Saturday, 25 February 2017

A Dracula Kwik Sew 4001

Last weekend, Spotlight stores hosted a super sewing weekend in their stores. I went along on the Sunday, mostly to try my hand at winning the brother sewing machine. Spoiler alert, I didn't win it. But I did have a very lovely day, spending many hours at a table of other crafty ladies, appliqueing unicorns on tote bags, and making felt finger puppets. The brother sewing machine was the prize for the most creative felt finger puppet, and although mine was one of the best, someone (I don't know who, as they were there on the Saturday) beat me out.

Once the crafts had finished, naturally I did a bit of shopping. I got a few $2 a meter fabrics from the clearance table, a number of nativity scene panels that were $2 each from the remnant bin, and 3 panels of this awesome retro style Dracula cotton poplin print. Each panel is about 1.5m and cost $2 each, making it pretty good value.

After spending the day at Spotlight, I spent the evening at my brother's house, so he and my husband could have a few beers to celebrate my husband's birthday. Being my usual self, I decided to amuse myself with my new pretty sewing things, and borrowed my sister-in-law's sewing machine and supplies. I picked out Kwik Sew 4001 from her pattern stash, choosing to make view A from my Dracula Print poplin. Despite there only being 1 review of this on Pattern Review, and that review not being particularly positive, I thought I would give it a go.

Using the largest size, XL, I managed to cut out all the pieces for the bodice and pockets from one remnant, and 2 rectangle panels for a basic dirndl skirt from a second remnant. That left the third remnant to hopefully use as panels of a bowling shirt for my hubby, as I don't think there is quite enough to make the whole shirt from it. The bodice went together quite easily, following the pattern instructions. When overlapping the front pieces, I angled the points down a little further (so they weren't quite lined up with the bottom edge of the other side) so that there was slightly less gape in the neckline, and trimmed off the excess. I got all the way to attaching the waistband pieces before heading home from my brothers house. The next day, I overlocked around the pocket pieces (the only pieces that needed it) and sewed them into the skirt pieces, then gathered the skirt and attached it to the bodice, and inserted the zip into the side.

At this point I tried it on and hated it. the bodice was sitting horribly and was just loose and baggy everywhere. Fiddling with the fit while looking in a mirror, I decided to take up the shoulders a whole 2 inches each, which at least got the dress to a wearable, shop-bought level of fit. It is still gaping quite badly in the armholes and neckline, but is at least wearable. While I usually have to shorten bodices, I don't think I have ever had to take off this much from the shoulders of a pattern before. If I ever make this pattern again, I will be making a smaller size and making a few changes to the pattern before I even cut it out.

Despite not loving how this dress turned out, I still finished the hem and wore it to my Orientation Day for University on Wednesday and received lots of compliments (which I think was mostly due to the fabric choice. I will probably still wear this, despite the fit issues, as it is quite comfy due to how loose it fits.

These photos turned out a little bright, but you get the idea. Anyone else sew up a pattern, against their better judgement? I guess that's the whole point of Pattern Review, so that we don't waste our time and fabrics on patterns that just don't quite work like they should.


P.S. I am super excited to start University next week!


  1. I like the phrasing you used about a "shop bought level of fit" - it reminded me of all the fitting flaws I used to put up with, simply because I didn't know how proper clothes were meant to fit. There's no way I could wear a shop bought dress, now that I've made myself a handful of dresses where the waist sits at the waistline.

    Your dress looks like a lot of fun, though - no wonder it received so many compliments. Everyone loves a print. :)

    What are you studying at university? I simply can't remember if you've mentioned it on your blog - sorry!

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. I'm studying a Bachelor of teaching in Design and Technology, minoring in Textiles! I'm not sure if I have mentioned it on the blog either.

  2. Adorable! I love that print. I've always been a fan of Kaufman's Halloween prints, this reminds me of his Eerie Alley stuff, I used one of his cottons in a spider rockabilly dress I made. I once won eleven Kwik Sew patterns in a contest a long time ago, and I was iffy on what to choose because there were like no reviews on PR! The reason is because most PR members felt Kwik Sew patterns are overpriced. They're also rather dated, they only started releasing more up to date styles recently. I find construction wise most of it is on the more simplistic side. I've only made one top so far and I've yet to finish it, but it's pretty straight forward as far as assembly goes. I think Kwik Sew patterns are those kind of patterns that make good foundations but need alterations.

    1. I never realised they were usually more expensive, I usually just avoid them as they are too plain for my liking. It was a very simply sew, I just didn't expect it to fit quite so poorly.