There is that one dress that I would wear for any event, and maybe just to feel good. I have now moved it to the front of my wardrobe. I wore it for my 50th birthday party, a masquerade bash my daughter and sister master-minded while I was out of town on a Palmer-Pletsch Training in Portland, Oregon (more on that in another post).
The two of them called me to inform me that I needed a dress just a few days later for a “special engagement party and dinner” for my son who is getting married. It was known by me that the engagement party was fast approaching, however, I had no knowledge of the whereabouts and details of the dinner. So, when they continued to ask for names for invites and such, I didn’t put two and two together, since my birthday had already passed the week prior. I had already resolved that I wouldn’t be having a birthday party because of my traveling schedule and all else which was going on in my life. You see, right before I left town, some jerks robbed my house!!!! So, partying was the last thing on my mind. But I abliged and set out to get a dress made while out of town.
Since, I was at a fitting workshop, it just seemed right to use this pattern for my fit lessons. Just so you know, after the first day of lessons using the required McCalls/Palmer-Pletsch patterns, we were free to use “any” fashion pattern of our choosing. In my case it was this Pamella Roland design for Vogue #1265.
The description says: Loose-Fitting, partially interfaced, lined, pullover dress (fitted through bust) has collar, collar band, side front, side back seams, front hemline slit, flared, pleated lower back, invisible side zipper and cap sleeves with bias armhole binding. “Whew!!!” That’s a lot of details!!!!
Let me just go over some of these beautiful details the pattern has to offer, and offered up exquisitely, might I add. All the details made for a lovely dress indeed!!
Loose-Fitting- I would say so for the bottom half of the dress. It offered up just enough room to dance, and move, yet still gave that beautiful sheath look from the front, and just skimmed over the waistline to look fitted, yet room enough to breath.
Partially interfaced- The entire front is interfaced with fusible. I used the Palmer-Pletsch brand “PerfectFuse Light” which is for underlining fabric or fusing to textured fabrics. It worked like a dream. It comes in 3 yard packs for right at $7.50 per yard of 60” width. (It is on sale right now for $19.00)
Fabric and lining- The fabric is the nicest linen, cotton, rayon. It has raised dots with a fine thread of gold going through it. I wouldn’t call it a pique because of the underside being flat. For the lining, I used a luxurious 100% Bemberg rayon lining from Fabric Depot in Portland, as part of their “ambiance collection”. Feels so beautiful on the skin. Becky of Beccabeck Stuff, recommended it highly. So, when I got to Portland, that was the first thing I looked for.
Pullover fitted through bust- Yes, Yes and Yessss!!! The fit through the bust is awesome. I was worried about the neckline, so I sewed it up two inches for modesty. I don’t know your definition of modesty, but mine was tested to its limit in this dress. However, when I got to moving around during the night, I never dealt with any wardrobe malfunctions or peek-a-boo bust.
Alterations I made: For this size 14: I did a 1 3/4” full bust adjustment, 1/2” broad back, cut off 2 inches from the hem, gave myself 1/2” on the sleeve width (should have done 1.5”). Did a 3/8” sway back adjustment, and made the center back seam curve in to my back by 1” at the waist.
Collar, collar band- are wonderful details. The collar stand is actually a wedge shape that causes the collar to lift at the back, giving it that 1980s stand-up feel. I love how it doesn’t just lie flat at the back.
Side front, side back seams and “FRENCH Dart”- Love, Love, love and love this feature. Because of the drastic transition to from my waist to bust, these details made for easy fitting. I curved the dart at the bust as suggested by Marta Alto, with Palmer-Pletsch. It is recommended for full bust to curve the dart “around” just a tad when approaching the prominent part of the bust. I curved mine slightly further for visual affect. It turned out great.
Front hemline slit- At first I was going to leave that closed, however, after looking at it, it just did not look good, and it cause the dress to pull forward. I didn’t think it would matter since the flounce in the back had the walking room needed. But the skirt is very straight, so it still needed a little slit.
Flared, pleated lower back- Can I just say, this is the best feature of all. I felt like a princess with my almost double full circle inset hanging of the back. It didn’t weigh the dress down or cause it to drag. The length is longer than the front just enough to make it almost feel like I have a tea-length dress on, yet the front feels like I have a sheath dress. The flounce has 4 very large double pleats to give it the volume it needs yet still fit into the back curved seam right under the buttocks.
Invisible side zipper, cap sleeve with bias binding- The zipper up the side is my favorite detail in any dress. It just makes since. I thought about putting the zipper up the front, but choose to stick to the beautiful planned detailing of the pattern. It seems the dress had enough going already. The cap sleeve is just that, a cap, and it doesn’t leave much room for above shoulder arm movement. So, get your hair and face taken care of before you put it on. The lining is sewn unfinished up to the sleeve and then the binding finishes it all off.
This dress would be great in anyone’s wardrobe arsenal. One thing that would make it right for absolutely any occasion, is to just redo the roll line on the collar so that it will close higher in the front. Other than that, this is an absolute terrific dress.
And I would be remiss not to share this parting shot.