It's been practically two months since my last post and I've made a whole bunch of wadders and this knit dress. (I even made wadder curtains, which I didn't know could even happen.) This pattern is a Vogue designer pattern by Rebecca Taylor. I looked it up on patternreview.com before cutting out the fabric and let's just say it didn't get glowing reviews. Normally I would steer clear of those types of patterns but I thought it would be an easy dress to nurse in and I have really missed wearing dresses lately. All the reviews said this pattern ran really big so I cut the smallest size available. I also added 2 inches to the waist because I am long waisted and it looked too short on the model.
Even with those changes it was absolutely humongous! The dress completely hung off me. The front overlay flapped open with every sway of my body. The armholes were so low my undergarments were exposed if I lifted my arms. Bother. I put it aside to work on another project, thinking I might be able to salvage those big skirt pieces for another garment. My subconscious went to work thinking of a solution and a month later I knew what to do to fix it.
I took off the neck binding, cut another binding 4 inches shorter, regathered the neckline and sewed the smaller binding to it. In the process of attaching the dress to the binding the first time, I trimmed the neckline down by 1/2" while grading the seams. When I sewed the binding on a second time, I took another 5/8" seam allowance, effectively pulling the dress up even more. The result is a comfortable and somewhat loose-fitting but still flattering dress.
The fabric is an ITY knit print that I bought online somewhere and have had in my stash forever. I only had two yards of it and had to turn the skirt pattern pieces in opposite directions to fit them both in. This dress was hemmed to wear with flats.
I may decide to wear a belt with it from time to time. After viewing these pictures I think it needs something to break up the print. Also the overlay get a little lost with the busyness of the fabric. A solid color would show that and the gathers off nicely.
I opted not to topstitch the neck binding per the instructions as I much prefer to sew invisibly by hand.
One other deviation I took was in not lapping the sleeve underarm seam allowances as the instructions say to. This is hard to explain if you haven't attempted this dress or looked at the instructions. Most of the reviews fault Vogue for having terrible drafting but I wonder if the designer dress the pattern was made from had sleeves constructed in that wonky manner. Anyway, I lined up the squares and sewed the sleeves right sides together as is the usual method. Then I hemmed and attached to the dress. I sewed a line of stitches down the side seam about 1/4", catching the underarm seam to prevent it from flipping out and being visible from the outside.
Having small children forces me to give up wearing tighter styles for casual wear, but I still like to look put together. This dress is perfect for that. Plus I can nurse my baby without having to undress - win win. I've already cut this pattern out again for a knee length version, so look out for that in a few days.