Over a year later I've finally made it, in a woven fabric instead, and I've been wearing it almost non stop ever since.
It's not a flattering or a sexy garment, but damn if it isn't incredibly comfortable, and kind of stylish in it's own way.
Flipper's reaction was to say that I looked "like an art teacher". Cryptic sure, but since I've always quite admired the way art teachers dress I'm taking that as a compliment.
When I showed my new dress to the kids and pointed out the enormous pockets, P's eyes went wide and he breathlessly spurted out "You could fit a puppy in there!" I suspect he's right.
I'd traced off the enormous pattern pieces and cut and sewn a muslin of this dress last year, in a dreadful cheap knit fabric of no real redeeming qualities. I wasn't excited about it. It hung, and sagged and just looked blah. I even purchased the next size down pattern thinking I'd go smaller, but I just couldn't get back to it.
With our January holiday looming I decided to sew it up in a nice, cool, washed cotton and have it as my lounging round the motel dress. Sewing it in a woven, I thought I'd stick with the L size I'd traced and the fit across the shoulders is perfect. The rest is so oversized it hardly seems to matter.
The dress comes together quite quickly and is an enjoyable sew. The instructions for the gathering on the bodice were fun as they involved zig zag stitching over a thread of perle cotton (or dental floss in my case). Then, to fix the gathers, a row of straight stitching is done above and below the zig zag. The effect is kind of faux smocking and looks quite nice. I found my gathering got pushed out a bit by the straight stitching and I probably gained a centimetre and a half but since the seam lines now fall exactly on my bust like princess seams, I guess that's not a bad thing.
With all my negativity about my first test run, I've been surprised by how much I've liked wearing this final version. I have to say thanks to Thornberry Lara who encouraged me to stick with it and let me square up against her at Frocktails recently in order to convince myself I really was a large size after all!
(that's how precise my size selection is folks - find someone who's made the pattern in size "x", stand next to them and go "yeah, I'm bigger than you" and select size "x+1")
My mum came to visit recently and I suggested she tried it on. Man does it look good on her! So, maybe I've made a grandma art teacher dress, but I don't care. :)
And then mum and I found some fabulous printed linen covered in fish and the plan is she gets a fishy version for herself.
The buttons that I've used here have little starfish/flower type things carved on them and will also be perfect for the fishy version - I'll be sure to get a close up picture then.
So, it's enjoyable to sew, comfy to wear, possibly stylish, certainly gets compliments from the other hot and bothered mums at school pick up, but...
...you're hanging out for the burning question in this pattern review to be answered, aren't you...
Can you fit a puppy in those pockets?
It turns out you sort of can.
You just might have to pick a smaller breed. :)
Pattern: Marcy Tilton Vogue 8813
Size: L/XL (the smallest size in the second size packet) . No alterations. I'm keeping the smaller sizes as I would definitely size down if I made a knit version.
Fabric: French navy, washed cotton from The Cloth Shop
Notions: 2 buttons from Buttonmania