I like Gail's idea of Frocktober. At this time of year I usually feel that I do not have sufficient dresses with sleeves.
Unfortunately, I seem to have started Frocktober with an excess of virtue.
This pattern was one I bought from BMV in order to make my order up to 7 patterns. In my personal sewing accounting system, I cannot buy 6 patterns if the inflated postage to Australia is the same level for 4-7 patterns. (The postage cost is about twice the US post sticker price on the delivered envelope). I did not read any reviews of the pattern before I purchased it. I should have. It was printed in 2008, and is allegedly a dress pattern for moderate stretch knits, with a fitted bodice and below knee skirt. There is no photograph on the envelope. Sewing for about 25 years has not yet taught me that I should be very wary of Big4 patterns with no photographs. I must be a slow learner.
The fabric was a purchase from Fabric mart. Early this year my husband arranged a short term freight forward address so that he could buy a part for a woodworking machine that is not available in Australia, so naturally I had to buy some fabric from a shop that does not ship to Australia to take advantage of this arrangement. (My sewing accounting system thinks that this is a money saving strategy) I quite liked the inexpensive Shetland wool I purchased to make 2 coats (neither of which quite made my winter sewing)(see how I save money by buying fabric?) but this rayon lycra knit was an internet surprise - I think there is a fair bit of poly in the rayon, the fabric is a bit shiny, and the polka dots are not only much larger than I expected, but multicoloured, not white. It reminds me of clowns.
After all this whinging, you are probably not surprised to hear that I am not very impressed with the outcome of this project.
I have no explanation for using a fabric I don't much like, with a pattern I almost threw out after reading the two not-very-pleased reviews at Pattern review. I do not know what I was thinking - other than that I had nothing to lose. However, a certain daughter told me whilst I was tracing out a wrap dress from the latest Burda that I had too many wrap dresses. I am easily influenced :).
My first rendition of the dress had elbow length sleeves and was just below the knee, version B.
I did not make the dress exactly to the pattern.
I did not line it, raised the neckline 7cm, made a square shoulder adjustment, used clear elastic at the hem and gathered neckline, bound the neck and attached the belt only at the back so that I could tie it to the side rather than centrally.
The dress was extremely dowdy.
I chopped off the sleeves, made the skirt length just above the knee, and sewed a lettuce edge hem with the overlocker to add a bit of movement to the dress. I was more pleased with it after these changes, but you can see in the end of the day photo that the fabric has grown with wear, as the skirt is below the knee again. The design feature of gathers at the front does not stay in place in real life in this fabric. This may be an unfelicitous combination of fabric and pattern, but I don't think I would be bothered making this dress again, as it is also horribly fattening, even when arranged with the gathers sitting at the centre front. I have made the dress one size smaller than my measurements, with no FBA, and the "fitted" bodice has a nasty matronly blousing effect above the waist.
It looks even worse with my favourite cardigan, which is the same shade as some of the dots. Oh dear.
Unfortunately, this dress has several advantages, so I probably won't throw it out nearly soon enough.
1. It does not wrinkle
2. It covers my arms
3. It is currently unstained, unfaded and new looking.
4. It is not a wrap dress
I may need to pay a bit more attention to my transitional season wardrobe.
At least I have used up most of the dubious fabric and dutifully tried this pattern. I might have to break out some too-good-to-use fabric in my recovery from this sows ear.