Round Three of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee caught me a little by surprise -- a knit dress, actually the Lillian Knit Top & Dress designed by Pattern Review! -- that we had to make our own.
I decided on another illusion style dress, this time trying to make an all-in-one dress that looked like separates. I dug through my stash to see what I had, as I've been trying to use my stash first in all my sewing this year, regular or competitive! Luckily I had an idea about using yellow (oddly enough, since it's my favourite colour I have quite a lot of it stashed!). I matched this solid yellow, repurposed from an old dress I made and didn't wear once (the StyleArc Cher Knit dress, in case you were wondering, which was a huge sewing fail) with a favourite floral, and then went with a black and cream microdot from a 6m. length I thifted last year for the final outer piece.
I changed the lines of the pattern somewhat -- I cut a block from the bottom of the bib bodice feature to the hem and used those two pieces to create the illusion of separates under a cardigan. I cut the remaining side pieces and back from the black, and extended the sleeve to elbow length, also in black.
But I thought that it needed more definition so I added sleeve cuffs in the floral to extend the top a bit, and thought I needed more oomph at the neckline so quickly drafted a demi tie collar -- it only goes to the shoulder and is sewn in at the shoulder seam. It gives it a little more of the secretary look and defines it as a 'blouse' I think.
I added a few extras to the black section to get it looking like an outer cardigan as well, though it's all sewn together with regular seams in a dress. I made the black outer panels longer than the yellow inner panel, and added a wide band at the seam between them. I didn't think of adding the band until it was nearly done so I just handstitched it on top of that seamline, which was fiddly and also didn't give me the kind of smooth line I could have gotten if I'd inserted it right into the seam while sewing. But I still like it. I also added patch pockets at cardigan height, lower than I would generally.
I made the fit around the waist and hip looser as well, to look more jackety than fitted to the back like the regular dress would be. I think it works but I'd take a little swayback adjustment in and add a bit more width over the bottom next time.
Overall I quite like this one! I had fun looking closely at the pattern to figure out how to change it up, and was so pleased when I finally saw the seamlines to work with. If I had more time I might have redone a couple of things but I think the illusion works, and I had quite a fun time making it. I just wish it hadn't been such a miserable weather day so I could have taken pictures somewhere else than a greenish room at work. Oh well! I still like it.
This Sewing Bee has really challenged me with each round's project. I feel like my creative sewing mind has been stretched a bit. And you should definitely check out the Round 3 gallery to see all the other massively creative takes on this pattern as well. Lots of creativity going around!