My darling DH finds this hard to believe, but Laura needs some new knit dresses for summer. I've given the Farbenmix Olivia pattern a good run (now that he DOES believe!) so although I could just make up some short-sleeved versions, I wanted a bit of a change. But I'm having a bit of a job finding another pattern that's different enough to make it worth purchasing it. I really like Patty Young's new Abigail pattern, but that isn't available to buy yet, so I was thrilled when I saw the Harebell dress in the new Ottobre.
Keen-eyed readers will note that this is a dress for woven fabric, minus sleeves but with an invisible zipper. It also starts in size 98, and heaven only knows when Laura will be big enough for that size!
It struck me that I could make the dress up in a knit, omit the zipper, add some sleeves, and I'd have just the dress I wanted. Being fairly realistic about my sewing skills I tried it out in some very cheap jersey that I wasn't all that keen on. I graded down a size, cut the back in one piece on the fold, and used the sleeve from the flounce sleeve t-shirt in Ottobre's 03/07 issue. I didn't bother with the edgings or back tie because this was only a muslin.
When I make the next version, I'll omit the seam allowances to reduce the wearing ease, increase the width of the sleeve head, reduce the width of the neckline, and use contrasting fabrics so that the effect of two different fabrics isn't completely lost from a distance. I'll also be including the tie-back because that's what gives the back its apron-effect. But flaws aside, I'd say that this is a very successful muslin and I've already picked out the fabrics for the next two, which will also help to reduce the stash in time for the June/July delivery of my Patty Young knits pre-order. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?