Ok, I will admit it, I love reading cheap magazines. Not the ones that tell you aliens are living among us or a woman gave birth to a half cow half boy, but the cheap magazines that tell what celebrity had a fashion faux pas on the red carpet and how much the toilet paper in their Hollywood Mansion cost. My favorite articles to study are the 'Who Wore It Best' photo comparisons. First of all, with the amount of clothing out there in the world, it amazes me that multiple famous people are not only wearing the same thing, but getting photographed in it - but then again, they get photographed in everything they wear - and I am so thankful that isn't me!!!
But why oh why do I enjoy these articles so much? Well for starters, the person who 'wore it best' often isn't the skinniest or the most well known. Styling plays a huge factor in making that garment ROCK. I also can clearly see how the same garment flatters different shapes and sizes. It gives me insights into fashion trends I might want to try out or avoid. And my favorite ones are the times I wouldn't be able to pick a winner - when I think they all look amazing in their creations and it is just a matter of preference for 'Who Wore it Best'.
That just happens to be the case with this group of four gorgeous ladies - they all have different sizes and shapes; but they all took the Ladies Carrollton Avenue Dress by Seamingly Smitten and are showing off that they ALL wore it best! Check out Kara, Crystal, Jessica, and Trisha as they share their variation and their reviews of the pattern in general.
I used a stretch lace over an interlock, and then I added some lace ruffles to the bodice and made the belt out of the stretch lace as well. The belt buckle is one you can get at Joanns that is made by Dritz. I simply made a loop of fabric and threaded it through the buckle and sewed the short ends of the loop together. The belt is completely removable, so I can wear it with or without the belt.
I also added a small pettiskirt underneath. I used a shortened pattern of the skirt, added an elastic waistband, and sewed some gathered netting along the bottom. This helped give it a bit of volume on the bottom.
The pattern comes with the bodice pieces, with the option of a petite, regular and tall option. I originally did the tall but then realized when I sewed the skirt on that it pulled it down too far and it would be much more flattering if I had it higher up. I cut the skirt off and shortened my bodice to be the regular length. Then there is the cap sleeve pattern piece. You can do it sleeveless, or add a petite, regular or tall cap sleeve. I did the regular version. There are instructions for how to draw up the pattern piece for the skirt, with lengths given, once again, for a petite, regular and tall version. I ended up adding some length because I am tall and wanted this to hit me at the bottom of my knee.
It was a very fast sew, even with all the changes I made. It was one of those that putting the pattern together and cutting everything out took longer than the sewing did. I recommend trying a muslin first (I used a knit bedsheet I got on clearance several years ago) to make sure you get the fit right for you. Everyone is shaped differently, and you may need to make a few tweaks to get it to fit you right. I want to make another one in a thinner knit to make it more of a casual version next.
Review of The Carrolton Avenue Dress for Women
The Carrollton Avenue Dress has a size range of 0-26 (XS-XXXL) and several built-in options in the pattern to make it all your own. As you will see from all of the variations from the team, this dress is highly versatile. The size chart is included, be sure to measure carefully and possibly go a size down. I used my waist measurement only and I ended up making a bigger size than I should have, be sure to take all measurements into account.
I ordered knit from one of my favorite shops and planned out my dress. I knew I wanted the cap sleeves that are included in the pattern as we're not quite ready for summer here in Indiana. I also knew I had seen these dresses popping up everywhere and wanted to have something fun that I could wear to a playdate or the grocery store. I also really wanted it to be comfortable and not fussy!
I love that this dress has a few options for petite and tall shapes and that the size range is from XS-XXXL. It's important to me to have a pattern that has an upper end but that I can always sew a smaller size and I shrink my fabulous post-baby body. There are only 6 pages to print, even for the largest size, so this is definitely not a paper and ink hog. There is no pattern piece for the two 1/4 circle pieces that you use to make the circle skirt, but the measurements are there and it was pretty easy to do and it matched up well with the bodice when all was said and done. I did add a few things to this pattern. I added a trim band to the neckline because I felt a I needed a little more coverage where that was concerned. I also added another band to the hem of the skirt. Mostly because I don't have a serger and I didn't feel like doing a real hem on the skirt. But in reality, doing the hem band was probably just as much work in the end, if not more. After I made it as the pattern was written, I discovered that my seam hit me right in the widest part of my belly and it was just not very flattering to my figure. I took it apart and hacked off another 1 1/2" or so and I'm really happy with where the seam sits now. So really, when the pattern says to try on the bodice before you add the skirt, DO EEET!!! and then spend some time playing with where you want the skirt before you sew that bad girl on.
Overall, I really like this pattern and I think it has a lot of potential for different looks. The only things I would have changed about it would be to have the bodice curve a little more and to have the front and back have different pieces to avoid excess fabric near the shoulders. That said, I will definitely be looking into how I can fit more of these into my wardrobe this summer! I'm looking forward to seeing where more self-care sewing takes me!
One more side by side of these awesome ladies - thank you all for being involved, and thank you Jenny of Seamingly Smitten for allowing our girls to review the pattern.
If YOU are interested in having a 'Sew Off' Style review done of one of your patterns - make sure to contact us!