And I thought, "For $2, why should I re-invent the wheel?"
Last weekend I had time to trace it out and make up my first version. Looking at the finished measurements, I decided to go with a size 12 for the bust and size 14 in the hips. Although my body measurements put me in a size 10 at the bust, I felt there might not be enough ease the way the pattern was drafted, and I wanted a looser fit there.
The design is a very basic shift-style tee dress, with three sleeve variations and an optional cowl. I went with the elbow-length sleeves as these are generally the most practical for me.
For my test run, I used a cotton/lycra faux-ikat jersey I'd gotten from Girl Charlee a few months ago. It was a piece of fabric I was disappointed with once I saw the real thing, so there was no risk if the dress didn't work out! I sewed it almost entirely on my serger, only using my sewing machine for the hems, which I did with a zigzag stitch.
The pattern instructs you to sew the sleeve and side seams and then set in the sleeves, but I chose to sew the sleeve heads into the armscye flat and then do one long seam from the hem edge of the sleeve to the bottom of the skirt. I think this was easier with knit fabric and didn't seem to affect the fit of the sleeve cap.
But, my first dress came out too big. This is partly because I wasn't really paying close attention, and sewed the seams with a 3/8" rather than a 5/8" seam allowance! When I tried it on, it was so loose I realized what I'd done, and went back and redid the armscye seam. After which, I realized I should have stuck with the size 10 bust after all! Here's the first, fixed dress:
I'm not sure if it comes through in this picture, but there is a lot of extra room and fabric under the arm. However, I ended up really liking the fabric - it has a really nice heft and drape, and I don't even mind the print so much now. Hubby really liked this dress - go figure!
The next day, I decided to try it again, so I redrew my pattern pieces down to the size 10 for the bust, shoulders, sleeves and waist, leaving everything beneath the waist as it was. This time I used the fabric I really wanted to make this dress in, a charcoal grey argyle print, also from Girl Charlee. I did everything the same, this time remembering to use 5/8" seam allowances, and got a result I'm really happy with:
|Hubby likes this one even better!|
Much better fit! And soooooo comfy! I'm planning a slew of these dresses!
Here are some comparison photos between the first dress and the second:
|Less excess under the arm.|
|Much better fit at the shoulders.|
|From the back. I could probably use a tiny swayback adjustment here.|
I haven't seen a whole lot of renditions of this pattern out there in blogland, but I think it's a really great basic, wearable piece that can serve as a template for all kinds of variations. I'm already thinking of adding some ruching to the sleeves of the white one.
And I've already ordered some more fabric to make a few for spring . . .