This winter I've sewn two Asta dresses, a pattern by Wardrobe By Me.
A dress like this is pretty quick to sew, and even faster if you have an overlocker.
I'm a big fan of sewing with knits because of these speedy sewing projects, plus knits are more forgiving when it comes to fit.
The Asta Dress is a flattering classic skater dress, with a fitted bodice and a flowy skirt. It's the perfect style for my pear-shaped body.
For the first dress, I used a heavy cosy winter knit in a dark grey marle and opted for the turtle neck and interior pockets.
It was all straightforward and easy to sew. It's definitely a pattern suitable for a beginner sewer, although I must admit that the pattern instruction are quite basic and could do with a bit more detail.
For example, the turtle neck piece is shorter than the neck opening, meaning you have to stretch it to sew it on, which is common when sewing necklines in knits. An experienced sewer would know this, but if this is your first time sewing with knits you may not.
Also, the instructions suggest that you close the side seams of the bodice and the sleeve seams and then insert the sleeve into the armhole to sew it onto the bodice. Nothing wrong with this method, but I find it much easier to sew an open sleeve to the open bodice (only shoulder seams stitched) and then sew the sleeve and side seams of the bodice all in one go.
For the second dress, I used a ponte in the Pacific Green colour which I had my eye on for a while. It's such a stunning colour!
I sewed this dress for the Frocktails Melbourne event that took place last month. I needed something I could sew in one evening and having the pattern ready to go of course is a great help.
I used the boat neck option for the ponte dress, cut the front and back pieces on the fold to avoid the seam line on the skirt. I just placed my pattern piece 1cm past the fold to remove the extra cm that's included for the seam allowance.
I also shortened the skirt by a few cms as I like it on the knee or just above it.
I added split cuffs to the elbow-length sleeves with a back in a different colour (ochre) to add a bit of detail. (not part of the pattern)
And finally I added a waist tie with the same contrasting colour on the back.
I didn't add any pockets to the ponte dress.
I often find pockets don't look quite right in knit dresses. On a style like this, they sit right on my hips, and me being pear-shaped... it's not really the place where I want to look bigger!
I'm very happy with both dresses. They are comfy to wear and suit my body type really well.
For summer, I'm planning on a few versions in a cotton jersey. Due to the different sleeve and neckline options, you could can sew a range of different dresses with the one pattern.
I might even try a V-neck next time...
- Size: 38, no modifications except for shorting the skirt length.
- Amount of fabric used: I cut a piece of about 2.25m for each dress which accommodates for shrinkage (always pre-wash knits before cutting!) as I needed just over 2 metres of fabric to fit the pieces.
My measurements are (in cm): bust 84, waist 74, hip 102 and 178cm tall.
My bust measurement would put me in a size 36 but from experience, it's better to go up a size as garments tend to be too tight around the shoulders for me.