In an effort to take more risks, my intention for the week, I made a quick drop-waist dress for myself. Ok so that was my intention for last week, but today is a Memorial Day, so no babysitter and no yoga for me. My intention will have to carry over.
I wanted the look to be boxy and androgynous and be cute, like the drop-waist toddler dress I made for Biddi a few months ago.
I utilized the bodice pattern from the 1950s housecoat-dress I made a few weeks ago. I just used the basic neckline and sleeve shape and dropped a simple A-line shape down from the armhole. I used this grey cotton fabric with raspberry and gold medallion detail, its almost a paisley but reads a little bohemian and leans towards India.
I used my hip measurement and added 1-2″ ease. I followed the method for the toddler dress exactly, except the hem panel has gathers instead of pleats. I finished the side seams using French seams and attached the gathered panel right sides together and then used the bodice seam allowance to bind the gathers seam allowance; on the toddler dress I left the raw edges on the outside for visual interest because it was jersey knit and will not fray.
At that point I did a first fitting and was thinking the print was overwhelming me and the dress was way too boxy. I pinned a few small darts and started to love the look. Instead of finishing like true bust darts, I made a kind of box pleat and let it open at the top and bottom. In the back I opted to just make one large pleat.
If I had to remake it, I would not add any ease at the hips. After wearing the dress for about 4 hours, it seems too big at the hipline.
I planned to make single-fold bias strips to finish the armholes and neckline, but I just turned twice and finished with a topstitch because I got antsy to finish. I was eager to see how it looked so I can modify the pattern in the future…plus I wanted to wear it to a baby shower yesterday and so I skipped the bias tape. When I got to the center back V, I realized I needed bias-tape to keep the crisp V. So I faked it a little and then opted to extend the Pleat detail up through the neckline in the back to hide the wonkiness of the actual V-neck behind a crisp seam.
I probably could have removed another 2″ of ease around the waist, but I wanted to be able to slip it on over my head which would not happen with additional tailoring.