I really wish it was Summer right now in Melbourne so I could wear this dress, which was sewed while testing Bonnell pattern by Dixie DIY. The pattern will be released very soon and I absolutely love it.
Although there’s a fine line between pattern testing and pattern review, I am as a newbie, can somehow understand the differences between the two processes. So here is my full-up DISCLOSURE: I am a first time pattern tester for the Bonnell dress. I did not get paid though the only ‘compensation’ is the pdf but not-the-final-edited pattern. I have not received the final copy. This dress is actually the first version I made which is a ‘wearable muslin’. I sewed the dress as is without adjustments in order to determine whether the pattern has any issues with fitting, instruction or illustration. The cotton sateen fabric was also purchased by myself. I provided my feedback to Dixie. There are a few recommendations from the beginner point of views and whether Dixie will implement them or other tester’s suggestions or not is completely her choice and decision. I will not include my recommendations in this post as the final product may be the improved version of the pattern I have.
I cut both front and back bodice pieces in size 0 and skirt piece in size 4. Therefore I had to blend the lines between size 2 & 4 of upper bodices for the waist and waistband. It took a total of 1.5 days to finish the dress from printing, assembling pages, cut pattern pieces, shell & lining and sewing.
My overall experience is positive. I like the fact that there is a printing layout so if there’s any mix up in the matching process, I can refer back to the layout to find directions. I also like the optimisation of the layout so there is not many pages required to print.
Bodice: I am pleasantly surprised that the bodice fitted me so well without adjustment for the first time, especially the bust area. I also like the neckline because I have small bust so the higher the better. On some certain angels, there is a tiny gape on my armholes and the cutouts. No drag lines on underarms. The neckline on both front and back sit flat and do not gape. I have small bust but I don’t think I need a SBA. The cutouts on side seams makes the overall silhouette simple but with a little twist.
Skirt: I like the classical style of the gathered skirt and the fact it has pockets! Waistband has little stretch but I guess it may be due to the nature of the fabric I used (3% elastane). However it rolled out a tiny bit although I already rolled the band on the inside 1-2mm while pressing and I did add understitches on areas of the cutouts although the instruction does not call for it. I did not use facing because the seam allowances are already thick enough.
I don’t know whether I made any mistakes during construction or the way the photo was taken but the front skirt tilts a bit upward. Not much for anyone to notice from the front, but from the side it does show.
The skirt is also a bit short for my frame, but that’s what the lengthen/shorten lines are for.
There was no spelling errors. Instruction is clear and I like the fact that there is stitching lines on illustration. However there’re steps that took me a little longer to figure out because of no illustrations or the ‘drawing’ of wrong side of fabric and lining are in the same colour which makes it very confusing. There were also no notches and grain line on one of the pattern pieces, but again the pattern I received is the test one so these may be fixed in the final version.
Overall I am really happy with the result and already had the floral fabric in mind for the next one as this dress in the end of the day is just my muslin. Although I like the colour combination, it looks a little plain for the style.
Hope you all had a great weekend!