I am always on about the importance of checking patterns before sewing, but I have also learned the importance of toiling (i.e. making a "draft version" before cutting into your actual fabric). This is not to say I actually follow my own advice though. It is sometimes just too tempting to trust that my patterns are all okay and jump straight onto the sewing machine.
I recently wrapped up my "How to make a wrap dress" series, but thought it was important to also note where I went wrong in the process. Because mistakes are what helps us learn, right? (i.e. scar us to the point we can never forget where we went wrong). Thankfully none of my mistakes were too scarring, but they were things that would have been easy to avoid if I had bothered to make a toile.
To start, I should have trusted the accuracy of my measurements!
I had taken my measurements, but as I was referring to another dress when making the pattern (which at the time I believed fit my quite well), I took the measurements from the dress, instead of my actual waist measurement. This was a rookie error, because, turns out that the other dress is much bigger around my waist than I had realised, and therefore my new dress could have definitely afforded to have a narrower waist.
If I make this dress again, I will fix this problem by working out how much excess I need to remove and splitting this between the panels (so I am not removing it all from one place).
Do remember to halve the difference between your pattern measurement and the waist measurment that you want, as all these pattern pieces are to be cut on the fold or cut as a pair, so the difference is therefore doubled.
As well as having a little bit too much room around the waist, I also feel the back neckline is a little too long. I don't have a good photo of this (so you will just have to use your imagination instead), but to fix this problem, remove half the desired amount (as the piece is "cut on fold" or "cut one pair") from the back neck line and then ease back into the original centre back line, so that the new line meets the old line at the waist (or hemline, of you are making something longer or shorter that has the same problem).
Another mistake I made was the angle of the opening of the wrap skirt.
I drew the edge of the wrap skirt parallel to the centre front, which means that when wearing the dress, the angle just doesn't look quite right (and there really isn't enough fabric in that area - which means it can be a little scary wearing this dress on a windy day).
Don't worry, this mistake has been fixed for the wrap skirt tutorial, so you will not have the same problem. The line just needs to be perpendicular to the waistline, which now (in hindsight of course), seems like a very silly mistake to make.
Apart from that though, I am quite pleased with my dress and got a number of wears out of it late in the summer. Now it is getting a little cold in London for it, but I am thinking that with a long sleeve top underneath or a cardigan on top, I may be able to wear it a couple of times before next summer comes around.