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.