{Women's Bateau Garden Dress} by Winter Wear Designs + fitting tips

Oh MY! I just had to share the Women's Bateau Garden Dress with y'all! Would you just take a look at it....here, let me give you a little virtual twirl...

Ugh, it is just beautiful! The bodice features princess seams to fit your curves in all the right places, a waistband hitting you at the smallest point of your waist, and the option of a pleated circle skirt (pictured) or rectangle pleated skirt. Although I am not normally a fan of super high necklines, this boatneck is just gorgeous with the scoop back neck, and hits at just the right spot. Available in sizes 00-24.

Optionally, there are instructions included in the pattern to make a pettiskirt for a more full look (um...how fun is that). Now, I must be honest for a minute here. The pattern gives instructions for an invisible zipper to be installed along one side under the arm, however the fabric that I chose for this, had just the slightest amount of stretch (like 2%), so I was able to pull it over my head without a zipper. I know...CHEATER, cheater, pumpkin eater....sure...give me a pumpkin pie anyday and I will eat it ;)

Ok, another honest moment here. Rarely do I make muslins when sewing clothes for myself. Mostly in part that I know my shape and where I typically need to add or take away room when altering a pattern. This has come in the last year of sewing and really learning how to fit MY body! Now, two things that I ABSOLUTELY do recommend making muslins of are jeans/woven pants (did you ever see my Real Deal Jeans, also by Winter Wear Designs?!?) as well as woven dresses/tops...pretty much anything woven since there is no give...knits are a bit more forgiving. This one was by no means a compromise. The muslin was super quick to sew up though, so after doing so, I just slipped it on, grabbed my clips and figured out where it need to be taken in at. The process takes a bit longer, but in the end it is totally worth it because you have a garment that fits YOU perfectly...and that is the best feeling in the WORLD...trust me.

To learn a little more about how to fit yourself properly, here are a few tips:

Try the garment on and mark where and take not of how much the seams need to be taken in. I had someone to help me with this step since it can be tricky to do, especially on a back seam. The largest part that I needed to take in, was under my bust. By pinching it in to where the finished garment should fit, you will get an idea of how much to take it in. (ps. sorry for the big butt shot)

After measuring, I did a quick basting stitch to take it in and tried it back on to see if these alterations would be sufficient. If they are not, take it in a little at a time until you get the fit where you want it....remember PATIENCE!

In my case, I need to take each seam in by 1/2" on the front of the bodice. I took my pattern piece, made a mark 1/2" in on the bottom and a dot at the apex where I needed to stop. As I drew a line up to the apex, I mimicked the curve of the piece as much as possible by tapering in. ***NOTE: When measuring how much to take in the seams, DO NOT take into account the existing seam allowance that you have already sewn.***

Repeat with your front side piece.

Repeat for your back seams if needed.

So, there you have it...some quick tips/tutorial of how to fit yourself. This same process is used when fitting jeans as well. Just a little time and patience is all that it takes.

Now, head on over to Winter Wear Designs, and grab your Women's Bateau Garden dress while it is on sale!!! 25% off making it only $7.50, now through Cyber Monday!

Please let me know if you have any more questions about fitting and I will try my best to answer them.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous, I love it! And I'm all about cheating when it comes to sewing :)

  2. Great fit! You look beautiful. Thank you for the tips.

  3. Nice and very helpful information i have got from your post. Even your whole blog is full of interesting information which is the great sign of a great blogger. sexy bikinis


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