Thank you to the Sydney people who suggested lovely shops to visit and invited me to meet for coffee. Unfortunately only my children are having a 10 day holiday in Sydney (with their grandparents). My husband is accompanying them for the first weekend, then my in-laws will bring the children back after the following weekend. I am staying home to work, but am planning an intense remaining 3/4 of a weekend spent on sewing. I will subsist on a diet of chocolate and ginger and do no housework. It is lucky my husband will only be away for 2 nights!
I will be in Sydney for a long weekend at the beginning of October, and again over Christmas, so maybe I can take advantage of the shopping (and coffee) later on.
Due to a full day, instead of a half day at work on Saturday, I did not finish the BWOF dress in time to wear to the drafty party last night (I wore last year's wool jersey SWAP dress instead) but I was easily able to distract myself from the urgent calls of camo pants and long sleeved t shirts, and to sew the dress today. I am hoping to go out to dinner with my husband whilst we are temporarily childless so I have an excuse to wear it.
I am much happier with this pattern as a dress than as a top. The fabric is a lovely teal wool jersey from Michael's Fabrics. It looks a bit too green on my monitor, in real life it is a beautiful colour. Although the fabric is thin, the pleats seem much better behaved in the wool jersey. However, I did not trust them at all, and topstitched them for a few centimetres, top and bottom before pressing them with lots of steam. They drape quite nicely IMO. Maybe lycra is not such a good thing for pleats! There is still a slight poufy tendency. I did cut the pleated bodice 1cm shorter than the lining to encourage the pleats to pull in against the body, and I think this has helped a lot with the fit.
As Elizabeth pointed out in the comments on the last post, the t shirt length version seemed to ride up a bit in front. In the dress version, the weight of the skirt pulls the bodice down, so the dress fits better. However, I did need to shorten the back bodice a little after construction.
After my experience with the shoulder seams showing at the neck in the t shirt version, this time I sewed both the front and back shoulder seams by sandwiching them between the front and back pieces and their linings. I like the enclosed seams on the inside.
The dress is rather plain at the back. My daughters like the dress with this wide purple belt, but I am not so sure.