Sophie’s bag is safely on its way to Morocco, which looks a little odd as I reread that because I don’t normally put “Morocco” and “safe” in the same sentence after more summers there than I can count, especially when it comes to the odds of my mail actually showing up. Hopefully the $200 insurance I bought will help…

Anyway, since finishing the bag I’ve been knitting like a fiend trying to finish a shawl for Roo. Although I don’t need to have it finished until August, I have a few other knitting items I’d really like to get to and I’m trying really hard to stick to my resolution of using up everything in my stash before buying new things (Stitches doesn’t count, hmph). Plus, I’ll need to start working on the next wedding item soon – my bridesmaid dress!

Speaking of stashes, I’ve been having some sleep problems the last few nights, so yesterday afternoon I dug around my pattern books until I came across this pattern. Simple, flattering, doesn’t use much fabric, and the steps were just barely over a single page. Perfect. I conveniently had just over 3 yds of cotton I’d bought in moment of weakness, so in the interest of not wasting really cute fabric, I decided to not just wing it and actually made a mock up of the bodice *and* prewashed my fabric.

The only real hitch in my plan is that I’m in between sizes for dresses. Plus, their size 10 (the largest in the envelope) listed the waist measurement as 25″. WTF… I’m lucky to get down to a 25″ waist in my mid-Victorian corset. Okay, maybe there would be some winging it after all.

The dress is made of 3 basic parts – the bodice (in View A, there are 6 pieces), the yoke (3 pieces), and the skirt (4 pieces). You also have the option to add pockets, though I chose not to for this version, and they’re pretty good sized pockets at that. Definitely something to consider for the next version. It calls for lightweight linen, or broadcloth; I’m assuming to give it both some structure and a bit of weight because this dress is not lined, but the quilting cotton I chose looks like it’ll hold up fine (though I may want to consider an underskirt).

I haven’t taken any pictures yet, but I can say that it’s going to be pretty darn cute.

I cut the largest size and hammered out the 6-piece bodice mock up in about 15 minutes. Joe helped pin me up the back and it fit pretty decently for the most part, minus some snugness near the bottom. I wound up adding 1/2″ to each of the side seams to give my waist an extra 2″ to breathe which did the trick. Though I seem to have once again run into a pattern that doesn’t do any sort of finishing on the raw edges. Next time, pinking shears.

Next, I tested out the yoke, distributing the same 2″ to match the bodice. Well, it fit fine around the top but was just not going to happen around my full hips. I wound up adding a total of 8″ to the bottom of the yoke, which was an extra 2″ at each side seam (3 pieces, 2 side seams, 4 side edges, 2″ each = 8″ total). It definitely wasn’t the fitted yoke from the picture, but considering there’s also no strength fabric backing the yoke, it would have just wound up bunching and probably scrunching to my waist anyway. Much better to have the bottom be more open. Plus, more skirt!

I added the same 8″ to the 4 skirt pieces to fit the new yoke, but it wasn’t until I finished cutting the 2 front panels and had moved on to the back panels that I realized the funny shaped front panels were due to the pockets. Which I wasn’t doing. Also minor panic because my fabric had shrunk from 45″ wide to 40″, which meant the fabric wasn’t wide enough to fold in half and cut two skirt panels on top of each other, which meant I needed to figure out how to fit four skirt panels side by side with not enough fabric left over. Plus, I needed to recut the two front panels using the back pieces to make up for the no pockets (somehow in my tired state I thought cutting two new pieces might be less stressful than figuring out the pockets and then, you know, having pockets). Crises averted due to some dumb luck, though, and figuring out that I could use both the right half *and* the left half of my fabric. Amazing.

Anyway, I didn’t finish it last night, but I did sleep better! As of this morning it needs trim along the neck and armholes, a zipper, and the hem. Now if the weather will just hold a little longer…

Pics soon!

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