He threw one heck of a party tonight to commemorate this accomplishment. I'd decided that I'd make a dress and then got caught up in my other sewing. So I decided I'd wear something I already owned. Well, I had three dresses in my closet that I could fit.
Cream and brown chiffon dress with tricot lining and waist tie: Worn to several weddings. Too much cleavage for a work function.
Black poly knit dress with pockets(!) and a belt (not shown): Mid thigh length. Errr. Husband loved it! LOL! But not good for a work function.
Stretch Woven pretty printed one shoulder dress with pleats: YES! I love this dress! Oh. The left side is the open side. Both of my tattoos are on the left. Not good for a work function.
Soooo what is a burgeoning seamstress to do? Make a dress of course! I needed a FAST sew. I needed a knit so fit would be less of an issue. But I needed professional. Cue Butterick 5672. Like many Big 4 patterns, this Maggy London pattern doesn't look too promising on the pattern envelope. But a quick web search revealed tons of successful garments. I saw tall, short, thin, thick, young, not as young....all sorts of women with beautiful renditions of this pattern. YES!
The pattern called for 1 3/4 yard of a stable knit. I have a lovely, love Ponte de Roma from Michael Levine fabrics in my stash but I have that slated for a project already. I made a dash to JoAnn and bought this grey ponte roma knit for $13 total. I wanted a dark fabric just in case there were issues :) I wish they had an eggplant colored knit but grey would work just fine.
I got home, put the fabric in the wash, dried it, pressed it and cut the pattern and fabric out by about 7:30 p.m. By 10:30 the dress was sewn and ready to finish (hems/neckline/sleeves). I was so uncertain about cutting it on the bias - it's a knit for goodness sake! BUT, the reason it is cut on the bias to allow drape. Glad I thought about this for a moment. If you are using a more slinky/stretchy knit then you could probably cut it on the straight grain.
I had no time for lining. This knit didn't need it (perhaps a wool knit would warrant lining?). I didn't add a zipper either.
The pleating. Ahhh. It adds visual interest and hides belly's and all of that. Score! The pleat at the waist line though? Oh my goodness. That is silly and fiddly for no good reason. Part of the pleat is on the bodice and part on the skirt. The pattern is no help in deciphering how to do it, so I winged it. It is not perfect. Perhaps someone else has a good suggestion for doing this.
After finishing it, I was happy with the fit but realized those that I liked most, the pleated area wasn't as drapey. I read somewhere (I'll track back when I find the blog), that the dress needed to be really fitted through this area to get the pleats flat. When I pulled it snug, they lied flat. Aha! I took out an inch on each side and this helped a lot.
I had some pulling up top, mostly because it was just a bit too big up top. The next time, I'll cut a 14 with an FBA, make the neckline/armscye adjustments that I need and insert the zipper. The zipper would be necessary for me as I needed to pull it in quite a bit in the waist which made getting it over the bust a bit of a challenge! :) Also, the back darts on the skirt came down WAY too far on me! LOL!! But I didn't try it on until it was nearly done and I was not about to remove the bodice and redo that weird pleat. I will be making this again though. I saw a cream/winter white ponte that I'd love to make this in.
The party was fabulous, I felt great, and people complimented me on my dress throughout the evening. I cannot wait to tell everyone that I sewed this!