Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Dresses and Skirts Pt. 3: Ottobre Hippie Style and New Chic Dresses

I have been fascinated ever since Ottobre Woman 2/2014 came out with the two sundress patterns that feature the same v-neck bodice.  "The New Chic" has an A-line skirt and "Hippie Style" is a three-tiered maxi dress.  They both caught my attention, but which to make first?  This time, both were on my SWAP!  "The New Style" was originally going to be made from the tan and brown floral that I used for the ModKid Madeline.  Having used it, I decided to make this dress from a sheet that I have been wanting to use--don't you just love these fish?  I almost made the three-tiered maxi version from the fish sheet because I loved it so much, but then I decided I would look too much like a sheet--or maybe a sail--if I did that...

When I started, I was thinking of this as essentially a trial.  The sheet didn't cost me anything, and besides, I can usually wear things that I make for the first time.  I traced the 48 and 50 together.  I generally wear a 48 in Ottobre--particularly in dresses--regardless of what I measure.  When I have made a 50, it has generally been too big.  Not so in this case!  I cut out the 50, and was shocked and dismayed to find that it fit much more snugly than I wanted.  So much so, that when it was assembled, I ripped out the seam where the bodice joined to the skirt in the back and removed the darts.  At that point, I was able to zip it (side zipper) without fear of pinching myself, but breathing and sitting are still a problem.  And I made it a size larger than I usually do!

However, I was not going to give up on the pattern.  I loved it in the magazine, and I loved it on!  It is very flattering, even as a second skin.  So the next weekend I traced and cut out a sz. 52 to make the maxi dress version.  This is straight from my SWAP!  I used a muted seafoam-colored linen eyelet that I have been having since 2005.  My mom made me a maternity dress out of the companion piece, which was more green than this one and had a different pattern of eyelet.  It is rare to have so much nice quality linen hanging around; I think it was waiting for this pattern.

I did make a couple of modifications.  While the 50 was too small around, the bodice came up too high.  Under the arms was too high as well.  So when I traced the sz. 52, I lowered the arms and the top of the bodice by tracing those portions on a 48. I gathered the top tier, but left the front of the skirt between the two princess seams flat to avoid a maternity look.  I also left out the zipper, because heck--I was making it a lot larger this time. The difference between a 50 and a 52 is fairly significant.

Here is the result:

It's not very "crisp" because these pictures were taken straight out of the dryer, and I didn't iron it.  Pretty good, though, for an un-ironed linen dress!  I bought actual lining fabric rather than self-lining.  I wouldn't have bothered lining the skirt, except for the little holes in the eyelet.  In retrospect, it probably wouldn't have mattered.  A note about the third tier--it is very, very wide.  So wide that in my size, the sz. 48 tier would not fit on 56" fabric.  So what you're seeing is less full than it should be.  I don't think it's a problem, but I've been wondering how I might make the maxi version from 45" wide fabric...

So about the fit... It is still a very flattering dress.  But... you probably guessed it.  It is too big.  The sides gape a bit under the arm.  I could easily take an inch off and taper, because where the bodice joins the skirt, the size is fine.  The bust is perfect as well.  In fact, the princess seams seem to fit more where they should fit, though I didn't notice that the weren't quite right until I made the second one.  Whilt it is a little large, it doesn't matter too much. I will probably wear it most often with a sweather like in the magzine.  I need to make one, in fact.  When I wore the dress last week, I wore a 3/4 sleeve blue jean jacket.  I may have made it a little long, but it is maxi and I am short.  Next time, I will look at the picture and hem it slightly above my ankle!

There will be a next time.  I love this pattern, and I have already bought fabric to make another.  I have also already modified the pattern into something completely different!  But more on that soon.

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