And the dress, oh the dress. I adore this stripy fabric so much that it was fully and selfishly intended to be a dress for ME ME ME. For some incomprehensible reason the Chien Vert was selling it off in cheap coupons, and I snapped up about three yards as quick as I possibly could. What you can see for yourselves is that it's wonderfully, nautically stripy. What you can't see is how absolutely gorgeous it feels. It's soft and smooth and stretchy and stable, with the most perfect balance of drape and solidity, heavy enough to be warm, but oh-so-deliciously cool against the skin. (For those who know, it feels like a slightly heavier-weight Lillestoff).
Sadly, the dress for me was not to be. First I cut it a size too small. Then I tried again, with a curved yoke upon which stripes could not be matched - a rather obvious mistake that I cursed myself for repeatedly, before bowing to the inevitable and cutting this little darling out of the remains and scraps. It's not much to show for my 2.8 metres, but it IS absolutely perfect on L. I guess this is just what fate had in mind for it all along.
By the time I was done with making my failed attempts, I was utterly fed up with matching stripes and nearly didn't bother again. But you know what - it's ALWAYS worth it. This next picture is blurred - she just couldn't keep still - but serendipitously in focus is that beautiful meeting of stripes on the shoulder. And you can hardly even see the side seams! It totally makes the whole thing, and I am ever so smugly satisfied that past-me bothered after all.
First, to finish the neckline, I cut the decorative facing pattern pieces but used it like a normal facing on the inside. I hemmed it, as the fabric curled a LOT, and then topstitched it down on the outside about an inch from the neckline edge. All dictated by necessity, but I really like how it came out. To finish the sleeves, I simply turned under a half-inch hem and stitched it down. The armholes on this dress are very, very curved - I don't think this could work with non-stretch fabric. As it was, I sewed the sleeve hems before sewing the side seams, so I could stretch the hem around the corners easier. I also didn't finish the inside hem edge (fortunately, of course, being a knit, it's not needed). All told it's not the tidiest of solutions on the inside, but on the outside it looks just fine.
Finally, instead of sewing the elastic casing between the lining and outer dress, I simply sewed a strip of fabric to use as a casing on the inside of the dress. I ignored the curved markings on the pattern and just sewed it in a straight line, on top of one of the stripes - so it's pretty much invisible, inside and out. We also placed the elastic lower than on the original pattern, as L says it's more comfortable, and I think it's more flattering too.
And there you have it! Lots of photos of my lovely girl in her lovely dress. One of these days she'll realise that this is the dress in which I cuddle her about 80 percent more often - because my little L encased in that beautiful fabric is an absolutely irresistible combination :-)