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Love Notions Tessa

Whoo hoo! I finally stopped getting sucked in by new patterns to sew up something from my stash. If you don't already know, I'm pa...

Whoo hoo! I finally stopped getting sucked in by new patterns to sew up something from my stash.

If you don't already know, I'm participating in the SSW:Deep Stash Challenge. You can read all about the challenge in the facebook group.

On to the review!

The Love Notions Tessa is a sheath style dress. It offers several sleeve options and a yoke. There are several special features that make it worth the purchase.
#1- It offers the option of a woven yoke. If you've been hoarding pieces of fabric, this yoke is a great place to use it.
#2- You can mash it with the skirts from the Sybil Illusion Skirt Collection
#3- The Bust, waist and hip lines are all marked. That means you can be absolutely sure that when you're blending sizes, they're going to hit at just the right spot!

I actually sewed up 2 version of this dress yesterday. Version #1 was my muslin in a black cotton/lycra. I have not shared that here. I quickly learned that I don't like the method of seam binding in this dress. There isn't anything "wrong" with this method of seam binding, at all. I just feel like there are faster options if you want to make this a quick sew. HOWEVER, if you're doing a lace yoke, you'll have to do the binding.

My adjustments for this pattern were to remove 1/2" from the upper bust, 1" at the waist, 1" at the "Shorten/lengthen line" (on the skirt) and remove another 2" at the hem. Having all the body markings on the pattern made it easy to be sure each part matched up.

My other adjustment was to add a 2" FBA at the bust line. While the measurement chart says I needed the full 2", my dresses say that I could probably opt for just a 1" adjustment. This may be on account of the cotton/lycra I used. I suspect if I used something more stable (like interlock, a firm french terry or Ponte) I would need the full 2".

As I said above, I used cotton/lycra for the dress pictured here. It is actually a little lighter weight cotton lycra with some nice drape. I was worried it would be too soft for the pattern. It was a bit harder to sew up to the yoke but overall it worked out well. My muslin was a firmer weight cotton lycra and didn't accentuate quite so many lumps and bumps. Unless you're really comfortable with your shape, you may want to stick with a more stable fabric.

My yoke is a piece of scrap fabric I found at the bottom of my bin. It is a French Terry from Purple Seamstress that I got last year some time. The yoke hardly takes any fabric at all. I mentioned above that I didn't like the binding method of this dress. I feel like it takes too long (especially for something like cotton lycra). I opted to line the yoke instead which took care of the neckline. Alternative options would also be just turning the neckline under and topstitching, or doing a facing. Facings aren't common in knit garments but for a nice finished look, they're faster (IMO) than a binding. A facing would be a great way to finish the armscye if you did this as a sleeveless dress.

I will admit that I worry that the yoke makes me look more squared in the shoulder. I do have wide shoulders after all. I may try making the yoke longer (I had to shorten it as part of shortening my over bust length) but it may just be a not too flattering look for my body type.

However, overall, I like this style of sheath dress. I'm cautiously optimistic that lace in the yoke will help minimize the wide shoulder look and I look forward to playing with a few different yoke options to make some really fun dresses. This is a super versatile dress that is perfect for any season. Plus, changing up the fabrics can take it from French Terry casual to Ponte date night!

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