When I finished the wrap version of the Reggie, I was feeling a little deflated. I put a lot of time into the dress, and I used some super special fabric (and A LOT of it), but the final result was far from the wrap dress I had envisioned. The dress is not bad—I have worn it a couple of times since I finished it, and it is really comfortable (because, duh, it is too big), but it did not live up to the expectations I had. The pattern has nothing to do with my dissatisfaction. The Reggie is well-drafted and easy to sew, and had I sized it correctly, it would have been a much more successful project.
I could see that the Reggie had potential, but I did not want to get myself into another wrap dress project. Thank goodness that when Seamwork released the wrap Reggie, it also offered a fauxwrap Reggie version. All the wrap fun without the wrap work. And I would only have to download the front bodice piece since I had the full pattern printed at a print shop. I was off to a good start.
The Seamwork Fauxwrap Reggie is a bonus variation of the Wrap Reggie. The front bodice overlaps, and instead of two pattern pieces for the front skirt, there is only one. The best part? Even without the wrap, the dress can be slipped on, so no need for closures!
I ordered some of this beautiful cotton chambray from Fabric.com. I had worked with this fabric before when I sewed my fifth or sixth Megan dress (from Tilly’s first book), so I knew exactly what to expect. This cotton has some body; I knew that I was not getting the nice drape of my previous rayon Reggie. I removed a lot of the extra width from the skirt; had I kept the original gatherings with this fabric, I think I would have ended up looking like a tent.
This is where everything went wrong with my last Reggie. I sized the dress based on my bust measurement and selected a size 16; I ended up with a big mess. This time, I was determined to get the size right. I used my high bust (40 inches) and went with a size 12. I knew that I was going to have to add some width to the bodice and maybe have to go for an FBA, so I thought it would be safer to start with a muslin.
I am glad I started with a muslin—the dress needed a lot of modifications. The first problem was the shoulder. It is a recurring problem for me that V-necklines always end up gaping, so I often have the lower the shoulder seam by 1/2″ to 1″. For this Reggie, I took 1/2″ but kept the same shoulder slope, and it made a huge difference. No gaping! I wonder if this problem has anything to do with a larger bosom.
As I had predicted, I had to add some width to the bodice. I added 1/2″ to each bodice piece for a total of 2″ added. I was surprised that this simple tweak worked so well—well to the point that I did not need an FBA (even though I got one done, and I will explain why very soon). When I reduced the width of the skirt, I made sure that I took the changes to the bodice into account. The final width of the skirt needed a minimum amount of gathering. I feel this is a much better look on me. I really dislike big, puffy skirts; gatherings are not my friend.
The biggest issue I found with this pattern is the armscye. I don’t know if I am the only one who has issues with the Colette/Seamwork armscye, but this just does not work for me. When I sewed my first muslin bodice, I could not raise my arms. I had a similar issue with the Laurel dress. I don’t know—the curves just look odd to me.
Usually, this happens when there is too much room between the armpit and the bottom of the armscye. This is not the problem here. The bottom of the armscye is right up there with the armpit. I then considered that maybe I needed an FBA. I went ahead and sewed a second bodice, this time adding 1″ per bodice piece (2″ overall). My boobs were swimming in fabric. It turns out I did not need an FBA.
I went searching the Internet for guidance. After some frustration, I came across this video by Threads Magazine on how to fix the sleeve for better mobility. This video is amazing! The fix for my problem was much simpler than an FBA. All I had to do was add some fabric to fill in the weird armscye curves. I can move my arms! I can dance if I want to!
The final modification I made was raising the neckline. I was afraid that there would be too much skin showing, maybe because my original Reggie can only be worn with a tank top under it. I drew a straight line from the top of the neckline to the bottom of the bodice piece. Then, I modified the front facing piece to match the neckline. Maybe I added too much; I feel that a bit more skin would have helped balance how boob-forward this dress makes me feel.
I am not gonna lie: Making multiple muslins is a pain. But it is so rewarding to have a garment that fits well. I am much happier with this Reggie. It is the perfect dress to hang around—the house, for now, as we wait for when it is safe for our next adventures.