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Christine Jonson Princess Dress 1117

I looooove this dress!  When Carolyn posted about getting ready to make it (and about Christine’s pattern offer, which, alas, I assume is over), I finally was inspired to experiment with a CJ pattern.  I’m so glad Carolyn gave me the nudge!  Here’s the sketch from the pattern envelope:

After consulting the body measurements on the envelope, and checking my knit, I cut a size 8.  That’s the correct size for me based on high bust, waist and hip.  I narrowly escaped needing an FBA.  If my knit hadn’t had 100% stretch, I’d have had to do one.  The resulting bust fit is snug, but not indecent, so I’m pleased with this decision.

There aren’t any facings; the bodice is self-lined.  I loved this; it’s easy to construct (no finishing!), and I cut the lining first and used it as a muslin.  If your dress fabric is too heavy, there’s no reason you couldn’t use a compatible lighter stretch knit, or even a stretch mesh in a skin-tone or in compatible color for lining.  For this light lycra blend, self-fabric was fine.

The pattern drafting is a joy.  The center back seam follows the natural curves of my real, human, back, and adds to the flattering princess fit.  The skirt is so flirty and fun that I just don’t want to take this dress off; I think there will be many more of these in my future.

Construction couldn’t be simpler; it’s basically “sew the neckline” and then “hit the serger”.  The hem is just turned up a half-inch; I can’t remember if the instructions said to serge it first, but I did just to give it a little extra stability.  Then I topstitched (it could be twin-needled, but I didn’t want to bother), and ended up with a light, stable hem.

I did make a couple of changes:  The instructions call for iron-on interfacing around the neck line, but I won’t iron-on anything, so that was out.  I used standard interfacing, but chose one I wasn’t happy with, so I ended up cutting it off, just leaving the slightest reinforcement at the seam.  That worked well.  Twill tape reinforcement might have been an option, but I rejected it, because I think the bulk might make it difficult to keep the facing in place.  Interfacing, of the iron-on or another variety, might be desirable with a heavier fabric, but this dress seems fine without it.

I edge-stitched just inside the bodice facing line; that prevented any roll-out.   The only other change was shortening the sleeves.  I don’t really like wrist-length sleeves on my dresses.  (Though, go figure, I like extra-long ones on my shirts!)

The single feature I’m not certain about is the asymmetrical neckline; it just doesn’t do much for me (although check out how beautifully it lies in place!).  It seems sort of neither here nor there; next time I’ll re-draw the neck and consider a straight vee.  Also, huge floral prints don’t do much for my über-bust, but I’m just beyond caring now.  Let’s hear it for mad purples and aqua!

The pattern offers a long version and this short one.  I didn’t change the length of the short version:  For reference, I’m 5 feet 2 inches tall, so this dress will be quite short on a woman five or six inches taller than I am.


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Threads Wardrobe Storyboard

Christine Jonson Princess Dress 1117

Christine Jonson BaseWear One Top 622

Christine Jonson Skirt 1219

Christine Jonson BaseWear One Leggings 622

Tunic/Tank Dress from BaseWear One Pattern 622

Wardrobe Wrap-Up

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  1. prachtstueckwerk
    August 14th, 2011 at 09:50 | #1

    Your latest post reviewing the wardrobe in a bag made me look up the princess dress, again. Yes, you are right: a little black version would have been perfect! The form is great. The wild print does not remind me of tattoos (though your idea is catching), but of my own fashion sins during the 80ies and 90ies… I think the dress would be lovely just a little bit longer, too.

    • August 15th, 2011 at 07:34 | #2

      Thank you, prachtsteuckwerk, for your comment! You made me laugh; yes, this is one of my own “fashion sins”. I think I’ll consider the longer length, too, as well as changing the neckline back to a more conventional one, when I make it next.

  2. June 7th, 2011 at 08:56 | #3

    I’m so glad you were inspired to make this because it looks fabulous on you! I’m definitely going to make another one too…just need to give this pattern a chance to marinate because I’ve been living with it so much the last few weeks!

  3. June 7th, 2011 at 06:01 | #4

    Beautiful dress!!
    I haven’t made any asymmetrical clothing yet because I assume others will think I messed something up in the sewing process, no matter how nice it is.

  4. Peggy
    June 6th, 2011 at 23:02 | #5

    Very nice Noile—missed you at Fabric Mart today!

  5. Shams
    June 6th, 2011 at 22:20 | #6

    Noile, this is super cute and flattering on you!!! I love it!

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