A week of thinking, reading your suggestions and comments, and seething a bit.
- My measurements are correct
- My calculations are correct
- I followed the pattern instructions [such as they are]
The pattern instructions even confirm that, whichever method you use [separate front and back, or tube method] the bottom width of the dress is about 30″ and the length from shoulder to hem [very roughly] should be 11.5 feet. I cut 11′ as I am short. I see no reason whatsoever for that to have an effect on the width of the body.
I altered the bodice pattern to grade up to size 16 [it only goes up to size 14] and did an FBA on the front bodice, to comfortably accommodate my 44″ bust. I’ve checked that I haven’t ballsed that up.
The position of the cut out circles is not meant to matter at all, that comes from several videos by Julian Roberts himself, and other people who have tried it. I followed the rough layout from the pattern. The size of the cut outs IF YOU WANT TO WEAR IT BY STEPPING THROUGH THE LOOPS must clear your hips. That’s fine too.
I have laboriously unpicked the circle stitching, apart from the two right at the hem end, as they seem to lie flat, don’t distort the dress unduly, and ‘make sense’ visually. The side seam is also unpicked.
I have salvaged the 12 circles which were cut away, each 14″ diameter, and after a bit of maths to maximise my salvage attempts, have joined them to make 2 long strips about 9.5″ wide. I may join the 2 together, I’m not sure yet.
I’m debating the next step, and where to add in the strips. I could add all the extra on one side, using the selvage seam, or I could split it along the folded edge and add my extra in symmetrically. On a dress that embraces asymmetry, that seems unnecessary, so I’ll most likely put it all on one side.
Currently the ‘dress’ looks like regurgitated purple spaghetti or semi-unravelled knitting. I’ve stay stitched neck and armhole edges to minimise further stretching.The top of the bodice looks absolutely fine to my [increasingly jaundiced] eye.
I have retrieved the piece of ‘excess’ linen that I cut from the original yardage, it’s about 30″ by 60″. I’m hoping for sleeves out of that, probably just cap ones, and any facings needed.
In case of total disaster, I also have a length of nice soft purple jersey, which doesn’t match, but looks fine with it [purple can be tricksy] in case I need to add any other bits.
I’m going to add in the extra fabric, rejoin the side seam, add an exposed zip at the back [to make entry and exit a little less terrifying] and then start rejoining those circles, checking at each stage that I can still get into it. If it reaches a point that defeats me, I stop and reconsider, adding stretch fabric if needed. No more overlocking until I know the damn thing is beaten!
Wish me luck, I’m heading back in.