Introducing . . . the dress I meant to wear for the Fourth of July.
At long last, I have something to show for my months of work, zillions of test muslins, and shameless pleas for help. I believe I stated that I thought the pattern had been drafted by muskrats with drinking problems. I stand by that assertion.
I’m not saying this pattern is bad, I’m just saying that it should not be undertaken with the expectation that it will be an instant success.
Once again, the pattern illustration:
Notice the mini-me at the center bottom. Take a close look at how that dress fits.
(Sorry about the lousy resolution.)
My pattern was a size 18 (bust 36). I’m a size 16 (bust 34), so took it in a size before I even touched fabric. I used the usual slash-and-overlap method. I’ve done this before, on patterns that were far more complex than this, and gotten excellent results. Also, I’m generally a pretty bust-waist proportional size 16.
This seems ironic in retrospect but, as I was taping the pattern pieces back together, I remember thinking, “Wow, these don’t look very big. I hope this pattern doesn’t run that small!” Notice I didn’t say that I actually measured the pieces to see if they were as small as they looked. That was a mistake. A mistake I promise I will never make again.
I fussed a long time over the skirt. I have big hips so I was very careful to cut the skirt at the original size 18 at the hips and taper it to a 16 at the waist.
I glibly cut out the dress and sewed most of it together. I do remember thinking that the darts were awfully large at the bottoms and hoping that the waist wouldn’t be too tight but, again–I wasn’t worried enough to do something sensible about it such as, oh, I don’t know–measure the bloody thing.
The skirt fit like a glove.
The bodice didn’t.
This is the bodice that I feared might run small. Now we know how good I am at eyeballing stuff.
I sort of wanted to cry at the time but now it’s pretty comical. I mean . . . lesson learned about measuring, etc., but you have to admit–that’s kind of hilarious.
I took four inches out of the bodice just under the arms. I took more out in other places, too, but the underarms alone were an inch too wide per quadrant. I won’t detail all the alterations I had to make here, but you can see some of them in the Flickr set. In a nutshell, though, I: