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 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.