Complaints about the pattern:*
1. NO way was the facing going to lay flat. So, I put down an old Canadian dollar (the one that is bigger than a Loonie), traced around that and made the facing bigger. So my facing is more of a keyhole.
2. LOTS of curves on this pattern. The side pieces had no lower notches to match with the center front - there really should have been at least 1 lower notch. I trimmed every curve with pinking shears. On the facing photo above - afterward I also turned up the raw edge and stitched it down flat. Using pinking shears makes it very easy to turn up curved seams.
3. Not the patterns fault - but my fabric ravelled everytime you looked at it! And did NOT hold a shape, press or pin. So, I ended up top stitching EVERY single seam. EVERY single one at least on 1 side and the side seams on both sides. I like the look of top stitching. I top stitched the yoke too make sure it doesn't lose it's shape. And I also zig-zagged along the zipper - it doesn't show from the outside, but hopefully will keep the fabric from raveling. All the top stitching looks nice, but did take extra time so the dress took me a bit longer than I thought it would.
4. The corner treatment of the pocket was really sloppy - leaving an unfinished edge a tiny bit exposed. Sloppy and I was surprised. And had already done all the work on the pocket and made the called for snip before I realized that this was a bad instruction. Bad, bad, bad. Glad I wasn't using a super expensive fabric.
5. The directions instructed you to press the yoke facings up and then to trim to 1/4" - but if you did that I don't see how you could have possibly sewn the front side and back side together neatly. I did not do the trimming and was happy that I didn't. A little wiggle room can be a good thing. You are sewing around curves here so I thought the extra fabric was helpful in preventing raw edges from accidentally not getting caught in the stiching here and there. I hate it when that happens! I used lots of pins on the yoke and thought it came out pretty good.
6. That yoke is hard to get nicely rounded. The good news - you overlap the 2 of them so if 1 is not perfect you can hide it under the better one. The instructions for getting the yoke around the dress were bad if your dot didn't line up exactly at the edge. You actually have to stop sewing a tiny bit before the dot in order to leave turning room to get the yoke to wrap around the dress.
7. I don't like the instructions for the zipper. I prefer to baste the seam, lay the zipper down on the seam, attach and then unpick the basting... perfectly lined up every time. WHY did I follow the directions? My way would have been faster. Not only that - the notch to stop stitching the seam to allow for the zipper - stopped a bit too low so I had to go back and sew the seam a bit longer... grrr. Why didn't they just mark the notch in the correct place to begin with - a 20" zipper with an opening bigger than 20" just doesn't work.
8. The yoke turns up a tiny bit and looks like a mini wing. Hopefully it will lay flatter after washing. I thought the yoke would be wider than it actually is.
9. The arm holes really stick out like wings! I took it in some without having to red0 everything. I will have to have my super sewer sister look at it to come up with a clever idea to take it in a bit more - maybe tiny darts because I really, really don't want to take off those arm facings with all my topstiching in place. The fabric is busy enough to hide a fix.
10. Tighter fitting through the hips that you would think by looking at the pattern and a bit roomy in the waist (plus those underarm wings). The sizing just seemed off on this one. Usually I baste my main seams together to check the fit but you can't do that with this pattern because of the top yoke.
There - I think that covers all my complaints. Since this was a Project Runway pattern AND Simplicity (I like Simplicity patterns) I was pretty disappointed in the pattern. I wouldn't really recommend this particular pattern because of all the issues (especially the fit issues)... other pattern companies have similar patterns out and I might try another version at a later date. Still, I like the dress well enough to wear it this summer. It is out of a really nice polyester - thick enough not to be see through and feels cool. It will never wrinkle and with all that top stitching will hold its shape. The fabrics were $2 a meter - the buttons, zipper and thread cost more than the fabric. And the pattern I got for $1 at Joanne's sale.