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.