It feels like forever since I bought the Colette Rue pattern. As luck would have it, I cut out my paper Rue pattern the night before they announced there were fit errors in the design. After the announcement, I stashed it away to revisit once the corrections had been released. I had planned a teal and magenta color blocked version of Rue. Both fabrics were light cotton with a bit of body. For the lining, I had a light voile.
Buuut….then the Karri pattern from Megan Nielson came out. I immediately loved the fitted bodice and the versatility of the pattern pieces. I decided to reallocate my Rue fabrics for the Karri.
This was my first Megan Nielson pattern. As such, I was a little wary of the fit, even though my measurements were exactly size XS. I’m always worried something will come out too small and unwearable, so I decided to preemptively make a 5/8″ broad shoulder adjustment before doing anything else.
Making the shoulder adjustment to the pattern was surprisingly fun! I used the tutorial from the Rue Sewalong, so at least it was good for something. Essentially, you make two little triangles, leaving a small bit of paper at one corner of each that acts as a hinge. This allows you to adjust the width of the shoulder while maintaining the pattern piece’s shape. It’s sewing witchcraft and it’s marvelous.
The Karri dress is fun and easy, but you definitely want to take your time with it. The first thing you do is assemble the front bodice pieces on each side. Then you sew them together in the middle. It’s alot like taking a driver’s test where they make you do the parallel parking first – if you fail that, you fail the rest.
I’m really just talking about matching up the seams. If you take your time and press everything, it’s very easy and quite rewarding. And it looks awesome! I want to make one out of scraps to fully take advantage of those small pieces. Additionally, as this is a fully lined dress, there’s no need to finish the edges of the bodice pieces.
Karri has in-seamish pockets with a unique construction (well, it’s new to me). They are sewn to the skirt, and then folded over and attached to the bodice. It sounds weird but was super easy to execute and has a nice look.
As for the fit, it was nearly perfect. Keep in mind, I did adjust the shoulders, but everything else fit well. I have the right amount of room to breathe, move, and sit. However, there is a little gaping in the back neckline down to the zipper and shape is boxier than I would prefer (and I fear these are NOT good colors on me). I probably should have made a muslin first!
I ended up doing a fair amount of hand stitching to finish the dress, which may or may not be due to my own inexperience with fully lined dresses. The instructions only call for hand stitching the lining to the sleeve seams. I did that from the outside of the dress, which was a bit challenging, but yielded a good result.
Instead of under-stitching the neckline with my machine, I opted to hand sew the lining to the seam allowance, being careful to keep my needle from puncturing the outer shell. I used this same technique to secure the lapped sides of the invisible zipper, as they kept wanting to pull apart, exposing the zip.
This is definitely more of a summer dress to me, however, with some thick tights, boots and sweater, you can probably wear it in winter too. I like this pattern enough to try it again, perhaps with a lighter fabric and some adjustments for fit. As for this particular dress, maybe with a belt and a sweater I can make it work.