Hi-lo there, meet Simone!

One of the bonus things about being one of the judges for the sewing contests for Indie Pattern Month is that if I’m two hours late in posting my creation for one of the themes, it doesn’t matter! Woo hoo!

(Just as well, as I didn’t quite get this done before the time line. Oops!)

I’ve been thinking about making up a Victory pattern for a while. In fact, I now own three of them. So the New To Me week theme seemed like the perfect time to break one out and give it a go. 🙂

Since my wardrobe options are somewhat limited at the moment, I chose to start with the Simone – a dress or top, which is fitted in the bodice and gently flares from there down. Meaning, there’s also room for the growing bump! Win!

Simone from Victory Patterns

Now, this isn’t my usual style at all – I’m usually all about fitted waists and high-low hems have never been on my things-I-like list. But hey, what with limited choices for things that fit me at the moment, I decided to take a chance on a pattern I wouldn’t normally look at for myself.

And you know what? I actually really like it! The high-low hem is fun to wear, and floats out when you walk. And the fitted bodice means that the flare further down is nicely balanced. (Or at least I’m kinda assuming it does, since it’s a little bit hard to tell on me at the moment!) The racer back works well with that too, making this style far from frumpy.

The pattern came together nice and easily – it looks far harder to make than it actually is. The way the bib front and the tab on it are constructed means you get super clean edges and crisp corners, with no difficulty at all (aside from turning the tab the right way in, so I’d recommend not using a particularly thick fabric for that part!).

However, I did have a few fitting issues. For some reason, this pattern has half an inch of negative ease in the bust. In a woven. Heck knows how that’s meant to work. I decided to give it a go as stated on the pattern anyway, just to see how it worked out. Um, yeah. This is one very fitted bodice! I ended up inserting wedges into the side seams to add extra width, and even then it’s too tight and I can’t wear it with the hook-and-eye at the neckline done up or it pulls very strangely. Heck, there’s still pull lines on it even without the hook and eye done up, it’s that tight on me. I’m even going to try making up the Simone again as well, only next time, I’m gonna go up two sizes from what I’d normally cut, as even with the added width in the bodice this one is too tight. sigh But I shall not let this pattern defeat me! I shall prevail!!!!

Wedge inserts highlighted in yellow

The instructions also annoyed me somewhat. At first glance, they look great – a nice, thick book, with plenty of diagrams and even a glossary for people who come across unfamiliar terms. Great! However, I found them crazy annoying. The key for what was the right side and what was the wrong side of the fabric kept changing. (Right side has no shading. No wait, now it’s dark grey. Nope, no shading again. Argh!) Some instructions were just plain missing (such as it never telling you to stitch down the pointy end of the tab, without which it’s just gonna flap around oddly). And there were quite a few spelling mistakes and errors too. Gah. (Admittedly I am quite picky about all of that stuff – a bit of a side-effect of my day job!)

If it wasn’t for the frustrating instructions, I’d say this pattern would be fine for a confident beginner. But sadly with the instructions as they are, it’s probably more suited to an intermediate level sewist.

Overall though, I really like the style. I love that Victory patterns are completely different from all the others out there, and I have more on my list that I want to make. And even though this first Simone of mine doesn’t fit as well as I would like it to, I’m still gonna wear it, as it fits over a bump quite nicely. 😉

(There are some more images and a bit more of a description on changes I made to make it fit over here on my blog.)