Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sew House Seven's Mississippi Ave Dress


Has anyone sewn up a Sew House Seven pattern before?!? I haven't before this.  So this month I got their Mississippi Avenue Dress for my monthly Fabric Mart Fabricista post (you can click here to read it).  I feel like this little indie pattern company may fly under most sewing bloggers' radars since I basically found nothing when I searched for reviews.  I had no idea what to expect with this pattern.  I didn't know if they are designed with the "standard" 5' 6" (1.65 m) or under crowd or if they ae well drafted or what not.


The Mississippi Avenue Dress & Top Sewing Pattern       PDF $14 or Paper $18The actual packet it all comes in is pretty nice.  There is an envelope much like you expect from a commercial pattern, with all the info and sizing, etc on back.  The instruction booklet is in black and white.  It's  US letter sized, 20# paper folded in half with staples in the center (Too specific?  I worked at a copy shop for some time after college.  It's like regular weight printer paper).  The directions are really thorough and I was pleased with all the quality illustrations.  The dress is quite easy to sew, rated at a "Beginner" level.  I'd call this an near instant-gratification garment for me.  I spent most of my time with the finishing of the neck line and arm openings.  The printed pattern itself is on 3 large sheets of heavy paper, the same weight/quality as the directions are printed on.  Each pattern piece is separate from the others... by that I mean they don't overlap and you don't *have* to trace them off like a BurdaStyle magazine pattern.



I sewed up View C, the longer version of the dress in a super hot pink rayon challis twill.  I needed a size 10/12 for my top half but for the sake of my sanity I cut a straight 12 upper bodice.  I had to grade out to a 14/16 hip.  I did have to take in the sides of the bodice down to about a 10.  I feel like the underarms dip down a tad low giving a sneak peek at my underthings-- I would likely draft them up higher if I were to sew this again.  FYI, sizing is similar to U.S. ready-to-wear sizing.  It ranges from 0-20-- or a 32-46" bust and a 35-50" hip.

Being uncertain of what height these pattern are drafted for I just went ahead and added 1" (2.5 cm) of length to the bodice.  There are no markings on the pattern pages for this.  I went just below the side notches to cut and slash then add the inch on all my pieces.  I'm 5'8", two inches taller than what most commercial patterns draft for, so this is a typical alteration for me.


The price tag of this paper pattern is a whopping $18 US.  Honestly, would I have paid this much for this pattern if the cash was coming directly from my pocket? Likely not since that is a bit steep for me.  I see why it costs more with the better quality paper being used, but it's hard to dig that deep in my purse for a simple dress pattern that is this simple.  If you are a beginner, I would say give them a try (if you can spend the $$) because the directions are detailed and do hold your hand through it all.  But all in all, I really like this casual dress and know I will wear it a lot... when it warms up one day.  Update: Megan mentioned in my comments how the PDF version is $14... which I am a fan of PDF patterns being I am terribly impatient and want all the things the second I buy them.


*Yep, I did receive this fabric and pattern from Fabric Mart to sew it all up and write them a blog post that appears on their blog-- I am a monthly contributor for them, I am a "Fabricista".  Absolutely none of the links I've provide from my blog to theirs (or anyone's website) is an "affiliate link"-- which means if you click them, I don't get paid or anything.  All I write for FM is solely my own opinion-- as is what I write and share on my own blog.  I am just obsessed with sewing and yammering on about sewing.

12 comments:

  1. How funny, Kathy. I stumbled upon this pattern yesterday while working (and by working I mean falling down the sewing blogosphere rabbit hole) and impulse bought it on the spot. I'm up to the point of closing off the elastic and then adding the binding. I tried it on and I was having a hard time telling if I was going to like it when it was finished, so I went to bed. I'm hoping to return to it with renewed vision this evening! Of course, I'm dragging my feet on the binding, I used a terribly cheap poly blend from joann's, which I think has something to do with my "meh" feelings about the garment, and I know its going to be a nightmare to make the bias tape! I'm also having a hard time deciding how tight i want the elastic to be, but I think I'm going to leave that for the very last step. I thought that was a very clever little detail in the directions. Glad to see yours made up, I think it will give me the motivation I need to finish mine tonight!

    BTW, I've been meaning to thank you for all the good info you included in your posts on the marlborough bra. I'm wearing my third iteration right now and I think its practically perfect! Need to make more!

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    1. Yaaah! Someone else has actually heard of this pattern! Yeah, the most challenging part is the binding. It took me longer then I expected... but I was also watching tv at the same time. I feel like I made my elastic tighter then the pattern says to but it feels really comfy. I also think I may have not needed to add the 1" extra length to the bodice if I wanted that almost empire look the directions say it's supposed to be. Oh well. I like it and will wear it a bunch. You gotta start blogging your sewing again so I can be nosy and see it all.

      And no problemo about the bra stuff. Okay if you can sew a really nice fitting bra, you CAN sew the binding on this dress really well. No doubt.

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    2. I do really need to start blogging again, i have no documentation of my projects now! I've become kind of addicted to instagram though, and the instant feedback that I can get when I am mid-project. I finished the dress and I like it pretty well, but I think the drafting is slightly wacky in the largest size. I'm short waisted, but the the bodice is really long (normally if something is supposed to be slightly empire waisted it will hit at my natural waist, but this is definitely below that, easily fixed with slightly tighter elastic though). Also, the 3 inches of drafted ease through the hips is NOT enough! I added a bit of width through the hips but I'll add a bit more next time. I agree with you though, its a super easy-breezy dress to wear and I think it will get lots of use! it layered well with leggings and a cardigan when I wore it yesterday!

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  2. Thanks for alerting me to this new company. You are right though $18 is pretty steep! But I like that they have a broad range of sizes... Looks super cute on you!

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    1. Thanks!! Yeah, the sizing is really nice so lots of more average sized people can use it, not just folks with narrow hips :)

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  3. I should mention (for those interested) that I bought this pattern as a PDF. It was $14, which is still a bit steep, but seems to increasingly be the going rate for indie PDFs.

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    1. I updated my blog post... now $14 is better. I think I'd do that especially since I don't mind PDFs at all.

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  4. Unclear on the bias binding: is it a feature or an option, as it isn't mentioned in the description on the pattern. And I would really want to know about that ahead of time if I were sewing it.
    $14 is really steep for a PDF of a 5 piece pattern with a gathered waist. I love em (instant gratification) but since I also sell them, I hear a LOT of gripes about them. Many folks will not buy a PDF pattern, even if it's for the Holy Grail. I probably undercharge because of that (no, it's the market, there are a lot of quality, free ones out there).
    It's a tough market, I wish them well.

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    1. The bias binding is the technique the pattern uses to finish the neck and arm openings, it's inside the dress. I posted a picture on the Fabric Mart blog of the inside of my neckline. I feel like that part of the pattern will be a nice little challenge for the beginner, but then they get this really sweet little dress. Yeah, I see why folks dislike PDFs... it took me some time to get accustomed to them, but I've got a method down that works well for me and is easy.

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  5. I have had my eye on this and her other dress pattern. Thanks for your review. Looks really pretty.

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  6. This is so lovely! I want one...but I'm not sure how well it will work for me at the moment. Definitely putting this on my Pinterest pattern list, though!

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  7. Oh, I'm so glad to see a review of this pattern! Thanks Kathy! I stumbled across this pattern a few months ago, and while the style appealed to me, I just wasn't sure it was me --- and as you mentioned, the price is a bit hefty for what it is. After seeing yours, I'm feeling it would be a great everyday sort of summer dress. Love the bright pink too :D!

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