My collection of winter dresses is extremely small. Of the 5 (!) I own, only 3 currently fit. The only one with long sleeves is my black funeral dress; the other 2 have 3/4 sleeves. Last week after a wardrobe malfunction on Sunday that resulted in my making the entire family extremely late for church, I decided I needed some new dresses. With long sleeves.
I have very average length arms. Since sleeve length has never been an issue with patterns, I didn't think to measure before I cut out the sleeves. They ended up falling right above the wrist bone, and the slightest movement resulted in high-water sleeves. So I cut them shorter, and now have yet another dress with 3/4 sleeves.
This fabric is a matte jersey purchased from Denverfabrics.com several months ago. (They currently still have some if anyone's interested.) I loved the large pink flowers, but had a hard time coming up with a pattern that was simple enough. This pattern does have a CB seam, and back darts that run all the way to the hemline. After playing around with the pattern pieces for awhile, I think I found a pleasing layout. You can hardly see the seams in the back.
Not being a huge fan of zippers in knit dresses, my first thought was to eliminate it. However, this dress has a somewhat small neckline, and there was no way I was fitting my huge melon through it. I opted for a short 8" invisible zipper to get an opening big enough.
Here's what drew me to this pattern - the neat pleated neckline:
Since I used such a short zipper, I knew the body of this dress would have to stretch over my shoulders to be put on. An invisible hem would have surely ripped out, so I opted for a double-needle stretchable hem. Not wanting a black seam on pink flowers or a pink seam on black background, I used both colors to sew the hem. It disappears at the bottom, exactly how I wanted.
I know there are lots of people that don't like facings in knits, but on this dress I think it's necessary to hold the pleats in place. I trimmed mine with black bias tape for a smooth finish. I also used bias tape to finish off the armhole exposed seam, and french seams at the shoulders and sides.
The back seam was covered with bias tape and pressed open, since it carries the zipper.
I'm off to clean my house from top to bottom. This is my 5th year to host Christmas and I love it! I did my big grocery shop yesterday and only have a few presents still to wrap. There is a jacket that I revamped and would like to show you, but haven't gotten any pictures in it yet. In case I don't get to post again until after Friday, Merry CHRISTmas to you all!!!