I absolutely could NEVER buy a dress like this in a store and have it fit properly. I never could. I was always two different sizes on the top and bottom so they never looked right. I learned to hate the sheath dress.
Even sewing one always seemed so daunting. But being afraid to ruin fabric has left me with a mounting stash and none of the clothing I imagined when I bought it. So, last week while on spring break I was determined to stop being fearful. I cut this dress out from a pattern I bought almost 8 years (and 3 children) ago, so the size I cut would have no chance of fitting my bottom half. But, it looked like the top would work…
I used the old size 6 top and cut the straight skirt from another view in size 12. And then got caught up reading (Jane Eyre, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell out of a Tree) and never started it. But two days ago, I did. And now I have a pretty wearable muslin for future sheaths!!
It’s not perfect by any means. My princess seams and front darts don’t meet perfectly (I realize now one dart is bigger than the other), and because of the difference in size, my back darts are not aligned on both sides either. The smaller size made a sway back adjustment unnecessary but left a little too much room in the upper back. These are all things someone buying this from a store would never notice, in fact any non seamstress would over look it, too. The small check sort of hides it anyway. I hope to make changes next time including a little more length in the bodice (I added 2 inches already) and a little more room overall as the next one will not be in a stretch fabric.
My zipper installation was easy and it look so great. No lumps at the end and it stays relatively concealed when worn. It as was a little short, so I added a hook and eye at the top. The back vent and hem look pretty great, too. I hand stitched the hem, it is virtually invisible from the outside in this fabric. I also made a little belt to cover the dart match-up mishap, though I’m not sure if I’ll wear it.
Overall, I LOVE this dress! I love that I can see the results that taking your time can achieve. But mostly I love that this fabric has gone from a folded stack to an article of clothing! I can’t wait to wear it!