Hiya friends! How are you doing? Hopefully the summer is treating you well so far. We are back at the cabin escaping the craziness that is Calgary right now. It's Stampede time, and the city always becomes filled to the brim with tourists, traffic, and crazy cowboys. The Greatest Show on Earth is a lot of fun if you've never been before, but if you've been a bunch of times, and you're not a fan of crowds and weird deep-fried food, it gets old pretty fast. Plus I am really not sure how I feel about the rodeo anymore. It just seems so detrimental to the poor little animals. But anyway, I don't want to get too controversial over here on the old sewing blog, so let's get back to the good stuff. I have wanted to sew up another Southport Dress for quite sometime, but haven't managed to get to it. Until now that is. And of course because I am being a crazy fit fanatic as of late, I wanted to make some changes to see if I could get my second version to fit a little better than my first version.
For my first Southport, I made a straight size 10. It fit pretty well, but I found that it was slightly big in the shoulders and a bit loose all over the bodice. I know that this dress is meant to have a relaxed fit, but when I wore the size 10 it would slip off my shoulders with movement, and I found that it was a bit gape-y in the front (the neckline was a bit low for me), especially if I bend down. I also thought the skirt was a little snug around the hips. So for this version I wanted to try and fix those issues.
I started with a size 6 bodice based on my upper bust size, but in hindsight, I should have chose the 8. I got everything to fit pretty well, but it's just a teensy bit too tight around the back/bust area. Anyway, I started with a size 6 bodice and adjusted the back pattern pieces first. I did a 1/4" forward shoulder adjustment - this involves shaving 1/4" off the front pattern piece, and adding 1/4" to the back pattern piece. Then I did a 1/4" high round back adjustment, and I wonder if maybe I need a 1/2" for this pattern, so I might try that next time too. Then it was on to the front pattern piece.
For the front, I did a 1 1/4" FBA. It's interesting how now that I have done a couple of FBAs, it seems like such a natural adjustment for me. I don't know why I've been so scared of it. Of course I haven't attempted an FBA on princess seams yet, so my confidence might recede.
For the skirt, I used a size 12 and it feels better than the size 10. I have a bit more room to move around and play with the pugs. I measured the pattern pieces to make sure that the skirt would fit the bodice and with my alterations they seemed to match up just fine. I finished the armholes and neckline with pre-made single fold bias tape. I love bias tape as it makes for a clean finish and I think it looks really profesh too. I also ended up sewing the button placket closed. I was being a bit lazy, but I also knew that I would be able to slip this dress over my head and that I wouldn't need the buttons. They are a bit hard to see because of the busy floral print, but the buttons are white and came out of one of those bargain button bags. John spotted them at Fabricville in Montreal and bought me two - one with coloured buttons, and one with black and white buttons. It takes a bit of searching to find ones that match, but it's nice to have a button stash.
Oh I almost forgot to tell you about the fabric. I have no idea what it's made of, I suspect come kind of polyester/rayon/viscose, but I can't be sure (are there any tricks for that?). I picked it up at Walthamstow Market in London. It feels nice to wear; cool and drapey, and I love the purple flowers.
I suspect I will be making a few more of these dresses before the summer is through. They are just so easy to throw on, and I love the drawstring waist; so comfortable (and easy to adjust after a big meal LOL). Plus pockets! I never really put anything in dress pockets, but I like to have them so I have somewhere to put my hands.
Anyway, that's all for now. Have you tried the Southport Dress pattern? Do you have any go to comfy sundress patterns? I'm always looking for good ones so let me know.