This project has been in thinking mode for a long time! When it first came out, I bought the Patricia Rose dress because I had pinned a really pretty dress with a front and back bodice fold. The Rose seemed a possible starting point for something similar.
My stash is pretty thin right now, but I did have a cute linen/cotton/rayon shirting I picked up on a whim from Fabric Mart. It’s called Traveling Bananas, by the mysterious Better Hawaiian Dress Manufacturer. Does anyone know who this is? Tori Richards maybe? Anyway, it’s a beautiful fabric, a pleasure to sew and wear.
My drafting process.
Of course I wanted my back bodice fold to match up with the front fold. So I used the front to draft the back.
Next, the skirt. I’m not fond of inverted pleats in skirts – they just don’t wear well. So I took some width out of the front skirt, leaving just enough width for soft gathers. Since the bottom widths of my front and back bodice are the same, I used the same draft for the back skirt!
A few more sewing notes:
I sewed the size 8, based on my bust measurement plus some ease.
The pattern has 1/2″ seam allowances everywhere except the neckline and facings, which are 1/4″. That is totally contra-intuitive given the risk of stretch and ravel on the neckline bias curves. I drew my tissue with 1/2″ SA everywhere, so much safer.
I added 1″ to the length of the bodice, just above the area of the fold.
And added an additional 1 1/2″ to the length of the skirt.
My short sleeves are based on the original sleeve.
I used 1 3/4″ hem allowances on the sleeves and skirt, just to echo the bodice fold.
BTW, my fabric was 44″ wide by 3 yards. I had enough to cut pockets and long sleeves.
I happened to take a snap of the front before I folded the bodice. It’s actually rather nice.
Closeups of those pretty folds:
This project was so much fun that I was sorry to see it finished! Not really the end…I have a piece of striped fabric that has me back in the thinking mode.
Parting shot: David and Preston are in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for ski week. Preston is almost 10 and has been skiing for 3 years. Amazing, my little athlete, he actually does the expert slopes (moguls this year?) with his dad!
I am such a fan of the Felix dress. When it first came out, I made a couple right away.
Interestingly, I made the size 8, and it was big on me.
By the time I made my beloved pickle green version, I was holding it in the back to take a picture 🙂
Time to rethink and redraft. I reprinted the pattern and drafted the size 4. Big difference! And it also highlighted an issue I often encounter. I’m flat-chested, and my left shoulder is 3/4″ higher than my right shoulder (scoliosis at work). The resulting bodice, with no changes, was really discouraging. Bad on Emile, worse on me.
Having constructed the bodice, I went to work. Changes I made:
I lifted the bottom line of the bodice by about 4″, then realigned the base of the v-neck to allow for the shoulder business.
I trimmed the front skirt to have a shallow curve to match with my new bodice.
And I took a bit of the flare out of the torso area.
Last change: I did not include the pockets included with the pattern. My dress is unlined, and the original pockets do not finish nicely without the lining. Instead, I used the pockets from Simplicity 8640, a favorite, and attached them once my dress was finished.
I love to sew!
BTW, I also love the JellyPop Dallas slip-on sneakers I found at Belk. I have arthritis in my instep, and conventional lace-up sneaks hurt the top of my foot. These are so comfortable, like going barefoot (3 colors now).
I’m so in love with this rayon/lycra knit fabric from Fabric Mart. It reminds me of a Jackson Pollock painting 🙂 So I held onto it for the perfect application.
For this dress, I combined two favorite patterns: the True Bias turtleneck and the McCall 6559 maxi:
I guess I could have just used the dress version from the Nikko, but I know the McCall maxi is a perfect fit for me. Putting the two together was super easy, I just fitted the upper bodice of the Nikko to the M6559 dress.
Both of my patterns are size 10, and I’ve sewn both many times. More pics…
It’s cool every day now, and I enjoy the warmth of the turtleneck and the sleeves. Plus I feel a little elegant wearing this dress. So pretty.
The nice thing about culling my closet of uncomfortable and ‘not loved’ garments is, of course, the opportunity to sew something else!
McCalls 6559 is a favorite, TNT, pattern for me.
Earlier this year, I extended the shoulders for a bit of coverage and sewed it in an ITY knit:
And it’s the most comfortable and appealing dress I have. (p.s., I’ve made the tied cardigan a couple times, it’s a great pattern for same). I did a separate post on this dress (here), but here’s a link to the changes I made to the pattern for the extended shoulder.
I’m in the garden today, staying green and enjoying the windy and dry weather.
This moss green ITY is from Fabric Mart, and it’s really a nice deep green, lightened for the photos.
I like this dress so much that I’ve ordered 3 more ITY knits from Fabric Warehouse Direct, all in solids. I think prints exhaust me 🙂 A plus for the purchase (big plus) is the price: $3.99/yard, 58″ wide. I can make this dress with only 2 yards of fabric in the size 10.