Here's the finished Uptown/Downtown dressed down for casual wear. I walked the dogs in it tonight! The knit is very drapey rayon/Lycra from Fabric.com a couple of years ago. I know lots of you also bought this and other prints when they showed up at Fabric.com and Fabricmart. I think I still have one or two left. It's not a great quality and thinner than I prefer but it will make a very comfortable one- or two-season summer dress.
I'll wear it with this knit cardi and heels at the office. The cardi got a slight makeover this afternoon after I finished the dress and while I still had the coral thread in the machines. It was too big and putting off a frumpy vibe, even for such a vibrant color. I hacked 1-1/2" from the sleeves and resewed the sideseams smaller and shapelier. I've been wanting to do this for over two years. Sheesh. Why do these simple fixes always get put off for so long?
Back to the dress, I ended up removing 1-1/2" from the bodice length and since I used a 5/8" seam allowance instead of the pattern's 3/8" allowance when sewing the waist seam, I effectively used (and should have cut) the medium bodice length, as shown by the pink line below. As I found out, the longest length is REALLY long on the finished dress -- even if it doesn't look like it from the pattern.
Other alterations/changes ... I've finally learned to go smaller than I usually first think with HPs for the shoulders/chest area and for this dress I cut the neckline at 12, the shoulders and upper torso (and sleeves) at 14, and blended to 16 at the waist seam and below.
I also lowered the neckline another 1-1/2" for more of a scoop and pegged the skirt using my TNT Magic Pencil as my template. Because I knew I wasn't going to use the hem band, I also lengthened the skirt 1-1/2" which gave me a nice wide hem allowance.
As I mentioned last post, the dress pieces go together like a dream. And the instructions are good too, not that I really needed them for this easy dress ... but I always like to read pattern instructions so I can report on them. This is a good pattern for beginners and, well, anyone. And with so many sizes, it's also good for lots of bodies. As usual for me with HP, no FBA done or needed.
I did deviate from the instructions for the waist elastic. I never sew a joining seam such as this at the same time as applying the elastic. Too fiddly. ;-) Instead, I sewed with a 5/8" seam allowance (1 below), then used a narrow ZZ to sew the seam allowances together close to the raw edge (2 below), leaving an opening to insert the elastic. After the elastic is inserted, sized, and adjusted evenly inside the "casing," I use a 3-step ZZ (3 below) while stretching the elastic and fabric flat, which holds the elastic in place and prevents it from twisting.
The neckband is just a straight band, which works OK even for my more scooped neckline, but I think a shaped neckband (a la the Sunshine top) would be better. Next time, I will try a morph.
The sleeves are also finished with straight bands, which adds a little more somethin' somethin' than just a hem.The bands work well here and I like the look.
Now for the Giveaway announcement ... I asked Alex to pick a number and he chose 17, which is "L".
L, please send your info to me at dcook100 at gmail dot com and the Primavera pattern will be on its way to you.