A bit late with this post but here is my main make using the fabulous black and white textured scuba from Fabworks. It took some time for this fabric to be paired with this pattern. I was planning on making a Coco dress version a la Love, Lucie (which is where I first saw this fabric) but it just didn’t happen. Somehow I landed on this Plenty by Trace Reese McCalls M7244 – a semi-fitted, partially lined dress (close-fitting through bust) has flounce and invisible back zipper. The fabric’s fate was sealed.
The dress is designed for medium-weight moderate stretch knits so this fabric fit the bill. Plus the rich texture of this fabric brings up the dress a notch IMHO.I cut out the size small but as soon as I compared the pattern to my knit bodice sloper I knew a swayback adjustment would be needed. I did a tricky 1.75″ swayback and that did the trick. That CB seam follows the curves of my back perfectly now. Skims rather than tight IYSWIM.
After cutting out the fabric I basted the bodice together to try it on and unfortunately it was way too big. In 1/2″ increments I got the right size for me when I had taken in the side 1.5″. I also remembered to take that off the sleeve head as well. This distorted the bust dart and I think next time I make it I will have to redraft the dart by grading the pattern down.
I didn’t bother with the zip. It easily goes on and off. There are a few things I did that were not in the instructions:
- stabilising the shoulder seam. The instructions do say to double stitch but I find its more effective to use clear elastic.
- stabilised the dropped waist seam. The dropped waist falls where there will be movement so I think it could do with reinforcement to stop it from stretching out. Plus the fabric has a bit of weight to it and the flounce does pull on the upper bodice so the extra support helps.
- stabilised the hem for top stitching by using double sided tape and my clapper (while the material is wrinkle free it resists pressing!). It did the trick and I have minimal tunneling here.
- that lovely neckline needs to stabilised before sewing up, otherwise it will stretch out. Staystitching is not enough. Either use clear elastic or twill tape or stay tape or fusible stay tape. I am not too happy with the bulk at the neckline and I could have topsticthed it down but that would stretched it out. Next time I will use a thinner jersey fabric for the facings to reduce bulk. I will also make the facing about 10% smaller to reduce the slight gaping at the neckline.
The faced finish on the neckline is nice and clean. I was tempted to skip it (in my impatience) but I am glad I followed through. I do like that neck line – its wide and deep without being too….expansive :-).
One new thing I absolutely loved about making this is that I learnt a new skill – working with power mesh! Its fantastic stuff and in future I will use it on knit projects. I feel like it just makes the dress hang better and feels nice against my skin. It cost me £6/meter for the mesh and this used less than one meter. The instructions on how to attach the lining are frankly speaking ….. terrible. Its easy enough to see that you are supposed to sew up the lining mesh. Attach it to the neckline facing then sew the outer bit to the inner bit at the neckline. That’s what I did.
The sleeves are set in.I am not sure if thats just me but I felt that the sleeve cap was just too high. For my next iteration I am reducing this a little bit and see how it goes.
Despite the changes I made I feel I managed to maintain the original proportions intended by the designer. This dress turned out so much better than how I pictured it my head and I love it! SO much so I have already cut another one. Its also quick to make up. I think it might also look nice sleeveless for a summer make although this would require a bit of redrafting on the armhole.
I like this dress. Its not often I show off my little cleavage 🙂
Thanks for stopping by until then…..