This month I pledged to make some basic knit layers as part of my Me-Made-May. This is part of a bigger goal of mine to tackle knit fabrics now that I have my overlocker. So, for May's monthly Sew Cheap free pattern make and review I decided to try out the Eva Dress by Your Style Rocks. It's a kimono sleeved, cowl neck dress with waist gathering and a back pleat. I did my research and saw that on some sewing bloggers it turned out amazing, and on others it wasn't quite as flattering. It was a bit of a gamble for my first knit dress. But, the pattern was free, so whatever.
I cut a size 10 US going off only my chest measurement as the skirt is flared. I made up the dress in a medium weight knit blend (can't remember) from Darn Cheap Fabric. It's quite soft and stretchy. I don't know if it's standard with knit patterns, but I loved that all the pattern pieces came two-sided (e.g. full width) so that I could cut the hole dress out on a single layer of fabric.
The instructions that come with Eva are incredibly brief and a bit jargony, imo. The dress is much simpler to put together than what the instruction make it sound like. The only tricky component is pleating the waist panel and basting it on to a second waist panel to underline it before attaching. The back of the dress has a pleat which is centred on the waist line. This is hand sewn after the dress is completed. If I was to make the dress again I would machine sew the pleat before attaching the bodice to the skirt. It is very tricky to get an early feel for the fit of the dress without the pleat.
The only changes I made to the dress were to hack a goof 6-7"from the hem, use a twin needle to finish the sleeve and skirt hem, take in the side seams 3/8" more. I think Eva might still be a little too long and too big around my chest and waist. There is a lot of room in the back bodice. The neck is also very wide.
Overall I don't fell good in Eva. The back is particular unflattering. Tim says it's alright. However I have very few (maybe 1?) knit dresses, so perhaps its a knit prejudice? I do think it looks fine with a cardy and scarf. I'm going to wear it a few more times and see if my feelings towards Eva improve. If not she'll be hacked up and the skirt pieced salvaged and made into something else.
Eva is advanced beginner friendly and those comfortable sewing knits will have no trouble with her. Be weary of needing to size down and reduce the pattern skirt length at least a few inches before cutting your fabric.
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