Instagram, and it was Meg of Cookin' and Craftin' who really inspired me to have a closer look.
It's the Groove Dress from Madeit Patterns. Look at it! Isn't it gorgeous?! So swingy and loose, and so many variations. It was love at first sight, but still I didn't buy it immediately.
Normally I am quite impulsive (seriously, the husband has to talk me out of throwing caution to the wind All. The. Time. Which is a bit rich considering he asked me to marry him the fourth time we met!). Anyway, I really hum'd and hah'd about buying the pattern because 1) I wasn't sure it would suit me and 2) although it's a jersey dress I wasn't sure it would fit, even with the stretch, since I am outside the upper measurement. But I loved it so much! I really did, and every blog and picture I saw just made me love it more. So I bought it and printed it but I still didn't get to making.
Then, oh happy day, last week I threw on a linen dress of mine and realised that the style was pretty similar. And I knew I should JFDI.
This comes as a PDF pattern. I have varying success with these, sometimes they print out perfectly and other times they just don't, even when the scaling square is right they go a bit askew, usually with two separate bits on one sheet. I was pretty lucky with Groove though.
And then I got The Fear. I was sure it wasn't going to fit. So I did the sensible thing and asked for advice on Madeit's Facebook page and that was great because they replied really quickly. And what they advised was to simply increase the pattern by tracing a new line around the existing pattern pieces. "Ok" I said, blithely. I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE!
Actually it's not so hard, and it's probably a good skill to have. And jersey is very forgiving. I did measure some of it, but I eyeballed a lot of it. And I seem to have lucked out to be honest - the sleeves and the bodice seams, and the side seams were EXACTLY the same size. This doesn't always happen with patterns I haven't altered!
I opted for the scoop neck, short sleeves and high-low hem - one combination of many. I can't do the maths, but with 2 sleeves, 5 necklines and 2 hems there are a lot of variations to choose from.
I also only had 2m of the fabric I was using. According to the instructions this was not enough. I laid both pattern pieces out and it looked fine but as soon as I'd cut one it just wasn't. So in my JFDI frame of mind I decided to piece the back. I cut the back piece as a separate skirt and bodice and I also had to cut the back bodice as two halves. This means that the back is not one smooth sweep, but I don't think it's made too much of a problem overall and I'm quite pleased with myself for thinking of it as a solution.
Construction is nice and simple - without having the piece the back it's shoulder seams, neck band, sleeves, side seams. I do love flat sleeves, it's so much easier! In total it took me about half an hour to trim the pages, an hour or so to stick the pattern together, 90 minutes to re-draft it and then trace it off, an hour to cut, and about 3 hours sewing.
Would I make it again? OH YES, 1000 TIMES YES! I love it. It's comfortable, it's swingy, I love the high-low hem. It's my new favourite thing.
I do not want to take it off! I have some gorgeous green striped jersey which will be lovely and I'm already thinking about when I'll be able to make the time to put it together.
As a perk, if you buy the adult or children pattern for Groove you get the teen sizes chucked in free. I would like it if one could choose whether to get the teen or the kid sizes, but a freebie is a freebie after all, and I am sure I know a teen or two that might like it! I will have to buy the kids' pattern though because The Girl wants one.
I'm off to dance around my sitting room to some classic disco...