I had been dreaming of making this dress ever since the pattern came out early this fall. But I kept putting it off while I pondered how to fit it. In Named patterns, I size in at 36 bust, 38 waist and 42 hip. The tulip shape of the skirt gives you a little wiggle room with this pattern, but I think if you make it too tight, you lose the original proportions of the design.
After a lot of thought, I decided to go with the 36 bust and grade out to 38 for the waist, and then make the entire skirt in size 38 as well. The fit is slightly snugger across my backside than intended, but I still think it's flattering. Note: I wasn't wearing a slip when I took these photos but I did wear a "slipshort," and the back got a bit hung up on it and made those wrinkles at the left hip.
As you can see, the bodice is designed to be slightly blousey. There are a couple darts on the front skirt, and the waist has elastic as well as the wrap ties. There are on-seam pockets at the hip as well. I was dubious about how this would work but I went ahead and tried them on this dress, which I consider my test version. For once, I followed all the instructions. Against my better judgment, I inserted the pockets as written: the side seams are sewn except at the pocket opening, and then the pocket bags are attached to the seam allowances at the opening, and finally sewn to each other. I like to think that I'm pretty good at precision sewing, but this was really hard for me!! Next time, if I do pockets at all, I'll do them in my normal way of attaching the bags to the front and back pieces first and then sewing the side seams and pocket bags all in one go. My inability to sew the pockets accurately resulted in some holes and misalignments; I was able to close up the holes afterwards by hand, but as you can see in the photo above, there is some bunching at the left hip because I couldn't get that pocket aligned exactly.
I say "next time" . . . I think there will be a next time - I like the pattern and design enough to have more than one of this dress. But I found the sewing of it extremely tedious. First off, I loathe sewing knits on the regular sewing machine, and because of the construction of this dress, there are very few seams that can be sewn on the serger. Secondly, those pockets. Much too tedious. And finally, I find it very frustrating to have to wrangle large stretchy pieces with long, skinny, even stretchier pieces hanging off. By sheer force of will, I managed to complete this dress in 3 days. So, after a cooling off period, during which I'll go back to my comfort zone of hand-tailoring blazers, I may try it again.
The only other little tidbit to share is that the opening in the side for the tie is quite large - I went back and closed it up by 1/4" each top and bottom to avoid exposing myself.
The sun came out yesterday, so after I got back from the gym, I quickly put on the dress and snapped a few shots. But even with the sunshine, it's hard to see the details of the dress - really, the lighting in my house is horrible. So I ended up playing around with some of the editing tools in iPhoto to make them more visible. And I decided I quite liked the artiness of it! Here's a before and after example:
I liked that I could add pink shadows.
Do any of you intend to make this dress? How do you feel about sewing knits on the sewing machine? Do large, stretchy garments make you frustrated too?