Same Pattern, Different Bodies: Charm Patterns Lamour dress
The Charm Patterns Lamour dress is a dress with tons of options. The bodice has princess seams and optional straps (gathered shoulder straps or halter), sash, shoulder drape. The skirt is either a three-quarter circle skirt of a sarong skirt.
The size range is 2-20 and goes up to a 52 inch bust and 54 inch hip and there are cup sizes A, B/C, D/DD, F/GG, and H.
Measurements: Bust 52″; Waist 48″; Hips 56″
Body Shape: Half-eaten bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (I don’t do body shapes)
Pattern size: Size 20 H cup
Alterations: Before sewing, I graded the hips up 2 inches. After sewing, I had to take in the top of the bodice at the side seams and the front princess seams. I also reduced the seam allowance to give me a bit more room in the hips since they ended up being tight in spite of my pattern changes.
Fabric: I used two different poly satins (red and gold) and a poly cotton print in blue with white stars (I was gifted that fabric from Minerva). I was going for a Wonder Woman pin up look.
Fit: When I first tried this on after sewing it, the fit was really bad so take note that this is a much improved fit. The top of the bodice was really loose. The upper bust for that size is 47 inches. My upper bust is 46 inches so not too far off from that. I took probably 3 inches overall from the top of the seams at the side seams and the front princess seams. The back/butt/hips don’t fit as well as the front. Even though I added 2 inches in, it would have been better to do a full seat adjustment to add to the area that needs it most.
Changes for Future Versions: I definitely need to tweak the fit more to make those hips/back/butt fit better with a full seat adjustment.
Final Thoughts: It’s a really cute dress. It was an involved sew with the boning and all the hand sewing. I fully should have done a muslin since I put in so much work to not have it fit perfectly. It’s super cute, though. So I may actually just tweak the back with my leftover material but I need some distance from a difficult project. Possibly several months. LOL. I love the pictures I took though so it definitely softened how I felt about the process.
Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon-ish
Pattern size: 20 D/DD at the bust, graded up to 22 at waist and hip
Alterations: My usual swayback alteration, grading up one size to fit at the waist/hip and some additional length for the skirt.
Fabric: Vintage 1970’s barkcloth with some dotted cotton Swiss for bodice lining
Fit: I was really impressed with the bodice fit of this pattern. Snug and secure and pretty perfect without additional alterations for gaping and such like I’ve had with other similar patterns. It also doesn’t feel tight and restrictive. I didn’t use spiral steel boning as suggested and had some heavy duty plastic zip ties for historical costuming projects and used those instead. I didn’t feel like substituting the boning changed how well the strapless bodice held up. I did add extra boning channels on the sides and back for additional support, as I didn’t think there were enough for the larger sizes. The three-quarter circle skirt fit well, too, and I didn’t need to add or subtract on the seam allowances to get the fit the way that I like it.
Changes for Future Versions: I don’t have any fit changes or anything that I don’t really like about this pattern. I’ve really wanted a vintage Alfred Shaheen sarong dress for a long time, so my next version will probably be with the sarong skirt and as I’m not a huge fan of wiggle skirts on me, I’m envisioning some alterations needed for that skirt version when I sew this pattern next.
Final Thoughts: I was happily surprised with how wonderful this pattern is. I can’t tell you how many dress patterns I’ve tried where I’ve had to do numerous alterations to the bodice to get it to fit right. This one fit me right out of the envelope. You really can’t beat that. I’d love to use this pattern for future sundresses and as there are so many mix and match options, it’s easy to get a different look.