I won’t make you wait in suspense. The finished product:
I cut both layers at size 12 (unaltered), then took them in the necessary amounts at the shoulders, side seams, and darts. The thing that amazed me most was that when I went to sew the dress and lining together…they fit! Perfectly. That never happens to me, no matter how carefully I cut things. I always have bits that don’t line up, and I fully expected this to be the same way, particularly since it was dependent on me taking in both layers exactly the same. I must have done a darn good job of my alterations, because I had no trouble putting it all together–no funny tucks or anything.
Here’s where I deepened the dart…I just drew it in where the pattern had it marked and then sewed outside that line at about 1/8″. I had some trouble with the side seams on the dress…the first time I sewed them, I accidentally put the two back pieces together instead of sewing the front piece to a back piece. That took some seam ripping, especially since I had to rip out and re-position the pockets a couple of times. Ugh.
I’m not entirely sure the pockets ended up positioned correctly. I matched the side seams of the skirt to the notches on the waistband, but they seem rather far forward. Is it just my imagination?
I’m very pleased with the zipper. I do love invisible zippers, and I really like how this one fit together with the lining so that the insides are all covered up neatly. I like things that look finished on the inside as well. It wasn’t difficult to do, either, especially not with the photo tutorial on the Sewaholic blog.
It seemed like there were miles and miles of gathering. Turned out great in the end, but not before I caught part of the waistband while sewing down the gathers. Of course, that occasioned more seam ripping and left some rather unsightly holes in my waistband. 😦
The waistband was apparently destined for trouble. I did the very last step on Sunday morning before church, which was “stitching in the ditch” underneath the waistband to stitch the lining to the dress. I did a really beautiful job of it from the top side; my stitching was invisible from the outside and hid nicely in the “ditch.” Then I took it off the machine and looked at the inside….
Isn’t this dress lovely on the inside? I love the lining contrasted with the waistband of original fabric, and how smooth everything looks.
Ok, let’s talk hems. Am I the only person ever who never hems things as deep as you’re supposed to? Maybe it’s just because I’m slightly taller than average, but I find with most patterns that I don’t want the hem much shorter than the unfinished length. Of course, I could solve this problem by cutting my skirt pieces a bit longer to start with….but it never occurs to me that early on. Generally, I try it on and find that the hem is already hitting me pretty close to where I want. So I disregard all the 1-inch skirt hems that are out there and do a narrow hem on just about everything. Including this dress.
So that the lining wouldn’t show, I went ahead and hemmed it at 1″, but did the dress itself at 5/8″. (Often I do just 1/2″, but 5/8″ is a little easier.) I forewent my love of hand hems for the convenience of the machine…I couldn’t face hand-hemming that much skirt, with both the dress and the lining.
I’m pretty much in love with this dress. I wore it to church the day I finished it (in fact, I got up and hemmed both layers and did the waistline stitching–that was later removed–just so I could wear it to church), then again last Thursday for my high school concert. (This is the only concert of the year where I don’t wear my black performance dress, and it felt so good to wear something different and springy!)
It fits beautifully, which was my goal. I still like the fabric as much as ever. It’s super comfortable–the gathered skirt leaves lots of room for movement. The pockets are super convenient. The silhouette is flattering. I’m looking forward to trying the other version of the dress, which has an A-line skirt. My only worry is applying my fitting alterations to the skirt pieces that have hip pockets…it might complicate things. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime…flamingos!