Pattern Review: Isca Dress by Marilla Walker

TL; DR – [insert multiple swear words here]. Some days I really hate being neurodivergent.

Y’all know, if you’ve been following my sewing journey, that I love a good a) wrap dress and b) shirt dress. The Atlas wrap dress is kinda a platonic ideal for me, but when I saw the Isca Dress by Marilla Walker (specifically the B view), I thought I had found another winner.

I was wrong.

This is no knock on the pattern itself (well, I guess it is a little bit), but it stumped me, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the results. What got me is that the pattern had DETAILED descriptions, illustrations, and even lines on the patterns for doing bust adjustments, but when it came time to connecting the front and back pieces at the shoulders…NOTHING.

I couldn’t figure out how to connect them. At all. Like, crying at the cutting table. I couldn’t visualize how to follow the directions, and when I did look at an illustration for dress A version, it made even less sense, and I could get my project to look like the picture.

Thankfully, my daughter was able to help me through it.

Look, I’ve never been good at looking at directions and illustrations and then transferring that to my own sewing. I am constantly looking for tutorial videos so I can see the full set of steps, those small movements and adjustments that happen between steps that I can’t “see”. Life lately has been…a lot (too much, actually) and that my brain is already foggy, at best, this probably wasn’t the best pattern to sew, but DAMN IT I WAS GOING TO SEW THIS DAMN DRESS.

So, the shoulders were a mystery to me, but solved with the help of my daughter. And then the last step – the ties. I didn’t quite understand why the ties would be anchored in the center-front. How would that work? Answer: not well.

Basically, the whole front folds to the left which works well for the top layer, but not so much for the layer closer to the body. AKA, I have to constantly adjust the left side to make sure my bra stays covered.

I love this fabric, and I wish I had made an Atlas dress out of it.

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