Friday, November 30, 2018

HP Nexus T-Shirt Dress


Happy End of November! And, yep, it's been a while. Again. I've sewn a number of things over the last few months and have at least one more blog post in the wings with photos loaded and waiting, so hopefully I'll get that published soon too.

Today, however, I'm going backwards and starting with what I made most recently. As in, last weekend. The photos are kind of meh and as usual include some from the work bathroom but … hey … that's me. So, let's get started. Spoiler alert — I'm not thrilled with this pattern.

The pattern is the HotPatterns Nexus T-Shirt Dress, pattern shown below. I bought the downloadable PDF version.

Pros for HP PDFs — no trimming. You just butt the edges and tape.

Cons - No layers, so in places you end up with a million indiscernible lines overlapping in place. And the pieces are not laid out with printer limitations in mind, so near the edges there is usually something missing. Mostly,  you can work around this. Sometimes, it's highly irritating. Also, for this particular dress, the front and back pieces are split into two sections that are to be taped together. Except, there is only one addition piece to be added to two base pieces. So you either have to print the addition pages again or trace the one you have. That itself isn't a huge problem but there's no mention of there being only one add-on piece instead of the two needed anywhere in the instructions so you could be caught out and feel a need to swear. Or is that just me? (That's the piece below.)






My photo above is after reworking the dress. This photo below is an in-progress shot before I reworked it. The main thing I want to point out is how twisted everything is. Is any of this twisting reflected in the line drawings above? Hint: No, it's not.


Below are what the pattern pieces look like. There is a center front seam and the ties are single-layer so the wrong side of them will show.


In the original design, the ties are supposed to overlap, kind of like a wrap dress, with one crossing your chest inside and being pulled tight and anchored into the side seam and then the "outside" tie connects to a "connector" tie sewn into the opposite side seam. But because the main ties originate from the center front, nothing lays nicely and it's a lumpy, droopy mess.


To salvage what was going to be a wadder, I removed the "connector" tie sewn from the side seam and then brought both real ties to the outside at the center front and tied them there. The whole dress lays so much better and the lower "skirt" isn't sticking between my legs.


The only thing I need to go back and fix is to sew the CF seam below the knot a little higher. You can see my black slip when I move the ties out of the way. The ties mostly cover the "hole," until the wind blows and they don't, so this is a fix I'll be making this weekend while I still have black thread in the machine.


Before I realized how much I hated the original design, I tried facing the tie, but it ended up way too thick so I removed it. (That's my Love Notions Forte hanging in the background below, which is the next blog post up.)


This is a really bad, small pic of the final tie with the facing removed and zigzagged 3/8" hem. I'm pretty sure you can't really see anything.


We had a cold snap here in Tampa this week, so this is how I really wore it, with a black RTW cardi and acid green tights.


While I like a lot of HotPatterns' designs and they were one of the pioneers in modern Indie patterns and deserve a high-five for still bringing it, I'm finding myself wishing they'd take on some of the features I've come to rely on from newer Indies. Such as photos of finished garments on a variety of bodies (heck, even ONE photo on a body instead of all drawings would be wonderful), great PDFs, and better instructions. I don't need hand-holding for assembly in the least, but I don't want to be scratching my head because something doesn't make sense or is wrong or is just plain missing. So by "better," I mean accurate. Speaking of missing, more notches and marks would also not be unwelcome. And finally, the elephant in the room is the completely bogus size chart and measurements. At first glance, it looks like there are a lot of useful measurements. Except if you use them to pick a size, you'll end up with a garment 4 sizes too big. And while I'm wishing, I'd also really like some finished garment measurements.I know if these things were offered, there'd be tons more customers for them, and I have a real interest in seeing HotPatterns stick around since I really do like nearly all of their designs.




22 comments:

  1. I am glad you were able to save this pattern, your version turned out nice. I have given up on Hot Patterns have only made one thing that fits well. Glad to see your posting again!

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    1. I hear similar comments about HP often. It's why I wish theyst update their size chart.

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  2. I've been looking at this pattern because the side tie wrap is so attractive. Thank you for your review, now I know I will need to go my own way to get that look. Love your dress but it doesn't quite match the drawings, does it?

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    1. Thank you, and, no, what you see is not what you get.

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  3. Always enjoy seeing your posts.

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  4. I like it. After seeing your version here, I am considering this style. Seems like if the pattern was more tapered from the hip down, it would be less bulky below the waist.

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    Replies
    1. Tapering would remove some bulk but I still think it would twist.

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  5. Great save and so glad you did not use those straps doubled...who needs bulk at the waist? Hot Patterns, so basic, so boring and ill fitting they make you wonder if they are ever made up as samples on real people of just drawn using Flat Patterning. Guess they figure using knits will work out some of the bugs and bad drafting and missing notches. You do look darling in the finished outfit! Glad you are back!!!!

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    1. I don't think HP are basic and boring like so many other Indies, which is why I would like them to make some updates so they continue succeeding. Contrary to this review, I find most of their patterns to be drafted pretty well. And even this one was not drafted poorly, it just didn't match the line drawing.

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  6. Thanks for a very useful review; I hope Hotpatterns is reading this.

    I really like the way you styled it, all black and white until those acid green tights peek out!

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  7. I really agree on wishing they would update their PDFs to include layers and to get on the IG bandwagon and start photographing some samples on real bodies.

    FWIW, I bought the PDF for this but then got offered to test the Cashmerette Pembroke dress, and after testing the Pembroke, I don't think I'll try any other patterns in that style, as I love everything about the Pembroke. I tried on Universal Standard's version of this dress (I work near their Seattle showroom), and from what I can tell, the dress was nearly identical to the Pembroke, but made out of a luxe fabric with a hem band and inseam pockets.

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    1. Your Pembroke is awesome! I know you are an HP fan like I am, but the things I mentioned are frustrating even to a fan. I can imagine these frustrations would be an absolute turn off to someone new to HP. If they are reading this, I hope it's received as constructive criticism because I really do want them to continue and succeed. Thanks for your comments!

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  8. Thanks for your comments about the pattern. I have it but it was not on the list of things to make. It might move up the list now that I've seen your comments.

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  9. I'm glad you were able to save the pattern too and you're fix works so you have a pretty dress. Though I'm interested in why you liked this pattern. I looked at the pattern and wondered how that tie would work?

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    1. I like anything with ties. Lol! I bought it to see if/how it would work.

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  10. Agree completely about Hotpatterns...the drawings look cute and so I buy the pattern and try to figure out what size to make and what is supposed to go where. I manage to make something decent and then make a Vogue pattern as a palate cleanser.

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  11. Your dress doesn't look anything like the pattern, but it looks so good on you! Great save. I agree with your suggestions to improve HP. She has some great designs as per the drawings, but they never seem to turn out as expected for me. I have to make a lot of pattern changes.

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  12. When the line drawings are all there is to reply on, they' better be correct! I love how you made this pattern work for you but it shouldn't have been so challenging.

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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