Thank you so much for the amazing response to the Stinger Dress! I can't wait to see some of your makes and hope you are as happy with it as I am. Seriously, it's one of my fave patterns to date.
We like our information straight and to the point, right? Instead of a super detailed sew-along and multiple blog posts, I wanted to compile the most frequently asked questions and concerns the popped up during pattern testing and some of the stuff that I think you need to know to make your Stinger Dress or Top a success.
What formats and fitting options does the Stinger Dress come in?
The file: The digital files for the Stinger Dress is delivered to your inbox as a PDF file. The tiled PDF option is formatted for both letter and A4. This means that you will have to trim/overlap. However, each size is it's own layer. The same applies for the copy shop version. This is able to be printed on standard 36" wide paper and AO printing setups.
The Sizes: There are two size ranges: XXS-XL and L-4X. Each size has it's own fit intent for the body shapes that fall within that range. Although I didn't mention it in the initial release, each size range comes with 3 cup size options to help you avoid the dreaded FBA.
If you are unsure about what cup size to choose, be open to some experimentation. Here's how I would work it: The center front bodice is the same for all cup sizes, but there are "cut here" lines for each cup size option. Cut to the cup length you are thinking you need and swap in the side front bodice piece. This is really the only piece that varies and it's small-ish. Cut a muslin or scrap piece and baste it in to the back and center front bodice to check the fit. If it looks like you have too much fullness then go down a cup size. If it's really tight, go up.
What Fabric do you Recommend?:
The Stinger Dress and Top is designed for light to medium weight woven fabrics. Anything light and drapey would work beautifully. Rayon challis, cotton double gauze, cotton voile, and heavier weighted silks would all look beautiful.
Can you make it as a knit? I'm not sure . I haven't tried this option, but I do know that you would definitely need to size down.
Do I need to make a muslin?
I think the Stinger Top and dress is pretty straightforward as a relaxed fit with a gathered peplum/skirt. However, our bodies are all different. As much as I try to create a good fit for everyone, it's a tall order to fill. A muslin gives you the chance to assess how you would like it to look and decide if you would like to change anything.
Also, let's face it- fabric is getting more and more expensive. If you are going to invest your time and materials it's good to know that it will be used properly. One saving grace- You really only need to do the bodice.
How do I know what size to choose?
Select based on your chest size. The hip is of no consequence since there is so much fabric and the waist is really forgiving.
There are three cup size options to choose from:
B cup has a 2" difference between upper chest and full chest
C cup has a 3" difference between upper chest and full chest
D cup has a 4" difference between upper chest and full chest
How is the waist intended to fit?:
The Stinger Dress and Top isn't designed to be super fitted at the waist. It is intended to be an easy fit that gives a slight amount of shape. However, I've come to understand that the waist fit really is a personal preference. So let me show you how to customize it to what you want. It's going to be really easy!
More Fitted at the Waist
When you are making something smaller, the safest bet is to take it evenly all around from all the seams. This ensures that nothing gets thrown out of whack. Let's say that you want to make the waist 2" smaller. Here's what you would do:
Less Fitted at the Waist
For this one I'm going to break my previous rule about adding/subracting even amounts. For the Stinger Top and Dress, just omit the back waist darts. What this does is still give you the look of shaping at the front, but an easy relaxed fit at the back and sides.
How do I ensure the front dart detail lands at the right place?
The dart is intended to be level with the apex point. However, I don't think that if it's a little bit above or below it's going to be a big deal. But if you want to do it right, it may need to be moved. To determine how where it should be, first visit this blog post on finding your apex point. Once you know how much the dart needs to go up or down it's time to move the dart. You can read this blog post on the easiest method for moving a bust dart that is tailor made for the Stinger dart.
Stay tuned for more info on the Stinger Dress to come!