This dress makes me so happy for so many reasons! I’ve had this Liberty of London lawn for years, waiting for the perfect pattern, always afraid I wouldn’t do this gorgeous fabric justice. Taking the leap was one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’m so relieved I didn’t mess it up! Especially after I made a cutting mistake and had to recut a piece of the skirt. I juuuust managed to get it.
The pattern I used is from the Boundless Style book by Victory Patterns. It’s a mix and match dress/peplum top book with bodice, sleeve, and skirt options. I picked the Jackie bodice with the contrast fabric option. I made it sleeveless and added a cocktail length Lydia skirt. Victory Patterns is designed for someone between 5’6″ and 5’9″ and I’m only 5’4″. I had to make some adjustments… (For reference, my measurements had me between a size 10 and 12. I started with a 10.)
When I muslined the bodice, I noticed extra fabric at the upper chest. I could pinch out at least an inch horizontally all along the front and back. I tried removing that inch on the muslin, effectively reducing the length of the bodice, and boom! The fit was so much better! The armhole was higher and tighter against my body (but not too tight). I still had a bit of extra fabric right at the neck. I could pinch out a dart about an inch wide and 3″ deep right at the center top. I removed it by angling the top of the bodice pattern inward a bit. That added some of the length I’d removed at the armhole, which accounts for the slight gap at the armhole. In retrospect, I should just have brought the top part in horizontally rather than at an angle and adjusted the armhole curve. Whatever. Next time I make this adjustment, I’ll know. (I wish I had a picture of the back but I was alone for picture taking and I didn’t get a good one.)
That first bodice modification was such a lightbulb moment! I frequently have issues with too much fabric at the upper chest (see Peony, Mesa, even my latest Mingo and Grace dress though that one isn’t as bad and probably doesn’t need as much of an adjustment). And now, I know what’s happening. I just have a shorter shoulder to bust length than some patterns are drafted for! And the fix is so easy! Of course, it means I will have to adjust the sleeve head as well which scares me some but I’ll do it. I have a decent brain in my head. I’ll figure it out.
After all that, I didn’t do anything special to the skirt. I wanted a knee length dress but the cocktail length was supposed to hit above the knee. But then, see again how much shorter I am than the height these patterns are drafted for. I knew it would work out just right. And I adore the pleats. Overlapping box pleats. I’m in love.
I gave my all to have clean insides as well. I added a lining to the skirt (three different skirt lining patterns are included in the book).
And my first waist stay!
For the neckline understitching, I even switched out colors! White for the front part, and red for the back. Now, when you look inside, there’s no visible line of stitching inside. Well, it’s visible but it blends in. It meant doing the understitching in three parts but I don’t care. It looks beautiful inside.
V told me I would be wearing this dress to the Rainbow gala (she’s in the Rainbow room at school and the whole class was unhappy because the school gala was only for parents and teachers so the Rainbow teachers planned a second gala for the whole family; they’re awesome). I’ll be happy and proud to oblige.