Last month I had a few days in my little house in Suffolk. The house is on the coast and at times it feels like there is really not much between it and Siberia. On the Monday we had a blizzard, not a huge amount of snow (5cm or so) but biting, strong winds and a temperature well below zero. I lit the fire, turned up the central heating and decided to make a dress.
The pattern I used was Vogue 8873; a new pattern for this season. On the surface V8873 looks like a million other patterns but it’s actually a bit different. For a start it has a lining! I know shock horror a dress with a lining, I always find it irritating when dress patterns don’t have instructions for making a lining; linings make dresses more comfortable and make them hang so much better. Secondly, the front is slightly unusual in that it has a fitted bodice with two pairs of darts and a square neck and then has an over bodice which has the cowl. This adds a level of practicality and modesty that cowl neck dresses sometimes lack. The main bodice itself is quite attractive and would probably look good without the over bodice. I did however wonder whether it was necessary to put in four darts that would never be seen, a couple of darts to give the necessary fitment would possibly have been sufficient.
The fabric I used is a Roma jersey from Fabric Godmother, it’s the same as I used for my grey Burda dress. Now I must admit to a confession here, I’m never really sure what a ponte is and what the difference is between pontes and some of the thicker, double jerseys you can buy. I’ve also not seen the word ponte used in fabric shops in the UK, is this because it’s not a term used here or is it just that I have been visiting the wrong fabric shops? The pattern back called for a woven or a ponte and as this jersey is so thick and doesn’t have a huge amount of stretch I assumed it would be suitable.
Stupidly, I didn’t make up a toile. I’ve made a couple of Vogue patterns before and they’ve fit me reasonably well with only minor tweakings which could be made on the final dress, so I thought it would be the same with this one. Unfortunately this proved to be a mistake. The “close” fitting bodice has 10cm of ease built into it! This seems excessive even if the dress were made out of a woven fabric, as I am using a jersey (albeit a very thick jersey) the dress swamps me.
Fixing it will mean unpicking everything! I think I can get the bodice to fit by converting the darts on the front to princess seams, taking out more on the back darts and reducing the width of the over bodice at each side. I will also need to adjust the skirt but I can do that through the back darts and side seams. The sleeves are also too wide and will need taking in a bit.
All this makes me feel very despondent, it will be a nice dress but at the moment I don’t have the will power to start the unpicking.