Recently in an active wear catalog I found a dress with a center panel and ruching at the midrift area along both sides of the center panel. I thought – now that’s a clever way to hide a stomach pouch! I already had the Christine Jonson Princess Wrap Top which has a center front with ruching on one side.
First I made the top to try out the fit. The fit was fine – but the v-neck was a bit deep for me. To make the dress I added an inch to the neckline to give me more coverage. I also added a back center seam which gave me the ability to add shaping to the back. In order to create ruching on both sides, initially I tried to follow the model of the pattern which – because it is gathered on only one side- the pattern bows out along the gathered side to create a nice drape on the opposite side. Well, trying to create this on both sides of my center panel piece just wasn’t a good idea. A much simpler path would have been to keep both edges of the center front straight and then extend the length of the panel to account for the gathering. (The reason my initial idea didn’t work is because it created a ‘drape’ of extra material in the front area. You don’t want drape across your stomach – that added to the pouch.)
To determine the appropriate width and line of the skirt I followed the skirt pattern from Christine Jonson’s Wrap Dress. I found the key to ensure the gathering around the midriff is flattering is to keep the ruching under the bust and not too far down into the stomach region. Also – keep the gathering even on both sides and fairly tight across the front – if it looks to loose, it looks sloppy and like extra weight. Sorry the pictures with the pattern fabric I used make it a bit difficult to see the ruching.
We’re told this dress looks good on everyone-here’s what Carrie, our California transplant has to say:
I’ve really been trying to hit on the best knit dress pattern for a while- but first I had to find the right knit fabric. I picked up that fun
animal print knit from SR Harris – great body, hand, and stretch. I really took a step out on the print – but figured what the heck-
animal is always in for Fall!
I had two wrap dress patterns to choose from – the easy Vogue 8379, and Debbie gave me the Christine Jonson wrap dress pattern. I did my research on PatternReview.com and it seems that there are several adjustments people have commonly made on the vogue dress – sleeve cap too puffy, skirt too voluminous, and neck facings not staying put were common call outs. By the time I got through the reviews – I’m not sure why this pattern gets such high ratings! The Christine Jonson pattern has very few adjustments noted on PatternReview, one of the most common being the length is very long. I decided to go with the Christine Jonson given the reviews. I also like that it has the knit stretch worksheet to determine the best size – I don’t know why the big 4 don’t mention the need to adjust for stretch on their knit patterns. I did like the collar and cuff styling better from the Vogue pattern – they just seem to have a bit more “style” to them. However, after trying to get a nice point at the end of my collar I realized knit fabric doesn’t really lend itself to these fashionable details ; ) In the end I’m very happy with my dress and will make it again. I do think I must have a bit of a sway back – I seem to have about an extra inch of fabric pooling at the dip at the bottom of my back. My ties are also extremely long – but not much to complain about really.
Here is my picture – now I just need some great accessories to finish it off!