This dress turned out to be surprisingly straightforward to make and just a flattering as my sketch promised. The sweetheart neckline stays nice and close, and does wonders for the bust. The skirt is super easy to put together, the pleats don't puff out at all, and the pockets! POCKETS!!!!!!! These photos were taken part way though a full day of public transiting and fabric shopping on Queen St. W. Toronto hence the wrinkles. I was shoving my phone, tokens, transfers, change.... everything in those babies. Handiest things ever, pockets. *snigger* ...pun intended...
Anywhooo.... As previously mentioned, I ended up using a stretch denim and I'm very happy I did because I don't think I could possibly insert a zipper into the bodice side where there are 4 layers folded over itself at points. I zigzagged and fake serged the skirt to the bodice and the whole shebang is pull over-able. In the process I did manage to misalign one of the skirt pleats but at this point I'm happy to leave it be.
4" of ease folks. Four. Inches.
Admittedly it had none of the foundations layers, but that doesn't account for four inches. I even scoured the pattern for mention to use a different seam allowance to no avail. In any case, after re-cutting to a 12 the bodice did fit very well without any other alterations which was a happy surprise, though the princess seams would have made alterations very easy. In the sewing and final fitting process I think it probably was cut down to a 10 due to the stretch.
|left: pocket! center: pocket!!! right: inside of bodice showing "french felled seam" and overlay fold over|
I used what I'm calling "french felled seams" on the bodice. I made a french seam to the right side of the fabric, then top stitched. It made a very, very clean inside, and the stiffness in seams adds a lot of structure which is nice. I didn't even try to do french seams on the sides where the overlay is sewn into the seam, but just fake serged the layers together, sewed a regular seam, steamed it open, then top stitched to each side.
The only real issue I had that wasn't user error was that the center front tends to curl down as the knot is pulled on by the overlay. If you boned the bodice I don't think this would be an issue, but I ended up adding a sort of stay across the front to keep things pulled up.
I think this is a lovely pattern and quite versatile if you like to get creative with fabric and finishes. It could just as easily be made without the overlay for a more plain look, or the skirt could be made on its own if you added a waistband. I really want to make a second in a large print cotton sateen in a lighter more summery colour.
|My attempt at a fashion pose. That, or I'm checking out my sexy, sexy hiking sandals.|