It all started with this poly/spandex fabric I got on my trip to Jo-Mar in Philly with some fellow sewing bloggers:
This is a scrap that has been cut down the middle but the large pink circles go down each side. It's pretty splashy but since I'm quite tall I usually like a big print. I did know that I'd have to pick a pattern carefully as I wanted something that didn't cut up the design very much. Also I wanted something asymmetric, with the pink running down just one side and NOT in the middle.
When I saw my friend Carolyn's blog post on the new Vogue Donna Karan dress 1250 I knew that's what I wanted to use.C's blog It was a simple design but an unusual pattern with just 2 odd shaped unusual pieces.
Carolyn always explains just how she adjusts the pattern and her final garment looked great so I cut mine out and started sewing. Though the size 20 should have fit me fine I even added some at the back seam since my fabric didn't have quite as much stretch as the pattern called for (note to self---This MATTERS!)
As she and others on Pattern Review had reported it was super easy to sew up, which I quickly did. There was really no intermediate point to try it on so I finished all the main seams before putting it on. What a NIGHTMARE! It was way too tight from the middle hip down. The cowl dropped down over my flattish bust making my waist appear to be the biggest point of my body. Since there were NO seams to take out through the skirt and I knew I'd never wear something this tight, it almost became the dreaded WADDER at this point. ( Guess I should have taken a "before" picture at this time but I couldn't stand to even wear it.)
After calming down, I decided it would be a great challenge to make it wearable so went back to the cutting table. I cut completely open the left side below the armhole and added a long godet---starting with about 4 inches at the bottom and tapering to nothing under the arm. (I had enough of the brown background fabric and the godet seams are barely detectable) This made a GREAT difference in the fit of the dress and I began to have hope. I also added bands to the capped sleeves, giving a little more width through the shoulders and covering more flabby upper arm.
Here's the result which I'm actually quite pleased with. I'm showing 3 ways of wearing the dress, both belted and not and with the cowl collar hanging loose and then secured on the side. Which do you like best?
No belt (hem pinned higher), cowl neck pulled over and secured on my right
I'd appreciate any comments and opinions you might have about belt, cowl and dress length----thanks!