TL; DR – I still don’t get sleeves.
As soon as I saw this free pattern drop on the Mood Sewciety blog, I knew I had to make the dress, and I knew I was going to use this Nerida Hansen fabric. The Mal dress isn’t zero-waste, but it is minimal waste, which I would have accomplished better had I actually paid any attention to the directions. Still, less waste than other patterns, so yay!
The pattern is super-simple, even has pockets, but MAN, do I ever not understand sleeves. First off, I didn’t properly read the instructions (that comes up a lot) and didn’t cut enough sleeve pieces. Usually, you only need to cut one mirrored pair of sleeve pieces, but in this case, I had to cut TWO pairs, as each sleeve had two pieces. I only figured that out when I kept trying to fold the sleeve piece in half like one usually does to make sleeves and it wasn’t working.
And then, oh and then, I was stumped by the directions that told me to sew a gathering stitch between the notches. But there was only one notch. I looked at the pattern again to make sure I didn’t miss a notch (which, I’ve done, because I don’t follow directions). I stared and stared and stared at the sleeve, absolutely STUMPED and FRUSTRATED by the fact that there was only one fucking notch.
I walked away, drove my daughter to ballet, and on the drive home, it FINALLY it hit me. THERE WERE IN FACT TWO NOTCHES!
And then I sewed one of the sleeves on inside out because I really apparently don’t get sleeves.
But those are “me” problems, not problems with the pattern. I also added a piece of elastic in the back at the bottom of the bodice to give it a little more shape, it worked like a charm, and then I went back and did that to ALL my dresses that I just made that don’t have any bodice darts to give the waist some shape.
I feel so floofy in this dress. In a really good way.