Reeta

Reeta

Reeta_cropI’m a complete sucker for gold these days. When I saw this viscose poplin from Fabrications I knew I had to make it into a dress and after my success with Named’s Helmi, their Reeta shirt dress was the top contender. I love a midi length skirt and a cinched waist, so away I went.

Construction was, well, not the easiest but it came out okay. I stay-stitched the neckline and armholes of the yoke pieces and, unlike others, didn’t have any issues with the collar (maybe the fact that the viscose can stretch a bit?) although I had to unpick a couple of spots. I also managed to completely miss the instructions to sew a box pleat on the front pockets so I hand-sewed them shut.

The part that absolutely flummoxed me was the front facing and hem: my front facings were 1-1/4″ shorter than the dress front pieces, so pressing to the right side by 3/4″ didn’t do me much good. Even after reading the hemming instructions a couple of times I couldn’t sort out how that would remedy itself, so I just gave up and winged it. I ended up hemming 1-1/2″ on the front and 2″ on the back so they’d line up at the side slits.

20181013_171938
It’s out of focus but the hemline on the right is where I just gave up and made the length equal, neatness be damned!

The way the waist tie works – sewing a ribbon around the inside of the waistline – is brilliant and an easy mod I could add to other patterns. I also added side pockets, with the tops 2″ below the side notch. I was excited about this but the pockets actually create more bulk at the widest part of my hips so I’m not entirely convinced I’ll keep them. I’ve pressed them flat as best I can but it’s still not completely ideal. They’re great (pockets!) but they puff the dress out an inch or so on each side at the *exact* wrong spot.

Others have noted that this dress is quite long: I’m 5’9″ and I’d take an inch off the length next time. It is also a bit snug across my back where the yoke attaches and to the bottom of the armhole but it’s manageable – and encourages good posture – but I’ll adjust it if I make another. I’ll also pay more attention when I’m cutting out the yokes, as I inadvertently have the same 4″ portion of the fabric’s floral design directly above itself.

Reeta_yoke_duplicate
Oops! 🤷

Despite some construction frustrations, I really like this dress and have even received a few compliments on it from strangers (!).

Alterations

  • Graded from a 10 at bust to 14 at hip
  • Added pockets (used pocket pattern piece from Charlie Caftan)

Next time:

  • Follow the instructions for the box pleat on the front pockets, ha
  • If I add side pockets, move up to 1″ below side notch
  • Add 1/4″ on both sides of the yoke at the arm hole, grading to nothing at the shoulder
  • Also add 1/4″ on both sides of the dress (front and back pieces) at the arm hole, grading to nothing an inch or two below the arm hole
  • Shorten by an inch
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