The dress pattern was McCall's 6887 and the sweater pattern was Vianne, Vianne is the newest pattern from Knitting designer Andi Satterlund. I've seen some of Andi's patterns before and I've loved them but the Vianne is far and away my favorite. Once I saw the sweater option I was done, I knew I needed to make this dress and sweater. I began with the sweater first because I knew it would take the most time.
I'm not going to lie to you I knit parts of this thing and took it apart many times. The back was especially difficult, I kept thinking that I was on the right track and I'd be suddenly off a stitch and it would be all jacked up. I took it apart many many times until finally, I stopped messing up and did it right. I had a similar experience with one of the sleeves and took it out once and started over. It came out well but it was a little ill fitting, stretched out a little through the bust and a little tight through the waist.
I was amazed when I finally finished it. However once I'd finished it I had to do something I'd never done before. I had to block a sweater. Ahhhhhh! I will tell you true I did it once and it did not go at all well. I just kind of pinned it how I thought it should look and not by measure.
It was less than successful. It became stretched out and weirdly shaped. I was panicked that I had just ruined all my hard work and that beautiful yarn.
I cooled my nerves for a minute and took a breath. Put the sweater back in the warm water and took another crack at it. This time I pinned it out based on the finished measurements in the pattern. Even in the picture of it repinned it looks 100% better. I will tell you that it was 100% better.
While my sweater was letting itself dry into proper shape I moved on to the matching dress. The pattern was right up my alley. Vintage silhouette with a modern twist. It went together really quickly, though I did make a few tweaks. The major alteration that I made was adding an extra button to the center back and rather than machine buttonholes I did bound buttonholes. Now the reason for this was two fold. 1) I think they look wonderful. 2) My machine which does machine buttonholes was broken. So it was for both necessity and beauty.
I interfaced the back edge as prescribed for the machine buttonholes. I marked the rectangles for the buttonholes on the interfacing.
I then pinned the squares of fabric that I cut to be the welts of the buttonholes, right sides together, and then sewed them from the interfaced side where I'd marked them.
I turned the squares to the inside and began to folded them towards the center of the rectangles to create the flaps of the buttonholes. Then I stitched them down at the edges.
They turned nicely and stitched down well.
I'm pleased with how they turned out.
I worked the pattern pretty much as prescribed from this point forward. It was too difficult to fit the bodice before it was attached to the skirt and parts of the bodice were too difficult to fit after. There are some changes I will make when I make this again. For my shortness I definitely need to raise the straps, but that was not the biggest problem.
The main issue I ran into was the princess seaming on front bust. I know I have an ample bust and based on my measurements I needed to make the D cup version of the bodice. I did and I think it was the right choice, but I found that the seam created a very pointed bust. I mean I almost need a torpedo bra straight out of the 1950's to fill out the curve of the seaming properly. In the future I will gentle that curve so that it hugs my bustline a little better.
You can see it on the form that there is some excess fullness in the bust and underbust.
One of the last things I needed to do was to stitch the lining up to enclose the seams of the skirt. I found it easier to put the dress on my form and to pin the lining closed. I found that this helped me to ensure that I didn't pull the lining closed too tight or too loose.
Another addition I made was to add these bra loops on the back of the band in the back. I thought they'd be great but my bra pulls it funny. I think that the next time I make this I will lower the band by at least an inch to give better coverage for my bra. I hate when it pokes out.
I love this outfit, I'm particularly proud of the sweater. I didn't honestly know I had it in me. I had taken better finished shots of me in my outfit but I accidently broke my SD card before I could load them up. Boo.... But I did take some iPhone selfies and a few pictures of my beauty on my dress form.
And finally the finished product on the lady herself.
The two things that I love most about this dress is that you can see my tattoos in the back and the swish and sway of the skirt. It really has a marvelous kick to it and the shorter version is utter perfection. I will absolutely be making both of these items again!