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Your sharp eye wanted

Back in February, I enlisted your help as I matched up fabric with patterns. One of the ones I was most suspicious about I noted here (the second one). I got the go-ahead and, since it was a vintage pattern, smartly made a muslin first. Well, kind of a muslin. I made my muslin nice enough to wear as my Easter dress.  Details, details. Well, I’m glad I made a muslin, because I had quite a few problems with fit, and, in the end, I’m not exactly happy with it.

IMG_5757

There's me in the background, in pink. See how the dress kind of poofs at my waist? It's not the most flattering fit. As I was talking about the pattern on PatternReview, someone commented that "curved French darts that start low and point upwards toward the bust" do that.

I wore it all day on Easter, and then again to work a few weeks later. I received many compliments on it, so it’s not as horrible as I’m making it out to be. It is quite comfy as well, and coordinates nicely with the pink shrug I knit. But I’m not repeating it.

simplicity_7641

Can you tell that there's a side dart? I didn't even notice it. I thought that curved line was a crease or fold in the fabric, not a seam. Now I've got my eye out for these kind of details.

[As a sidenote, I’d like to mention that nearly all of my vintage patterns have side darts at the bus instead of underneath the bust. I wonder when, and why, styles changed.]

Well, I’d rather not make another dress with a poofy tummy (and I don’t think it would look all that flattering in the fabric I want to use). So, I went on a quest to find a different pattern (out of all the ones I own, something should work, right?). My guidelines were that the pattern be 1) vintage, 2) a dress, and 3) basic.

mccalls_9617

Here's what it boiled down to. View E on the right, without the frilly trim. Side darts, yes, but no curved French dart.

It is a little less “basic” than I’d like (the fancy yoke), but I can be OK with that. The only other pattern I came up with had a huge front pleat that I don’t think works, plus it is much less basic than the one above (more unbasic? what’s the opposite of “basic” in this context?). I also toyed briefly with this jumper and this dress. I decided the jumper wasn’t what I wanted (not a dress). The latter one had some nice details, like the gathered yoke, but it’s a maternity pattern. Aren’t I trying to avoid the poofy tummy? Perhaps a maternity pattern is not the best choice.

shirting_simplicity7641

To refresh your memory, here is the fabric we're talking about. Blue (slightly less purple than the picture implies) with pintucks and decorative stitching. It has a nice drape, is not stiff, and is quite appropriate for work wear.

I’m not opposed to buying a new pattern (or “new to me” one, vintage on Etsy), but I’d have to go look for it, and it seems like I should have the right pattern already in my stash. At a certain point, all the vintage basic shift dress patterns look alike. So, if you don’t think my choice (McCalls above, View E) is right, please do suggest something else. I am committed to making a basic dress out of this fabric. I just have to find the right pattern with which to do so.

[Editor’s note: it will also be sleeveless, since I have an aversion to sleeved dresses. Slightly shorter than knee-length (work appropriate). No collar is preferrable – definitely not the ultra high neckline of the original Simplicity choice. That was awful. I will be doing a muslin again (though I’ll have to figure out what fabric to use so that it, too, is wearable). I also no longer do pockets on dresses, and I don’t wear belts either. The dress has to stand on its own.]

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