I had a wedding to attend this last weekend and for a long time I had this dress in mind from the Threads Sept. 2012 issue. This gorgeous silk shantung dress on this full figured gal.
Now I did do some research of other reviews of this pattern on the web, but so seduced was I by this magazine siren, I ignored the warnings of the other sewists, including a professional seamstress. Now I did make a muslin from the size 14 and had a few adjustments to make, but nothing major. So far so good. So out comes my gorgeous hot turquoise 100% Silk Dupioni and teal 100% Silk Habotai for the lining.
Adjustments I made: pinched out one inch/2.5cm in the neckline of each of the front pieces, and pinched out one half an inch/1.3cm out of each back neckline piece. I cut the shoulders at the size 12 line because I tend to run short from the top of my shoulder to the bottom of the armscye. I lowered the top point of the dart by 1 inch to match my bust point in the left front bodice piece and changed it to an “S” dart shape to try to avoid the pointy tip which worked moderately well.
First disaster: it was late at night and I should have stopped earlier. I ended up cutting out the pleat portion in the left side of the fashion fabric and not the lining like the instructions said to do. So I inserted a set of pleats to replace the vent using Lekala’s Pencil Skirt With Pleats Pattern #S3013. Luckily I had lots of leftover fabric. This fix worked perfectly and looked like something I added on purpose.
See my wrinkled pleats:
The lining is where it becomes a NIGHTMARE. The instructions were VERY difficult and took several readings to work it out and I’m a very experienced seamstress. If you are making this dress out of a woven, you have my sympathies. Because of the crazy lining, I was not able to refine the fit in the actual garment, which I really wish I had been able to do. The finished dress is not quite right and the cross over neckline still gapes even though I took the recommended precautions of stabilizing the neckline with stitching and interfacing. Plus I cut the lining piece 1/2 inch shorter than the fashion fabric and eased it in. Other reviewers who made it out of a knit had far better success. Avoiding the lining seems to be the key. I had to line mine because Dupioni FRAYS!!!
You can see here where the left bodice piece shifts and the bust dart is no longer centered under my bust and is tucking into the side seam under my arm.
The dress was okay and it worked for this event, but I won’t be wearing it again. I love the side draping but there are way easier patterns out there with this kind of detail. This pattern got pitched immediately into the trash. By the way, the bolero is this really great FREE pattern from Integral-T here.