First, the blue, full-skirted version. I started zooming it together. The copious instructions start with detailed info on making up the toile, and fitting it. Yeah yeah, you know me. I zoomed ahead, just checking assembly order. All seemed very nicely drafted, the collar went together easily…until I tried turning the edges under to neaten it. They didn’t match. I sent an email, yes, someone else had found the same issue, it was a change made by someone along the process of producing the pattern layout, not as originally drawn/drafted. Easily fixed, it just needed a trim. I did so, and got the bodice assembled.
Too small. Way too small. No way to close it too small. Wanting a quick fix, I umpicked the front darts, and resewed the armhole seams a tiny bit smaller to release a little width. Nope. Not enough.
Now, this is my own fault, I hasten to add. The largest size here caters for a 42″ bust. I’m 44″, but decided, meh, what the hell, there’ll be enough ease. There isn’t. It measured 44″ exactly, edge to edge, no ease if you are allowing for a button overlap!
I could see no way to avoid doing the FBA I should have done in the first place. More haste less speed. Fortunately, the set length of fabric left me with ample to recut the bodice, but I didn’t want to recut everything, noooooo, I just wanted to remove the front bodice pieces.
With French side seams, and overlocked armholes. Go me!
The FBA redraft too about 15 minutes, the unpicking about half an hour [gah!] and resewing about 20 minutes. Serves me right.
THIS time, I was more cautious, and only pinned the darts, and rough stitched the side seams. Perfect fit. Perfect. The wife did the whole open-mouthed ‘wow!’
[The sleeves have quite a flat armscye, and are sewn in before doing the side seams, presumably to avoid setting in sleevils. I like sleevils and have no qualms about setting them in. Overall, I’d prefer better shaping on the armhole, but hey-ho.]
Now for the skirt [with pockets]: easy peasy, just rectangles with pocket extensions. Pleated onto the bodice, no fuss. I faffed a bit trying to follow the instructions, then just winged it. There’s an open placket at CF on the skirt, hidden in the pleats, but you can add a press stud for modesty if wanted. I don’t care!
The waistline was a bit low on me, so I unpicked, lopped off an inch or so, and re attached.
The missus obligingly knelt down and pinned the voluminous hem for me, and I finished it with a tartan seam binding, just because it was there in the Bag of Binding. [Sounds like something from 50 shades…]
I chose to stick with a longish length so that it will work with a net petticoat as well.
**As I said, this was completed months ago, and although I like the look of the dress, it hasn’t actually been worn since- the extreme poly-ness of the fabric rather puts me off, and I’m not sure if I’ve judged the skirt length well. Perhaps if I get off my arse and finish the net petticoat it might be fun for any vintage events I go to…who knows?