Wrangling in this child for this photoshoot/pattern review, was not as easy as I thought.   Since I was sewing a dress for her, I thought she would show up ready and willing to fit and take pictures whenever I wanted.  OOOOOhhh….but no!!  Going “live” on the internet for review and scrutinizing of her clothes isn’t something your average person wants.  Everything has to be perfect, her hair, face, nails, mood, weight, and everything else you can think of when presented with the idea of being put on a quasi-chopping block.   This model-child doesn’t have a problem walking a runway for designers.  Neither does she have a problem with self-esteem.  However, presented with a “sewing” blog and still shots that are there to be reviewed and analyzed is a game changer for sure.  I present to you my review of the Bootstrap Fashions Jersey Dress for Jennifer…..please be considerate and remember this is a HUMAN Child you are dealing with!!!

This dress was easy to sew up and took less time than ordering a pizza from dominoes.  However, the time was spent deciding on the placement of the birds in this print.  Yes, those are birds, not houndstooth. Jennifer loves this dress. So let’s just bask in that for a quick second. You see, usually she would have to settle for a dress riding up the back and too tight on the arms. Along with those issues of the shoulders being too big at the neck and the front opening showing all her décolleté.

Nothing beats the feeling of a garment that actually fits just you.  Being plus-size and sexy-curvy does not mean it is easy to find clothes that are perfect, even when they say the garment or even the pattern is made for the plus-size woman.  That is a mis-norma.   My child is “fine as all get out!” and is NOT the average plus-sized woman.  She is “CURVY!!” but still proportioned based on the “normal” pattern making standards and “grading” rules that have cropped up for “plus-sized” folks. Truth be told, she and I are built pretty much the same.  We both have “cinched” waist and well rounded butts.  I do say right now….she already has a long list for me to sew for her.  I’m glad she is back to being interested in me sewing for her own style.

bootstrap fashions

Look at that skirt tail…I lengthened the back by 2″ inches to make sure it didn’t ride up as she walked.  I did take in the center back seam more than normal, but using a strip like this continues to skew the lines a little more than I wanted in order to get around these awesome curves.  The shoulder could have been taken up a tad in order for the “horizontal” balance line above the shoulder blades to stay “horizontal”….but!!  I would have needed to adjust the sleeve. Which is something this person here, didn’t want me to waste time doing.  She wanted this dress NOW!!  It is way better than anything she has ever bought in the store!

Construction and Pattern Details:

  • The dress is based off of a custom fitted block/sloper I got off of BootStrap Fashions as a tester they provided me in the form of a store credit worth $6.95.  Normally, I create slopers from my Cameo Pattern Design software, which I have owned and used for about 7 years.
  • Disclaimer here:  NO Flat pattern will give you 100% fit, no matter if you draft it yourself or have a computer aided draft done…you will still need to “do some fabric draping” to get the perfect fit whether on a body or a dressform.
  • To create this I made it pretty close to the base design in order to test the fit of their patterns.  (I did not made a muslin because I was confident with my measurements going into the project.  
  • In the photo here, you can see that we have wings, although, the “block” was listed as “no ease” or negative ease in the bust, waist, and hips, it still was 4 inches too big.  Look at those wings.  I don’t understand how that happened.  I measured the pattern after I taped it together and still this is what I ended up with.. so you see…85-90% on fit.  Now that is awesome still, especially when you are short on time.


  • The picture below show the pattern layout on the PDF with drawings showing you the changes that I needed to make…. Red is my changes to get the fit you see on the first go-round.  Since, this doesn’t have darts, I can tell where the shaping was automatically moved to in order to make this fit…ie- The under arms are huge and baggy.  I have seen that on a lot of “so called” plus-size patterns when they have been graded up over the average of size 16, although, this is “custom”, the darts had to be “put” somewhere.

  • I still may go back and pinch out some on the shoulder points in order to get those birds to fly straight across her back.  For now, she really didn’t want me to do anything else.  She took the dress and wore it right out.  
  • The pattern didn’t include any facings, neckbands, or instructions, rightly so, since this is a “base/block” pattern used for patternmaking.  I drafted the neckband using my own formula for determine the stretch factor and length of the neckline opening.  
  • Basically I would say this is a success.  The pattern is only delivered to you as ONE chance.  Which means, if you make a mistake in measurements, you will need to pay an additional fee (60cents or so) in order to have a new pattern emailed to you.  You can also buy the pattern as a digital download in any format for use on another pattern drafting software that you can use for manipulation.  Something, I like most..since, what’s the use of a “base block” if you can’t manipulate it any way you see fit.  I like patternmaking, but, I don’t like tracing and retracing patterns when designing. 

35 Thoughts on “Jersey Dress for my Daughter & Bootstrap Pattern Review

  1. Looks nice and fits her good!

  2. Stepnn2me on May 24, 2016 at 11:23 pm said:

    GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! AND SHE LOOKS FABULOUS IN IT! I so love the contrasting colar. It gives it just the right amount of punch! <3

  3. Beautiful dress – great fit!

  4. Really nice Andrea!

  5. Oh your daughter is beautiful and the dress is gorgeous! I love the whimsical bird print and it fits her beautifully!

  6. Love the way it turned out that negative ease works for her she sharply in the right places. Nice fit😀

  7. Thank you Jennifer for modeling your dress. Andrea, your fitting and sewing skills are amazing. The dress is beautiful.

  8. Beautifully done. I love the fit.

  9. Thank you Amy.

  10. Well thank you very much Mr. Brazle.

  11. Thanks La'Shonda. I some how knew this would speak to your inner child.

  12. Thanks Meg. She is really happy with this one.

  13. Thank you Faye.

  14. Thank you Tomasa. It was hard to let her have these birds. I skimmed a yard or so leftover for myself.

  15. Thank you Marcy.

  16. Hello Sarita. Thanks for keeping up with this project. I just might start another one real quick if she keeps modeling.

  17. Dress looks gorgeous! And I find it interesting to see that you had the same sorts of issues I did – Bootstrap still doesn't seem to have good drafting for a fuller bust. They seem to just draft the pattern wider all around the chest. The only software I've ever used that seemed to handle that properly was Wild Ginger.

  18. The final result is stunning!

  19. WOW Andrea!!! this dress looks amazing on your daughter. She is a very pretty young lady. You did an awesome job with the placement of the design. Love love love it!!!

  20. Your daughter is beautiful. She looks "hot" in that dress. Your excellent skill set has produced yet another winner! Wish you lived nearby to do the "fit fine tuning" for me (-:.

  21. Sew Amazing, Andrea the dress is gorgeous, I don't blame her, after styling the dress for pictures I'm wearing the dress right out no changes need to be made.

  22. This turned out super cute Andrea and is an exceptional fit on her.

  23. This dress looks great on your daughter! Perfect fit! I've been reading your blog for awhile, but haven't commented. I had to when I saw this! 🙂

  24. E. McAfee….you are right. I have found the same issue thus far with the Bootstrap. However, it is nice to have one come pretty close with options.

  25. Thanks Eryn. She is one happy camper.

  26. Thanks Ann…..I almost had the black line going down the front. So glad I changed it up.

  27. Janet…"fit fine tuning" is probably the most time consuming. I even need a fit-friend myself. Jennifer says Thank You!..

  28. Thank you Sharon. LOL….right? After styling it is a rap.

  29. Thanks Dara.

  30. Thank you SewNewbie. I think I will tweak it just a tad more for the shoulders and then we will make another.

  31. Wow!! Mary, thank you for opening up to comment this time around. Your readership is much appreciated. I told her what you said here, and she was stoked. Often times, she is watching what I write on my blog, and gives me ideas of things to make and even talk about. But, when it's time to take pictures, I don't know why its so hard to get help. These comments have really made a difference. I think you all have started a new lineup of blog post for my daughter. It sure is easier to sew for her and put the pictures up, rather than sew for myself, style the outfit, take the pictures, write the post and all that jazz. This way, I can just sew and take pictures. HeHe….how about that?

  32. I understand why Jennifer couldn't wait to wear this! She looks lovely!

  33. There's my friend! She looks absolutely AMAZING!!! This dress fits her like a glove! And you are right that it fits better than any dress she could have found in a store! Beautiful!

  34. Thank you. I will certainly tell her what you said. Definitely, great dress for using as a knot base. I can see so many uses for this one.

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