The pattern is Vogue 1512, a designer patten by Tracy Reese. I can't find anyone else on the inter-webs that has made it up. I ADORED the envelope example. The cropped top over a fitted dress, the midi length, the oversized zippers on the shoulders - I loved it all. The fabrics I chose were both ponte knits. The plaid is from Mood Fabrics, purchased a year or so ago but currently sold out. The black is a long time stash resident. I was planning a black ponte suit at one point that never came to fruition.
I cut the size 10 - my typical size in knits - but added some back to midriff side panels. The shoulder zippers I sourced from Etsy. The pattern calls for 3 to 5 inch zippers, and these are 3", but really they need to be 4 inches long. I had to trim about 1/2" off the neckline because of their shortness. I used knit interfacing around the neckline of the lining pieces and at the back zipper area. The hems were done with a twin needle: a 1" hem for the sleeves and a 2" hem for the bottom.
I cut the plaid out in a single layer to match it up in the center front, center backs, side seams and across the sleeves.
My zipper pulls keps popping up so I tacked them down with black thread. Aren't these such a fun detail? I was a little fearful that the neckline would be really bulky. There are 4 layers of fabric coming together there! But after some aggressive grading and curve clipping it is laying nice and flat.
The crop top overlay was thoughtfully drafted with mitered corners and lined. I picked a white knit lining that I had in my stash. For the bust darts I pressed the outer fabric's darts down and the lining's darts up. Pressing darts or seams in opposite directions on lined garments keeps those areas from being bulky.
Because I've sewn with this knit lining before I knew that it doesn't like to stay in its pressed position. To combat that I topstitched it on either side of the seams throughout and they lay don't give me any problems.
Under the cropped overlay is a nicely drafted bodice that has underbust gathering and is made from knit tricot. It is then lined with the same material and becomes a nicely fitted detail that is never seen. It fits so well that I'm almost tempted to make the dress again without the overlay. The running stitch you see is where I secured the lining to the outside area. I like linings to be secured at some point around the midriff area unless I'm making a simple shift dress.
Here's the full lining. I ran out of this fabric before I could cut the skirt pieces and had to order more. The sleeves are unlined. I overlocked the sleeve seams and armhole seams with my regular machine. Ponte knits don't ravel but it looks neater.
I quite like my new dress but I'm not sure it's the most flattering thing I've made lately. I need under-bust definition to balance out my upper area and this dress does not provide that. Also maybe the strip of plaid right across the girls was not the way to go when laying it out. Maybe if I styled it with high black boots and toughened it up a bit I would be happier. Hmmm...