It seems no matter how long you have been sewing there is always something new to learn. Picking the correct fabric for a particular pattern, while one of the joys of sewing is also one of its greatest challenges. Last year I started a dress for my daughter. She is new to the working world and trying to build a professional wardrobe after the jeans and sweater years of college. One of her favorite dresses is a ponte knit dress that she purchased from the Limited. In her words, it is like “being able to wear your pjs to work.” So, being the sewing mom that I am, I thought I should whip up another ponte knit dress for her. But, problem number one is that I picked the wrong pattern: Vogue 8873. Looking at the diagram, this pattern seems like a great fit, but a closer look will show that the front has 3 layers of fabric – the bodice base, lining, and then the overdrape. Add to that the 4 darts on the front of the bodice (under the overdrape), and that is a lot of ponte knit all in one place. More importantly, that is a lot of ponte knit coming together at the waistline! The picture on my dress form looks fine, but the situation was not as flattering on my daughter. You can also see the additional fabric that drapes across the bodice – again not flattering!
Attempt number 2: I got rid of the lining and turned it into a facing, and made the overdrape more fitted. Ponte knit doesn’t need a lining after all. This was an improvement, but it still wasn’t right. Lets just say that I knew the dress would hang in the closet rather than something that my daughter would reach for to make her feel good about the way she looked. Attempt number 3 was a whole new bodice. I eliminated the overdrape and used a different pattern with princess seams to recut the bodice eliminating the 4 darts and their bulk. The result: the dress is stuffed in the closet behind the stash! The bodice didn’t fit correctly at all. I am not quite sure what I can do to rectify it. The fabric store still has some of the fabric and I am tempted to try a third bodice. I have been looking longingly at the Craftsy class in bodice fitting and thinking I may need to take that class for her. Any suggestions dear readers would be helpful!