This simplistic dress B design has front and back princess seams, a gentle flare, back zipper and finishes just below the knee. Button-front unlined jacket A with cap sleeves coordinates with this classic easy-to-wear dress. This classic pattern is fabulously feminine but has an office-appropriate look.
Linen jacquard border print from Fabric Mart
20" invisible zipper
2.5 yards hem facing
3 yards white bemberg lining
First let me say that this is a wearable muslin...and I say "wearable" very loosely. I don't know what I was thinking but I cut a size 4x in this pattern...why? I guess I thought that if I made it bigger, it was easier to cut down than using a smaller size. Well the joke was on me because I spent an entire day taking all of that extra fabric out of the pattern and I'm not that sure I was very successful in the end.
Barbara Emodi (Sewing on the Edge blog) wrote this article called "10 Sewing Rules to Never Break" for Stitches Vol. 19, No. 6. Here is rule number 4:
"Remember that it is always easier to make a pattern larger than it is to make a pattern smaller"
Yeah well I should have remembered that before I started this project! *sigh*
1. The fabric I chose was thin and see through. So I decided to underline the entire garment in white bemberg lining. This was my second choice, my first would have been cotton batiste but it seems that I only have pieces of that left in my lining stash, not enough to use for an entire dress.
2. So every piece had to be cut out twice, basted together and then serged finished before I could begin construction. But let's not forget that since I chose to use a border print to make this, I had to lay it out so that the border print would work all the way around the dress.
3. This dress is easy to construct and instead of nasty facings, the pattern actually instructs you to use bias binding for the neckline and armholes. There are also very detailed instructions on how to fit the dress for a larger abdomen and how to raise or lower the armhole openings depending on how large your arm is. I would give the instruction very high marks for helping a plus size sewist work with her particular fitting challenges.
4. Like I said before, construction is easy and all the pattern pieces fit together well. You just need to start with the CORRECT size to get a good fit.
So another shot of how I will wear the dress to work:
a good cardigan always
covers a multitude of sins!
I will make this again...I have to...at least to prove to myself that I can make it work! I think I've narrowly escaped making this a wadder by using every trick in the book I know...and the fit is still a little wonky. The fabric is totally saving this dress. At one point I almost pulled it apart and laid my TNT dress pattern over it and recut it. But I learned a very valuable lesson...ALWAYS cut the right size! *LOL*
...as always, more later!
p.s. I had lunch with some friends today and they thought the dress looked pretty good...I'm not sold yet...but look for the next version tomorrow...I just don't know when to say when!