The start of 2023 has been great for my motivation to sew. One of my sewing goals this year was to really pick projects that help to develop my skills and to only sew items that I would wear repeatedly. Seems like an obvious goal but when I started sewing, a lot of garments were beyond my skills. I tried the big four patterns but often instructions were a bit illusive to a novice sewist like me. When Forget Me Not Patterns generously offered me a pattern for review, I was a bit worried about this, but the instructions and illustrations are one of the best I’ve ever sewn with.
The Valerie Raglan Dress was the pattern that I chose to review. It’s a dress with a fitted bodice and A-line skirt. The sleeves are raglan sleeves but are tailored with a dart at the shoulder, so it doesn’t have the bulky look of other raglan sleeved dresses or tops. There are so many sleeve options included with the pattern. I chose to sew the short sleeve with a flounce, there is also a long sleeve option with a cuff which I’m planning to sew for winter and there’s also the ¾ sleeve and short sleeve version. Along with all these options are also cup size options which is great for obvious reasons!
Fitting the pattern was a breeze with the comprehensive and logical instructions. In fact, the second page of the patterns gives such good instructions on how to choose which size to sew up. I fitted in the medium bust range, so that is equivalent to a B cup to C cup and my dress sizing was between the 38 and 40 for my measurements of 37 inch high bust, 33 inch waist and 38 inch hips. The pattern alteration tips were fantastic because I toiled bodice graded the size 38 bust to a 40 waist and hip. The other impressive thing about the pattern were the little notes that helped me to pause in my sewing so that I would go and check the fit physically. It’s such a good practise to develop as I didn’t have any sad surprises at the end of my sew.
Sometimes the mention of an invisible zipper sends a sewist screaming into the bush, but I had no problems installing it. I just followed the instructions step by step and before I knew it, I had installed it perfectly! It’s not a technique I’m familiar with but the result was the easiest invisible zipper I’ve ever installed, and this is even without an invisible zipper foot! It’s great to learn more professional techniques in a pattern. This was evident again with the facing attachment. This was attached using the stepped-back method. I watched the video and had a few attempts but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful, so I attached it my way. The great thing is, next time I come back to the pattern, I will try it again and I have the resources to help me.
The fabric I’ve sewn with is a rayon which has beautiful drape and is so good for summer. I’ve sewn a lot with rayon because it’s what I reach for in this heatwave called summer. Sometimes, I’ve read comments about the difficulty of sewing with rayon so I put together a little Instagram reels to share some of the tips that were generously shared with me.
Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
*Full Disclosure: Pattern was gifted for a review but all opinions expressed were my own.