Wednesday, December 4, 2013

the wrap dress-finished!

Man, time is a blur these days.  It's been hard to sit and write a blog post when I can be cuddling a sweet babe, sewing or doing the endless loads of laundry babies produce.  Seriously, babies are such tiny humans-why so much laundry?? 

Anywho, a while back, Dibs from Dibs and the Machine posted plans for a long term sew-a-long for wrap dresses using any pattern desired.  It appealed to me cause we had a wedding at the end of October and we'd be taking our baby.  Since I'm nursing, a wrap dress would be perfect.

I was debating between three patterns I found in my stash.

New Look 6697 (OOP)

McCall's 5974



None of them are true wrap dresses per se, but all the better, less chance of bootie flashing, hehe.  I went with the McCalls because I'd read such great things about it.  The pattern claims to be the "perfect knit dress." Challenge accepted!

The fabric is a mystery knit from JoAnn's.  I can't remember the content but it definitely has some poly in it.  The recovery isn't stellar, but the silver polka dots are what got me.  

Also, black isn't usually polite to wear at a wedding but I figured with the little silver polka dots it was fine-more fun, less somber.  Thanks to Roisin and Heather B for talking me into it via Twitter*. 

The pattern is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern.  I'd never used one before but am familiar with the techniques from the "Real Fit for Real People" book.  I was even a good seamstress and followed the fit directions instead of haughtily tossing them aside.  The post-partum body has got a lot of strange stuff going on, so I figured it was best.

One of my sewing friends, Nhi, came over and helped me sew it since I had very limited time.  Isn't that sweet?  She and Sandra have felt sorry for me, hahaha, and come to my rescue a couple times.  I've said it before and I'll say it again SEWING FRIENDS ARE THE BEST!!!  Nhi even brought her coverstitch machine.  I was too scared to use it, but she made me.  You don't mess with her :-D  And now, of course, I want one.

The only alterations made were to shorten the armscye and shorten the skirt length.  Normally, I like bigger armholes, cause I cannot stand feeling fabric and seams under my arms.  But this one felt abnormally large and was affecting the shoulder fit.

I also left off the belt.  We basted it into place before sewing up the sides and it just made me look pregnant again.  Holy crap it was depressing!  The midsection of the dress is two fashion fabric layers thick, plus two layers of interfacing, and the belt is two layers thick and folded across itself.  Buh bye belt!

Since I chose this style primarily for nursing purposes, the neckline needed a little bit of stabilization, so I inserted clear elastic in the neck seams.

The wedding was lovely, set in the mountains edging the far west San Fernando Valley.  

Whoops, just ignore that backwards sewn pleat

This dress is deemed "the perfect knit dress" right on the pattern envelope.  And if others reviews are any indication, it is.  Maybe it was a weak fabric choice on my part, needing something with more recovery.  But I just don't feel it's perfect for me.  My body still isn't back to pre-pregnancy weight, so I'm not completely sold on this look.  I think where the midsection hits combined with the skirt pleats doesn't flatter. 

However, it was still nice to put on a dress and get out of my usual yoga pants uniform.  I wore it again on Thanksgiving, so at least I've gotten some wear out of it.  I like to think of it as a "holding place" dress-sort of "it'll do for now".  Surely I'm not the only one that has items like that in my wardrobe?

*Twitter always seemed silly to me, buuut now I'm a convert!  Gillian over at Crafting a Rainbow talked me into joining and I have to admit, I dig it.  Must be cause of the awesome sewing community, no?