Thursday, August 3, 2017

Classy Camo Dress

This is the second “non-maternity” maternity dress that I made to wear in June. I wore my teal Acton dress to my friend’s wedding and the dress in today’s post to my (very last ever!) graduation. I found this lovely fabric at a visit to SR Harris this spring—it just screamed summer dress to me:

Interlock knit from SR Harris

I chose a knit dress pattern from my stash that was closest to an empire waist: McCall’s 7350 view A. I shortened the bodice by 1 ½ inches and the midriff by 1 inch to give my tummy some room, which worked out well.

McCall's 7350
I should have known something wasn’t right when sizing the pattern. I always compare finished pattern measurements to the body sizing, and this dress had 2 ½ inches of ease in the bust. This seemed a bit much, so I sized down for only 1 inch of ease at the bust. I decided not to toile the bodice, which was a mistake! I did baste each seam by machine and check the fit before serging with a 4-thread overlock stitch. However, when the outer shell of the bodice fit well, I assumed that when the inner and outer layers were joined the fit would also be good. This was not the case. I think the neck got stretched out when I understitched the inner shell. This was per the instructions, and I did use a stretch stitch, but should I have understitched a knit? It felt wrong. 

Neck pleats -- impossible to see in this fabric!
I wadded the bodice up and threw it in the trash. Then 15 minutes later I pulled in out and started fitting on my dressform (which still makes me gloriously happy—it actually is my size!). I took 1½ inches out at the back waist tapering to 1¼ inches at the back neck. I added 6 pleats, each ¾ inch deep, to the front bodice neck. I was finally pleased with the fit—actually I like the pleats on the bodice quite a bit.

From there, things went smoothly. I narrowed the midriff pieces to fit the bodice. I omitted the waist elastic without any issues. I made the skirt a bit longer in front than recommended given my tummy! There is a nice overlap on the skirt, so even though there is no fastening below the midriff I haven’t had any wardrobe malfunctions. For the hem, I folded over twice and handstitched.

With my boys at graduation
I like the final fit very much. I will probably make the pattern again in one of the other views, but I will be sure to use negative ease in the bodice! I've included a couple of dressform pics below, in case I'm too "camouflaged" in the pictures above. 😉 You can appreciate the nice hi-lo hem, even without the baby bump.