There has been much ado about the Friday Pattern Co Sunny Dress pattern in the #sewmystyle Facebook group. Two camps have emerged: you either love this pattern or you firmly do not.
I am, unfortunately, in the latter camp.
It’s a basic t-shirt dress pattern that seems to work just fine if you’re on the slimmer side, maybe a US size 12 (max) or smaller. That isn’t to say this can’t be sized up very easily, but the pattern itself is weird.
Bridget over at [Sewist] Original on YouTube has a fabulous and very kind video of her review of the pattern. She covers everything from the weird shoulder angle, the lack of notches, the strange order of operations…video has since been deleted.
The one review at PatternReview.com (that was posted BEFORE the 2018 #sewmystyle challenge) also points out all these obstacles, but the reviewer still loves the pattern. Again, if you’re within a smaller size range it seems to work. But the size chart belies the issues.
Based on my measurements, I made an XXL. At 45-39-44, that should have been fine. My fabric has 50% stretch when the pattern called for only 10%. But even with a full 1″ bust adjustment, it just didn’t fit right. I even eased the seam allowance from 5/8″ to 1/2″, but no.
One real frustration about this pattern is that there are no finished measurements or information about the cup size for which it is drafted. Discussion in the group guesstimates it at an A-cup, which is traditionally smaller than most patterns and explains why my 1″ FBA was insufficient. The fact that it is touted as reversible further illustrates my point that it’s meant to be worn by smaller women. Those of us with boobs don’t have the option of wearing the back as the front, we need more fabric in the front than the back in a fitted dress like this (and most garments without substantial ease).
Suffice to say it could use some refinement, but not all of it is bad. The scalloped hem is actually pretty cute and an easy add-on to another dress I just made this weekend (I’ll reveal it next week!). I ignored the instructions suggesting to cut little snips in the hem to help fold it up (commercial instructions usually suggest an ease line or narrow hem) and used bias tape to fold it under. I also did this to the collar which I thought might have contributed to the gaping, but too many other people experienced that too so I know it’s not my methodology. The next time, I made a facing.
I was able to use up some more of my stretch velvet (technically it’s velveteen) from my Little Red Dress, but I accidentally cut the fabric with the nap in the wrong direction. Such a dolt move!
I made this to wear to our meetiversary date and it was fine because my husband likes tight things on me. I actually really like how the hem shows off my quads. Which, by the way, I modified by using the hem line from the small size and connecting it to the large size, effectively trimming 2″ off the length. Yay for #shortgirlproblems turning into solutions!
Check out all my fit issues below. Not all patterns are going to be winners. This one is not great, but some wins I can take away from this are that it sewed up super fast (even without a serger, since this was before I got one of those), I made it in my signature color of the month (red!), and again, those legs! Not shown in these pictures are the brutal bruises I have up and down my shins from kickboxing. But my quads are looking damn fine!
Oh! Another good thing that came out of this experience is that I can now use the Sunny pattern as a template for the minimum ease I need in similar styles (tees and t-shirt dresses). I wasn’t quite sure what size to make in the dress I mentioned above, but I laid this over that pattern and realized exactly where I needed to start. That’s how a fail turns into a win!
Also the company donates some of its proceeds each month to a charity, so that’s rad. And they have been pretty responsive to feedback, which is also great. Criticism is difficult to accept, but they are pretty open to it, which is another rad move.
Pattern: Friday Pattern Company Sunny Dress
Modifications: used 1/2″ seam allowances instead of 5/8″, added 1″ FBA
Notes for next time: don’t make this again but if borrowing the hem, make a facing