Monday, January 5, 2009

Figure skating pattern review: Jalie # 2675

I just sewed my first skating dress from Canadian pattern company Jalie. Let’s be honest: I always thought the skin-colored dip in the front of this figure skating dress was way too mature for my 13-year-old. However, when that nude bit is white, the dress is perfect for Ice Girl’s new James Bond music.

The pattern turned out well, but I thought I’d share a few things I learned along the way and save you the seam ripping that I did.

Pattern instructions. They’re available for download in .pdf format for free, which I really like. While you wait for the pattern to arrive in the mail, you can buy fabric using the pattern envelope measurements and review the instructions to see if the pattern is going to work for your sewing skills. They’re also available with the pattern, but they’re printed on the same big sheet as the pattern pieces, so the .pdf is the way to go.

Pattern. I really like how Jalie includes 22 sizes in its pattern envelope. The pattern is on heavy paper, too, so tracing it is easy.

Elastic measurements. Here’s where I ripped my first seam. I forgot that the .pdf instructions contain a table for elastic measurements. Duh!

Fit. Ice girl tried on the bodice before I attached the skirt and the neckline gapped so much that I ripped out all of the elastic, shortened it, sewed it, and had her try again until the neckline didn’t gap anymore. We were concerned about the bodice’s length, but I went ahead and sewed the panties and skirt. She tried them both on, bikini style, and we pulled the bodice and bottom together. Ah-ha! The neckline was now too tight. Yep. More seam ripping. I think I sewed that neckline three times.

Trim. The pattern instructs sewers to attach the neckline trim last, but when I was sewing the neckline for the third time, I thought it would be a much better idea to sew it on before I finished the back seam and attached the bodice to the skirt and panties. The trim I bought was much like the trim you see on the pattern picture – stretchy sequin trim. I’d never sewn sequin trim before and crossed my fingers that a narrow, but long zig-zag stitch would work. It did, sort of. I broke two needles on that trim, but I hate to hand sew, so the needles died for a good cause.

Bottom line: 3 out of 4 stars. I like the pattern, but the neckline was a dog. I wrote a note on my instruction sheet to sew in the elastic, but not to finish that neckline seam until I attach the skirt and panties. I think I’d baste the skirt and panties to the bodice, check the fit, tear out the basting, adjust the elastic and finish the neckline seam/trim, and then attach the bottom. My over all impression of Jalie remains strong and I’m very willing to buy and try another figure skating dress pattern.


Angie said...

Thanks for the review. I'm just learning to sew and I am working on skirts for dd and then working my way back up to a dress(I tried one before and some parts went well and others did not.) My mother in law is going to help me make dd a new dress, so that ought to be fun. At least she is experienced in costume making, so it will be nice to have someone who knows what they are doing, help me. :-) I'd love to see a picture of the finished dress! I've read good things about Jalie patterns. I would like to try one after I advance some. For now, Kwik Sew patterns are my friend. LOL

Ice Mom said...

Kwik Sew patterns are my friend, too. :)

I would love to post the finished dress, but I've found out that it has become a hobby here in Wis. to figure out who I am. Posting Ice Girl's dress is a dead giveaway! :)

iceangelmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iceangelmom said...

Thanks for the great review. Im an ok sewer, so I'm just wondering if my sanity is worth the money savings making the dress myself? thanks.

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Angie. Start with a practice skirt. I like Jalie's 2215.