Wednesday, April 15, 2009

McCall 5752, Palmer-Pletsch Perfect Knit Dress

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When I was visiting Texas over the winter holidays, my sister (yes, the one I went to Miami with--my only sister) showed me this pattern that she had bought for herself. I hadn't seen it in the book and really liked it, so the next time I was in a Joann I picked it up. After my experience with Simplicity 3775 I am all about midriff ruching, and I liked the interesting shape of the midriff here, the surplice top, and the tie option.

When I found the fabric in January on G Street's $2.97/yd table (a nice, heavy, good quality knit) I immediately thought of this dress. I wanted to get it done for Miami so I put it on my Spring sewing list. I had fun with the print; I don't know how noticeable it is but the arrows go down on the bodice and skirt (I felt like this was the most slimming direction) and up on the midriff and the ties.

Bodice AdjustmentsI think this is the first Palmer Pletsch pattern I've sewn and I was suitably impressed. There is a whole sheet of instructions on alterations, and many alteration lines on the pattern pieces, including (yay for me) bust adjustment lines and swayback adjustment lines. My only grip is that there are detailed instructions for a Full Bust Adjustment but not even a mention of a possibility of a Small Bust Adjustment, even though it would take only a sentence. It's hard enough being small busted in a culture that prizes large breasts so highly as "the" way to be attractive, and little things like this--although I don't know how "little" failing to acknowledge that I actually exist is--are just so frustrating and discouraging. But I will try not to hold it against them because I've had to work out how to an SBA on my own. It's very easy, just cut along the marked bust adjustment line and overlap.

However, a small bust generally needs a shortened wrap as well, which the adjustment lines don't take into account. I actually cut it out and sewed it up as drafted, but found that the wrap was a little gapey for my taste. I ended up taking a wedge out of the center back neck (which is part of the front pattern piece), which tightened it up. Next time I will cut it out with the pattern adjustment shown above.

I didn't like the instructions for the midriff, which call for the overlay, a stay, *and* a lining. That is just way too many layers! Instead, I constructed it the same way as I did Simplicity 3775. I cut out only one set of stay/lining, sewed the side seams of the stay and of the overlay, put in the gather seams on the overlay side seams (but did not yet pull them up), lined up the stay and overlay along the top and bottom and stitched them to the bodice and skirt, pulled the overlay gathering threads to fit, and stitched in the ditch along the side seam to keep it gathered. I feel this results in reduced bulk at the side seams (too much bulk would defeat the purpose of the ruching!).

Front CloseupAt first I didn't intend to use the ties, but when I finished it I found that the shaping of the front midriff provided a lovely frame for showcasing my round belly. Hmm. I didn't use the pattern piece for the ties, just cut them the length of one of my scraps. I folded out pleats at the tops of them and sewed both to the bottom of the center front midriff, instead of one on top and one on bottom. They don't show up much in my busy print, but I think they provide enough obfuscation to do their job.

I put in the hem and sleeve hem using fusible web, because I didn't want to have lines of stitching. It worked well.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

24 comments:

senaSews said...

I love that dress. The print is awesome and i can totally understand why you are in love with the midriff ruching!

Christina said...

The print is TDF and your shoes match perfectly!

SuBoo said...

Looks fantastic!

Cennetta said...

Great dress.

BeeBee said...

That's really cute. Dare I try again? After my fiasco with the Simplicity, I'm afraid. Very afraid. On that one, the top of the midriff hit me about ni**le height. Not exactly the look I was going for. It's now a skirt. And a pair of underwear. That's $6 I'll never get back, LOL.
I might even have this one in my stash. I went a little overboard with wrap stuff...

Rachel said...

That is a gorgeous dress and the colors in the print look so good on you. I have that pattern, but I don't have any fabric for it yet.

geek sewing said...

This dress looks fantastic on you! And the fabric you chose to go with it: très magnifique! (Yeah, right... as if I speak French, but you know, that dress deserves praise in French.)

Lisette M said...

I love your dress. I bought the pattern after seeing your version.

Jill B said...

I just had a *flash* - reminded by your dressform. I had a dream last night that you came over to my house to help me make one, but my siblings were so obnoxious and you had all these weird paranoia's, and so you left, and I didn't get to make one, and I was sad (nevermind that it wasn't really "my" house, and that my siblings are grown, and all the other inaccuracies. you can't control your subconscience).

Annnd, now I sound like a stalker.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

You are really going to have to rename your blog because there is very little slapdash about your sewing now! *smile*

This is a great dress on you!

Nancy K said...

This dress is terrific on you. The color combination is one of my favorites too. $2.97 table, huh? Really nice fit and finish on this.

Sigrid said...

Lovely, spring fabric and the dress looks fantastic on you. Must try the midriff ruching myself, I still have a Vogue pattern for a shirt in that style (as always, too many plans, too little time).

Uta said...

What a great dress - and you made it fit perfectly. I really like that pattern. Would you consider making it up in a solid color to showcase the lines? Or would that be too boring?

spottedroo said...

I love your version of this dress. Wish I'd read you review before trying it. Maybe I can still make the center back adjustment you showed--the picture of the folded pattern is very helpful. Thanks! You don't happen to have a picture of how you did the midriff do you?

Shannon said...

Great dress - very flattering on you. In terms of the lack of SBA info - typical isn't it? We can console ourselves with the knowledge that we are basically gravity exempt - we'll be perky and adorable 'til the day we die!

Lori said...

Great looking dress. Thanks for the fitting information.

cidell said...

What an awesome print you found. Okay. I'm going to have to dip my toes into some more knit dresses. I love it. Now, where is the BWOF dress??

Sew4Fun said...

What a lovely dress in a nice print. I've never noticed this pattern either.

gwensews said...

Fabulous dress! It's very becomming.

Marita said...

The dress is very cute:-) and you have a great body!!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

That dress looks great on you! I had not noticed this pattern either, but I'll put it on my list for next pattern run.

HeathersSphere said...

Groovylicious!!!!!! You are so stylin' in your geo-mazing dress! Wonderfully coordinates with those cool shoes!

Faye Lewis said...

RE: the morphed blouse. No, I don't have that issue, wish I did.

AllisonC said...

This dress looks fantastic on you, I have this pattern somewhere, I know it......