A Review of The Coastal Crossover PDF Pattern by Buttons & Bibs.
This is my first purchase from Buttons & Bibs - they are a Canadian company selling both pdf patterns, fabric and notions. I came across their Facebook group when The Coastal Crossover was recently released - my feed was filled with beautiful pictures of this amazing looking dress!
There are two front neckline options: V or Cross-Strap and two back neckline options: Cross-Strap or Racer Back. You can choose Top or Knee Length Skirt and there is also a maternity skirt option. Also included is a Full Bust Piece - great!!! The Coastal Crossover comes in a generous size range, 00 - 44+. A children's version is available as a separate pattern or as part of a bundle.
I chose to make The Coastal Crossover with a Cross-Strap Front and a Racer Back with a Knee-Length Skirt.
Recommended fabric is a light to medium weight knit with at least 50% stretch in both directions. It is recommended that if you use fabric with 100% stretch or more you should size down one size. I found a great knit with 50% stretch at my trusty fabric store Loris Textiles in Limassol. Of course its black but it does have a shimmery stripe running through it.
I chose to just print out the bodice and construct that first to check fit. For the version I made there is one back piece plus lining and two mirrored front pieces plus lining. To keep things simple I lined in the same fabric.
Sizing is based on your Upper Bust measurement and the instructions say that if you fall between sizes you should size down. This put me in a size 12 which put a smile on my face! My full bust measurement put me in the range two sizes up so I chose to use the Full Bust Front Pattern piece. I also had to grade out the waist and remove height.
The Coastal Crossover is drafted for a height of 5'5". If you fall in the height range of 5'4" to 5'7" you only need to adjust the bodice at the bust line marked on the pattern piece. If you are outside of this range you have to make alterations over three points of the bodice.
I found The Coastal Crossover Instructions very well designed and easy to follow. They include a Print Guide and help with all aspects of construction:
Tips for Working with Knits
Pattern Assembly Guide
How to Grade Sizes
How to Grade for Height
How to Cut and Transfer Markings to Fabric
After adjusting my pattern pieces the Bodice of The Coastal Crossover was very quick to sew. Its worth noting that the Front Bodice with Straps Main is cut on a different grain line to the Lining. If you are using the same fabric for both make sure to mark which is which. After making quite a few changes to the paper pattern I was nervous about the fit but I'm delighted with the outcome. It fits really well across the bust and under the arms - proving to me that it really is worth taking the time to measure accurately and spend time grading a pattern. I think that this pattern is really well drafted and I'm grateful that a FBA has been incorporated.
It was at this point that I started to consider the skirt attachment. Looking through The Coastal Crossover instructions I could see that the skirt has a very angular hemline - so much so that you have to clip the hem so that it will lay flat. To save paper I opted to add a Handkerchief Hem Skirt instead as I can just cut that straight from the fabric without having to use a pattern.
I had added a Handkerchief Hem Skirt to my 25K Bralette and was delighted with the result - I think its a really flattering shape. The details of how I calculated the size to cut are here. For The Coastal Crossover I calculated that I needed to cut a circle with a radius of 12 cm. Once that was cut it was simply a case of attaching it straight to the bodice. I zigzagged the seam first with my sewing machine to check fit and ensure that all the fabric lay flat with no puckers before finishing off with my serger.
Within a week of making my first Coastal Crossover I returned to Loris Textiles to buy more fabric for a second. This time I chose a patterned knit fabric with 50% stretch which is beautifully soft to the touch.
I made another Handkerchief Hem skirt but this time cut from a rectangular piece of fabric - this means that the side pieces are quite a bit longer than the front.
Final Thoughts: As soon as I tried on The Coastal Crossover I knew straight away that I wanted to make another one. I feel that it is a flattering design but so comfortable to wear.