Wooohoo! I guess I officially got my energy back. I finished this dress in a week! Granted, its a no lining dress and made from a double knit-ish material (so its stretchy but not hard to sew with), its still an encouraging sign!
This is one of those dresses where I just started with a front bust piece, altered it and figured out the rest as I went. So there’s really no pattern for it.
I took a regular front bust pattern piece, you know, one of those with 2 darts to the bust, and just a short sleeve, then attached a skirt piece that had been fattened on the top and also lengthened on the top. I fattened it so that it has room for the pleats and it will expand horizontally. I lengthened so that when the tummy gets big, the skirt wont raise up too much in the front. Then i sewed the front bust and skirt together, making pleats as I go and making sure the bust pleat and the skirt pleat matched together.
I then used a back piece upper bodice along with the front dress piece folded in half to figure out what the back dress piece should be. Since the back was a little loose, I added two darts to fit.
After that I added a few rectangular stripes to the sleeves and the neckline to finish it. I wanted to cut the stripe for the neckline in bias, but there wasnt enough fabric left by then. oh well, i still like it.
The result is a dress I didnt think I would love! I hated the fabric when I first got it 2 years ago, but kept it around anyways. It wasnt the right color, and it felt a little cheap. However, it really helped that this is some kind of double knit material — very stable with the slight stretch, so very pleasant to sew up. With careful fitting and patient sewing (I had to redo the front pleats a few times to make sure they matched, and the neck line twice to make sure its the size I liked), I actually love the result. I feel very proper and sexy in it — it looks like the knit dresses Joan would wear in Madmen! With me getting a little “plus”, I am liking the look. The only regret is that I am avoiding high heels that would go so well with this!
I think I will be wearing this to a conference in a few weeks as an training facilitator, I would look pretty professional (well, in my line of work anyways) in this!