Saturday, May 30, 2020

Bias T Shirt Dress - Trend Patterns

I find bias cut garments intriguing and challenging.   I love the drape and flow of bias cut fabrics, but they do tend to cling to the curves/bumps of the  body wearing it.  My body shape fruit equivalent  is a pear, so an all bias dress tends to emphasize the size difference between my top and bottom.

What appealed to me about the Bias T Shirt dress was the T shirt type top with bust and waist shaping, merging into bias cut panels forming a drapey skirt with irregular hem.

The Bias T shirt dress pattern is available as a printed or PDF pattern from  Trend Patterns  I purchased the PDF pattern, which at $27.37 USD is  expensive.   Especially when I had to print and tape together 70 pages.  The few bloggers I found  that had made Trend Patterns had been gifted the patterns, and the posts were either  pablum  or posies.  There were more pictures on Instagram and they looked pretty good, so I decided to splurge.   I was saving on  gas, restaurant meals and haircuts.  Why not spend  money on  patterns.  

PDF patterns,  I don't mind putting them together, which is what seems to bother most people. What bothers me is the heavier weight of the paper used in the typical home printer. It makes the pattern pieces  difficult to pin to the  fabric without distortion,  and hard to fold and store.  Yes, I could trace the pattern onto tissue  paper. But that is another step I am not willing do,   I have bought A4 sized  tracing paper to try in a home printer, PDF printing  experiment in the future.

Some vexations,  I had with this particular PDF pattern.

Size Differentiation. The sizes were not layered in the PDF so that you can choose and print only the size(s) you need.  The pattern pieces were differentiated by pretty colors for each size with minimal labeling. I would have preferred different line styles (dots, dashes and combos of these).  I printed the pattern out in grey scale not wanting to use my precious colored ink. I had to rely on the limited size labeling and follow lines carefully through spirographic  type intersections  when cutting.

Dart markings -  except for the smallest size, there were no lines, just starting points at the seam line and a point buried in a crowd of  overlapping circles of  X's, indicating dart apex.

I chose a mini navy /turquoise check material from the deep stash. It is a rayon blend of some sort.  It was one of the few pieces of drapey fabric in my stash with the right weight, width, and length.  This pattern takes almost three yards of 54-60 inch fabric.

The pattern has large irregularly shaped pieces that must be cut in a single layer. I moved furniture and cut my fabric out on the floor.  A bit hard on the knees and my furry friends thought it was play time. Though  I just realized they have a harder time destroying the heavier printer paper patterns than they do regular  tissue paper patterns.
Pattern Layout

Assembling the pattern and cutting out the fabric took the most time.  The sewing goes quickly. There are good illustrations showing how to assemble the garment pieces. Other construction, such as sewing in the sleeves, is mentioned in a brief sentence with no illustrations.   There is one pocket in an angled skirt seam and a zipper in an angled seam in the back. I inserted the zipper but when I found I did not need to unzip it to get the dress over my head (combo of bias fabric stretch and small bust), I took it out.

The finished garment measurements are given on the pattern instructions.  I selected a size 14 with the garment measurement matching my measurements, assuming the bias would have some give.  I could have gone down a size smaller.  I took  in the top on the side seams, but decided not to take in the skirt on the bias seams because size grading allowances was different on adjoining pieces.   I also reduced the shoulder seam width about 5/8 inch.  When I tried on the unhemmed dress, the longest point of my skirt was almost to  the floor. I shorten the dress by trimming   1” off the hem edge and  using  a larger hem allowance to finish the bottom edge.  I  ruched up the sleeve ( zigzagged stitched over a piece of elastic)  to give it shape and shorten it  a bit . 

My beautiful Mother's Day bouquet was on it last legs the day I photographed the dress, so I used it as a prop to memorialize it.

Trend Patterns Bias T-Shirt Dress

Trend Patterns Bias T-Shirt Dress

I like the dress very much. It is comfortable and  the skirt is very  twirl worthy. I also wore the dress that day for the  backyard graduation ceremony we staged for  DS #2.  College was a challenge for him for many reasons, but he made it to the end,  and was so looking forward to walking in the graduation ceremony and celebrating with classmates and friends.   Covid 19 changed that. We made him wear the university cap and gown his girlfriend wore last year. He  walked around the back yard while we played the  "Pomp and Circumstance" graduation walking march on a cell phone (that music makes me tear up every time I hear it).  His Dad presented him with a diploma and we all hooped and hollered and  tossed confetti. It buoyed his spirits considerably.  As did the virtual  graduation party he had with his friends later that evening.

Ah,  the memories we will have from the spring of 2020. 


  1. What a beautiful dress for such a special occasion. What a great way to make your son feel special.

  2. You've sewn another amazing dress . The hassles of the pattern printing were worth it. It sounds like you put on an amazing graduation ceremony for him which will be as memorable and special ( perhaps more ? ) than the college one. Will the college organise one later ? You must be incredibly proud and you did the graduation honours with your dress too. Glad you are well in your country where I look at the covid 19 figures in horror.

  3. Your dress looks fabulous such a good colour and style. My paper pattern has just arrived (I am not willing to tape 70 pages together so I waited for the hard copy version). I am looking forward to making this dress even more now. Thanks for such a comprehensive review.

  4. Lovely dress! As a pear too I’m also wary of bias dresses but this one looks really good on you. A flattering dress that will also be quite comfy. Thanks for sharing this less common pattern and your comments on usability and the changes you made. I envy your ability to match patterns with the right fabric. That is often my pitfall. Congrats to your son on his graduation! I do feel for the class of 2020, tough break on many levels. My son is in middle school, so I worry he’s not developing his social skills. Nerdy and awkward, he really needs more rather than less social interactions. Ah the memories we’ll have indeed!

  5. I really love your dress! It sounds like a lot of work just printing and taping and getting it ready but looking at the final worth your effort.
    My daughter just graduated from college as well and there was an online graduation and we watched at our house and she at her sad that we were not able to spend the day together and watch her walk across the stage after all her hard work.

  6. sounds like a bit of a challenging pattern but the end result is lovely - that color is gorgeous and it's a visually interesting dress.

  7. ¡¡70 hojas!! qué paciencia y qué bonito te ha quedado. BESICOS.