Back in August, I was selected as a tester for the latest Megan Nielsen pattern. I was super excited to participate in this test, however, it is only now that the pattern is released that I can reveal my make.
Introducing the Karri Dress
When I was first asked to test the Karri Dress by Megan Nielsen, the first thing that struck me about the dress was the multi-panels. It kind of gave a modern twist on the block panel shift dress of the 60’s.
I thought this multi-panel look was very interesting. Also in the instructions, it suggested using piping to future enhance the details of each paneled seam.
I had only used piping twice before and online as a finishing around necklines and armholes. Still, I really liked the idea of using piping.
Let me start by saying I wouldn’t suggest this dress to a beginner. It has so many pieces to put together and so many seams that have to line up with it. Plus the entire dress is fully lined.
I started with the lining as a sort of muslin to get the fit right. This is where a lot of my issues started. I usually have to do some sort of bust adjustment on dresses and well, I hadn’t done that with a princess seam dress before.
I probably should have done more research, on how to do it, but I was pressed for time. In short, I kind of winged it till I got the fit fairly right. Still, it was confusing as heck to me to adjust. This may be due more to my experience than the pattern itself.
To add the piping I actually did take the time to watch a quick tutorial from Professor Pincushion on adding piping.
This dress had so many paneled seams, all with piping that by now I can say I’ve had a ton of practice on my piping skills. Some of the piping on the dress is not as nice as other parts, but this was a sort of test dress, to begin with.
Modern Meets Classic
While the dress has a very modern look with the multi-panels. I decided to make the dress in a solid gray cotton and use high contrasting white piping.
The princess seams and flared skirt still gave the dress a bit of a classic look. So, I thought the high contrast might give it a late 30’s or maybe 40’s look to it. At least that’s how I decided to style dress with accessories.
Never had I had so many fitting issues with a dress. Partially it’s my fault for not getting my current measurements, which had slightly increased (dang nab it).
Also, I had to keep track of so many pieces, which was difficult since at the time I was actually moving between two locations.
Thus, the overall process was very frustrating. Still, as my husband told me, this was the most ambitious dress I’ve made. So, despite my issues and obvious flaws, I’m really proud of it.
In fact, I really want to try and make this dress again using striped fabric and to cut the stripes on the bias to give it even more geometric shaping.
The style of this dress has so many options as far how one chooses to place prints or add piping. Which means that no two Karri dresses are ever really going to look alike. Which I think is really cool and can’t wait to see everyone else’s Karri makes.
What a great way to practice piping! Good for you for persevering, you should be proud! I can’t say I’ve made a dress with that many pieces before, but this pattern does intrigue me.
Thanks, Helen. Yes, I got a lot of practice out of piping. It’s tedious, but I love the outcome. So, needless to say, I’ll probably use piping again in the future.
The dress really suits you. Good on you for persevering and for being honest in your review. I had a similar experience with the Collete Rue which is on my list to do… thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Claire, I was so worried throughout the process that I’d end up looking ridiculous in this dress. Yes, the Rue dress looks interesting, have you seen Bianca’s make of the Rue dress (http://vintageontap.com/completed-colette-rue-dress/) I really like how her’s turned out.