Here’s the dress basted together at the side seams:
This McCalls pattern took more time to adjust than to sew up. I followed the Palmer Pletsch instructions, cut a size 14, the high bust measurement, to fit my shoulders and neckline, and fit the rest of the dress to my measurements. That took a Lot Of Fitting! My method of cutting the neckline and shoulders to fit and the rest of the pattern based upon my full bust, waist and hip measurements is much faster for me. I’ll stick with it, I think, but only because I know how the shape of the pattern pieces should be based upon years of sewing and fitting. That’s my Eye-Guess method, I guess.
OK, it was a pretty big mistake to make up the first version of this dress in a patterned print with horizontal and vertical lines: Big mistake in terms of the time it took me to match everything up. You can see in the tie-less versions that I HAD to unpick the under bodice band and resew the front bodice wrap to match up the patterning lines.
I also matched up the front lines, etc etc etc. In my book, that’s what dressmaking is about.
Dressmaking is also about flattering the figure with which you are presented. I moved the front pleats over away from my tummy front. In order to move these pleats I fused a strip of interfacing to the top of the skirt panel to make the pleating and adjusting easier. Slippery, edge curling knit poly is a frustration I don’t love. This is only necessary if you make the version without the ties.
The shoulder points, even with a size 14, hung way off my shoulders so .75″ was removed from the shoulder seam and tapered down to the easing notches where I returned to the pattern’s cutting lines. I had cut a taller sleeve cap as instructed by the pattern instructions but ended up not needing it for this knit. I’d say that maybe a size 12 or 10 would have fit my shoulder length, a 14 fit my neckline, and 16 the under ribcage, 20 the hips. Whew!
I learned from this pattern and that’s a very good thing. It is a well drafted pattern, the notches matched up, the instructions are great. However I used my serger and my cover stitch machines to make construction easier. I suggest you do the same even tho the instructions assume that you don’t own either of these machines.
Considering my considerable waistline I chose a darker coordinating fabric to cut the ties. I think that worked out pretty well. The dress before ties is quite different from the dress without the ties. I like the tie version much better than I expected I would.
The beauty of this dress lies in the smooth neckline and boobage
display, enhancement, er, fit. DH really loves it. Well, you know why. It’s definitely a womanly dress.
I feel pretty! oh so pretty! la-la-la-la-la 🙂