Tailornova the real story (how I made the perfect dress)

in NeedleWorkMonday6 months ago

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I confess I wrote a clickbait title. The Tailornova dress pattern is not perfect, there are things that could be better, but it is nearly nearing THE DRESS. The one dress you can sew in your sleep and it will always fit. I guess the name ‚Tailornova‘ sounded so much like Telenovela I wanted to start with drama, but now will follow a thorough and honest review of my first fitting and sewing experience with Tailornova. And to get it clear, my Tailornova dress really fits wonderfully <3

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(If you are reading this and ask yourself if I may be a member of a cult called Tailornova, if you are considering Tailornova to be a new drug or if you in general have no idea what I am writing about, then hop to my first post about the pattern design software for garments named Tailornova)

Avid readers of my blog know I have a nonstandard body shape (anybody else? Then raise your hands) which simply will not fit in bought dress patterns. Sewing a dress (with „dress“ I mean a dress with a fitted bodice with bust darts and set in sleeves and a flared skirt in stretch fabric) is hard work for me as I have to modify so many things on the pattern that my sewing is more a ripping.
The last dress I stared (and still have not finished) was an attempt to finally draft a pattern myself where I wanted to incorporate all the details I already knew I have to modify on a standard dress pattern, which are: shortened bodice, small bust adjustment, full biceps adjustment, full seat adjustment and grading between of garment sizes between. You can read how this went here and here (to sum it up: not very well)

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And then came Tailornova where you can insert your own measurements to create a garment. A miracle. I was so excited to try the software I came back to writing from my summer holidays. But I started with a big disappointment which nearly prevented me from sewing anything. I let Tailornova create a 3D model from my measurements and then I tried the different dress option on this model… gag. Not flattering. All clothes looked like ill-fitting sacks. But after hearing from you, dear readers that it is more a problem of the 3D rendering than of my proportions, I dared to print the pattern.

I decided on a very simple dress consisting of these settings
Jewel neckline
Fitted set-in long sleeves
Bust dart bodice
½ circle skirt
Pockets

I also chose
Knit fabric
Medium stretch
Semi-fitted

Ease as the software supposed

Originally I wanted a flared skirt and not a ½ circle skirt, but I could not choose this option together with the option ‚knit fabric‘ no clue why. (Did you also encounter such combination problems?) And as I only had a small scrap fabric I wanted to use, I made the skirt smaller and by the way the sleeves very short :-D

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While downloading the pattern you can decide on the paper size (I chose DINA 4) and the format (I used pdf). My settings mean I had to sit on the floor for hours and glue this insert BADBADSWEARWORD together. With the pattern you also get an overview of the measurements you have chosen for the garment, an overview of the pattern pieces on the sheet and the measurements of yourself (bust, waist, hips).

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Here you can see the Tailornova pattern (white paper) in direct comparison with my self drafted pattern (newspaper). While taking the photos I noticed that some of the modifications I usually apply are already incorporated in the Tailornova pattern, because the bodice is much shorter, curvier and has big armholes. Two things however made me suspicious – the very small neckline and the huge bust darts.

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Let me start with the good thing, the bust darts fit perfectly. Really! Perfect length, perfect place on my body, perfect perfect. And now the bad thing, the neckline is so small I could not get my head through it without tearing the seams. No idea what happened. My neck measurement is 33 cm and the neckline measurement the pattern gave is 13,92 cm. I measured the printed pattern and with seam allowance the neckline measures 44 cm. A tad small for a head to go through. The other minor hiccup is, that the software gave me a facing for the neckline which I find uncommon for a stretch fabric and I would have preferred a neckband. Both are really minor problems as it is neither difficult to make the neckline wider nor to self draft a neckband…

On to the sewing. Normally this is gruesome work for me. I baste the pieces together, try them on and unpick them, as the garments never fit at the first second third forth attempt. This time I was so daring, I did not baste the parts, I sewed them together with a zig zag stitch (the stitch which is also known under the alias ‚will-never-open-again-if-used-with-knitted-fabric‘). And this is what I got:

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The dress fits really well, and I only sewed it once. Once! This is a first for me. I am speechless.
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…. No, not really speechless :-DDD I still need a bit help with the shoulder and neckline. I am unsure, should I tinker myself or should I change the Tailornova pattern (this would be a new pattern download and it feels kind of wasteful). And if I fumble or download, what should I do? I find the sleeves too small (more ease in the Tailornova setting for the sleeves?) and the shoulders sit strange (no idea what to do). And I would love to know what I did that I got this crazy small neckline.

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How is your experience so far with the software? @shanibeer @muscara @akipponn did you downloaded a pattern? Tried it out? Did you have contact with Tailornova (I found them very supportive and open for help/criticism). I am still very excited about this software and see big things (and many blogposts :-D)

Thank you @crosheille for initiating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community.

Ohhh, if you don't have a hive account and want to comment then visit my Wordpressblog Bliss and Blisters and write me there.

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Wow - in some ways the fit is perfect! I can understand your worry about the busts darts, they do look ... enormous ... but you say they are a perfect fit? Wow!

Now the neckline: what is going on there? that is very strange. At least it is too small and not too big. You can just take scissors to it 😂. I noticed in another blog post - the Annika video in my post - that you were provided with facings for knit necklines, when really a band or binding is needed for knit fabrics. The facings/binding is a small hack, and not really any problem. The tiny neckline is slightly more confusing and I would have to think more carefully to understand what happened there.

The shoulders, I think, are to do with both the slope of the shoulder (Tailornova curently gives no variations, although the bootstrap dress form had a range of shoulder slopes) and the relationship between the shoulder and the armhole. Again, I would need to think more about this!

Absolutely worth linking your post to Tailornova, I'm sure this is the feedback they need.

But the overall fit: just wow!

The bust darts are a real surprise... but yes, they fit really good, although I have such a small cup size (A or even AA). And I am happy you also think this is a success. Sometimes I cannot decide if a project worked out if I am too long on it, and by now I have tried to sew this style of dress definitely too often :-DDD
If you have an inspiration what to do with the shoulders, pleaseeeeeee tell me.
So far I have shared this post in tailornovas facebook group and on instagram, but I am not sure if they read the whole post (or only the very positive title).
I am so looking forward to other @needleworkmonday sewist experience with this software. I already thought that we could share an account, if for some the prize ist too heavy, as you could make several models with different sizes... (I also thought about sharing with Silvi, who has a different body type than me)
Right now I am sitting in our garden and watch as the snails eat up all veggies :-DDDD (but being outside is so wonderful)

I'm so happy that you got a nearly perfect dress :) I'm sure you get the last few things worked out soon.

The shoulder... I agree with @shanibeer about the problem being the should/armhole measurements. Perhaps the armhole a bit shorter at the top and the shoulder more declining?

Thank youuuuu <3 And yes the armhole looks very big/high... I am not completely sure I understood your idea correctly: snipping a bit of the shoulder away along the shoulder length, to get a more sloping shoulder and less height? THis could be a very good idea...🌈🌈🌈🌈 ( or will the bust dart slip upwards through this modification? ...argh, sewing is complicated)
@muscara and @shanibeer
Edit: I did not wrote it in the post as I am not sure if I perhaps was sloppy while cutting the fabric, but the sleeves/sleevecap were wider than the armhole. I had to pull a bit at the armhole fabric to get armhole and sleeve matching. Could this be the culprit? Sorry, that I did not write this before... Perhaps I should measure both pattern pieces, if there is a mistake in the measurements.

I will have to draw you a diagram (later), but it should be possible to adjust the shoulder seam without affecting the fit elsewhere (depends whether you go crazy, though, and take too much from the shoulder seam) 😂
I would expect the sleeve cap to be slightly larger than the armhole and for the sleeve to have to be "eased" into the armhole - often you baste a small section at the top of the sleeve, so there is a very slight, almost imperceptible gather. If you tried to resolve the problem by stretching the armhole, that may be what has led to the slightly strange fit at the shoulder - the fabric has become distorted (it's a little hard to say without actually seeing the garment) :)

Going crazy is my middle name (or better ‚never-thinks-before she-sews‘) 😂

Here are the sewing instructions for the sleeves - even with an ordinary sleeve cap, as in this design, there is a small amount of ease and the sleeve cap is very slightly gathered. Where it says "baste" you can do this in the seam allowance, you can also use the longest stitch on your sewing machine instead of stitching by hand.
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Arggggg no idea why I stretched the armhole fabric. I have sewn so many puff sleeve sweater by now, where I always gather the sleevecap... I should have thought about it before sewing it together. Hopefully the stretched armhole is the culprit and will fit better if I sew it differently (with a gather) next time.
Thinking about this, maybe this dress would look good with a real puff sleeve... hmmm 🤔 or is this to much with the simple style of the dress?

I'm kind of afraid of that software, but I'm gonna try. Always I'm in trouble with sleeves. Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, sleeves are not easy to get exactly right. I found the designing process on the software not too complicated and if you make an account you get two patterns for free... so there is nothing to loose :-D Should you try it out I would be highly curious how it works for you and Ihope you will write about it <3

Yay!! Me me! I have a nonstandard body shape too!
Wow.. the dress fits you really nicely! Yah, except a wee bit of the neckline and shoulders :D
But other than that, wow! And you pose the same as the model in the software too! I like the fabric choice and thank you for sharing your experience with the software. I have not tried because the price is quite on a high side still from a USD conversion standpoint. But I can consider after reading your post :D

THank youuuuuu <3 Ihope you will find time to try the software out. You get two patterns for free - after this I also do not find it a bargain but I hope that I can get some basic patterns with Tailornova which I then can use to modify the other pattern I find in magazines or online. My highest hope is to make fitting trousers, but this seems to be in the future, as you cannot change the rise of the trousers pattern in Tailornova (and this is important for me).
Do you have a favorite garment you would like to try out? Also trousers?

Oh wow it looks so pretty!! You look so happy with it haha

I printed a Burda pdf pattern once (for my first dirndl) but found taping all those papers together to be tedious. Next time I might start with a sloper and draft my own pattern on pattern tracing cloth.

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