Serendipity Monique Dress Review
August 10, 2010
I will not mince words: this will be a bittersweet review of the Serendipity Monique Dress (Bittersweet like chocolate chips. Yummy chocolate but not as smooth as milk chocolate). I will summarize than expand. I love the finished dress and I will make more in many different fabrics because the design is versatile enough to be more or less fancy depending on the fabric used (more on this below) but the pattern gave me trouble and needs some tweaking to be as easy as it should be. I give the dress an A but the pattern a C.
Let's deal with the pleasantries first since that is more fun. I love the dress. It makes me feel very pretty when I wear it. The skirt flares a little when I twirl (Bonus!). The details and embellishments included in the pattern are the cat's meow. I love how you can "choose your own adventure", if you will, with ruffles, trim, hems, and flowers. The pieced bodice option is also very fun and looks amazing. I went with Variation 4, which called for 2 fabrics. I choose a lightweight rayon blend fabric as the main fabric and Chateau Rococo by Free Spirit as the trim fabric. The fabric combo turned out much more fancy than I had anticipated from the pattern. The pattern images gives the impression of more of a sundress, fun and flirty, but I have learned that if you choose your fabrics carefully you can have a fun, casual dress (Retro & Mod quilting cotton) or a sleek cocktail dress, fit for an evening wedding (think Dupioni Silk in tonal colors). I love the versatility of this dress. The fit was another plus. I did not make any additional alterations to the pattern to fit my shape; I made the pattern as was to give a good account to you in the fit department. The dress fit exactly in the bust and waist. I was amazed. It should be noted that I am busty so if you are not, you may want to fiddle with the darts before you call the bodice finished and move onto the rest of the dress. I made a size small which was based on my measurements taken as specified in the pattern and the fit was wonderful.
Now for a quick run through of the stumbles I came across in the pattern. The front neck facing was too big and when I sewed it onto the dress, it pulled the front of the neck out for a very unsightly look (I left this intact in the pictures to give a true representation. The facing was about ¾ in. too long. Also the notches on the neck facings didn't match leaving me to refit 2-3 times before they lined up. Lastly the front and back bodice pieces do not match with the front being ½ in. too long. All problems were fixable and not huge deals but for a beginner sewer they would have been. These are also not issues I expected to have.
The hem was a good length. The overall shape of the dress was very complimentary. Oh, I almost forgot: I decided to go for the whole visible zipper as a design detail and it worked well. I really like the look. It gives a different feel to the dress in the back but you should be warned this may be a dress you need a hand to finish zipping up. That being said I can't wait to get back to my sewing room and make another!
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