If it weren’t for pattern testing, I would probably never sew for myself, so when I saw the testing call for the Itch to Stitch Anza Jumpsuit & Dress,* I knew I had to be on it!
Because I fear making pants (haha), I opted to test the dress version. Usually I try to sew up tests from my fabric stash, but for this one I decided to head to JoAnn and get something new. The pattern calls for drapey wovens and I wanted to use a natural fiber that wasn’t 100% rayon (this dress would be great in rayon, but I didn’t want to use it for my first test!). After hunting all over JoAnn (with my 3 crazy littles) I ended up with a 4oz 100% cotton denim* and it ended up being perfect! I also bought a really pretty poplin that I’m planning to use for my next one if there’s enough (I failed to realize that the fabric I bought was 44″ rather than the suggested 54″ so I may not have enough…).
The instructions for the Anza are excellent. Each step has an illustration, with instructions that are detailed but to the point. For steps where extra detail might be needed, there are links to her blog (e.g., for sewing a narrow hem).
The pattern is drafted for a height of 5’6″ and there are instructions for shortening or lengthening. I am a little under 5’8″ and high waisted, so I added 1 1/2″ to the bodice and 1/2″ to the skirt. It also comes with 5 different cup sizes already drafted (A, B, C, D, DD)! I find this is so amazing, especially since pre (and eventually, post) nursing I am an A cup and nobody drafts for that!!
This pattern can be sewn entirely with a sewing machine, however I did use my serger to finish some of the seams.
Generally, this pattern is fairly easy to put together, however there are some challenging areas that make it an intermediate pattern. These include the cuff installation (you have to be super precise to get it in exactly the right spot to avoid ending up with a hole in your arm pit or a whole lot of bunching), and the linings for the pockets require some stretching while sewing to ensure they don’t show from the front. (I kinda failed mine a bit and will probably hide it with a sharpie because I am not unpicking again 😉 😉 ). Because I was doing this in denim, I wanted to do contrast top stitching. To do this takes a lot of practice, an edge stitch foot, and a good seam ripper to ensure it is perfect. Of course, if you don’t do a contrast color you won’t have to do quite so much ripping out or machine rethreading!
Run and grab this pattern while it’s on sale*, and while you’re at it, check out all the rest of the talented pattern testers’ dresses and jumpsuits!
Oh, and I got new labels made! Thank you Labelicious!