do a 1/2″ FBA (Full Bust Adjustment).I chose to cut the petite version of the pattern.img-alternative-textOnce that was done, I also had to adjust the front facing as well to match the front neck like change, and the new position of the armhole.img-alternative-textI made up the dress in no time. As I did not mark the side slits in the first place, I chose to make them 20cm deep. I did not follow the instructions on how to construct this part as I had a different method, which I preferred. This is how clean it looks once finished.img-alternative-textBecause the facings were a few millimetres smaller, once it went in I no longer needed to do any understitching to keep the facing from rolling to the right side.img-alternative-textTo keep the facing from flapping about, I added some stitching on the seam allowance at the side seams.img-alternative-textThis is how it looked once finished.img-alternative-textimg-alternative-textimg-alternative-textI even tried it with a belt.img-alternative-textIt was not bad, but it was too big for me, as well as too long. I prefer my dresses to be a bit more fitted on my body. It definitely looked that it was one size too big. As a result, I ended up taking it in by 6 cm at the side seams in total (I had a side seam allowance of 3cm in the end, which I trimmed down of course). This made the armhole opening smaller, which suits me better anyway, my bra showing, which I do not like at all.img-alternative-textWhile I was at it, I also shortened the dress by 10 cm as the best length for me is above the knee. Anything longer makes my legs so short that’s painful for me to see on myself. So, it is either short or maxi. Sadly, I can’t go in between. I just look weird. I did keep the 20cm side slits though, just to be a bit cheeky.img-alternative-textAnd, the new dress looks so much better. Just look at my face. I look so pleased with it.img-alternative-textimg-alternative-textimg-alternative-textAnd it looks good with a belt as well.img-alternative-textI always enjoy the process of pattern testing. It feels nice to be part of the process and helping a pattern maker make their patterns better is always a bonus. I like analysing things and pattern testing gives me an opportunity to do this on a more in-depth level than when working on normal projects.

Do you pattern test? If yes, what is the reason why you enjoy doing it, apart from getting free patterns, that is?