Free Pattern Review: Crisa from La Maison Victor

TL; DR – Either I don’t understand French as well as I thought I did or I still can’t read sewing illustrations all that well. Probably both.

I was browsing through my collected list of free sewing pattern resources and noticed that suddenly, there were a lot of patterns by La Maison Victor that were now available. I had actually purchased a pattern or two from them previously (with English instructions) but now, mysteriously, they were being provided for free in French and Dutch. There are patterns for women, men, and children, and a lot of the women’s patterns (although not all) are size-inclusive. You need to create an account to access the patterns, but trading (some) of my data was worth it to me to access a whole lot of patterns.

Now I felt like a sucker for buying the patterns I did from them.

The first pattern I chose to do is the Crisa Dress. I had gotten these Marimekko sheets from my Dad for Christmas (they were on sale on Amazon) and was trying to find the perfect pattern, so I decided to try this one!

First, the good: FINALLY, a pattern that crosses in the front that doesn’t require me to wear a tank top underneath. While the pattern didn’t have pockets, it was easy enough to add some in. And, instead of putting in an elastic at the waist, I decided to make use of the wide finished edge of the sheet as a tie, saving me the hassle. I finished the sleeves with bias tape because hey, who doesn’t love a good bias tape finish?

The bad? For whatever reason, and this was the case even when I paid for the patterns, they don’t usually include a size chart in the pattern direction, and the final garment measurements are often close to useless (I don’t care how long it is, tell me if it will fit my chest!). I found an English size chart online through a Google image search and have that now printed up and posted by my sewing area. You can’t see it in the photo, but I finished the neckline with biased take because I could not for the life of me figure out how to do the collar finish.

I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I went to French Immersion schools for k-12 (well, k-11 but that’s not a discussion for right now). I went to a French university for my BA and MA, which was in Comparative Literature. My PhD is also in Comparative Literature where I look at the translations of a Québécoise poet’s work into English. But I still could not figure out how to make the collar work.

I have long had trouble figuring out the illustrations in patterns for certain things. So between me not understanding the illustration, it being in French, and there not being a video tutorial, I gave up and went with bias tape, which I think looks just fine. Next time, I won’t gather it as much, or at least try to do a neater job.

(Although if I hadn’t been in such a rush to finish the dress, my brain eventually did figure out for itself what I should have done to make the collar work.)

Anyway, this is a perfect summer dress, the pattern was free, I love it.

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