It is a beautiful flowy dress with a major V neckline. Most of the reviews have been occupied with going with that look or trying to counter it will various modesty panels or neckline redrafts:
Interestingly when my DIL did our big Stonemountain and Daughter fabric shop in December and she picked out this fabric, a beautiful rayon batik:
I cut this dress out at home and finally had the time this week to make it. Of course this is a dress that you really can't show on a hanger, definitely needs a person in it, but we are going to have to wait for that when I see her in a few weeks time.
I still wanted to show it to you though and decided that it would be a good idea to show you what was around me when I made this at the picnic table, definitely one of those now I really know I am not in Nova Scotia moments:
Of course to be right in location like this has its perils - prickles are fairly easy to extract from a dress, from myself not so much:
Now onto the pattern.
Really I made this one up just as instructed, the kimono sleeves have in a slighter way the issue of the River dress, but not too bad. I have to say though that having sewn kimonos from Japanese instructions that the underarm usually is left open a bit, forming a natural gusset, or in later patterns, a gusset has been added. That could still happen in a garment like this:
Now I realize that these shots are not particularly edifying, some dresses just don't show on a hanger, but hopefully have served to illustrate how nicely this extremely popular pattern works in a nice heavy rayon.
I will be very interested to see how this fits on Maddie and of course I am feeling some angst about the fit of that neckline. Last year about this time I altered a beautiful vintage dress for her with a remarkably similar style and at that time my job was to give her more room for her ribcage under the bust. That got a bit tricky without any extra fabric to work with but fortunately the dress had a very deep hem I was able to use to find that little bit of fabric in.
However as is so often the case we end up sewing the next project haunted by the last one (does anyone else ever experience this?) so I might have over compensated with what I have done here.
This pattern has tucks in both the bodice and the skirt at the front and these are very useful for fine-tuning fit in that very important under bust area.
Maddie measured for me and I knew she had a 31.5" underbust and the pattern as it was designed was for a 30" in her size. Given the softness of the style in general as well as the fabric I was very, very wary of having this seam too tight - that would be a lot of strain on the zipper and of course this is not a style for a waist stay. So after many trial bastings, thinking, changing my mind, and finally considering that there was a big sash that would be tied under the bust anyway, I adjusted the tucks so this under bust seam was 34" long or 2.5" ease, figuring it could then be adjusted by the ties for fit and comfort.
This may or may not be a good idea, and it may or not mess up with the fit of the bodice over that V, but my mind was remembering the maneuvers I made last year to give her extra room in this area.
At any rate I can fit it finally on her when I am in Berkeley the end of the month and adjust as necessary then.
I am going to be sending a machine, one of my vintage Berninas ahead.
My husband is going to be going to Berkeley for a few days on his own to see the baby and I will give it to him to carry and negotiate through the airlines. So by the time he is back and I go myself for four days (we aren't going on a long drive this year and have decided Daisy wouldn't fly too well so we are doing baby visits in relay) there will be a machine waiting for me.
I just can't see having any of my kids anywhere without a machine for me to use when I visit.
On a personal note this trip is going really well.
After an intense fall I really needed to rest up a bit and settle down and see my other children. Both boys are in the US. People say to me a lot oh that's so hard and of course my first choice would be to have all the kids lined up in houses on my street, but seriously it has added so much to our lives to have them so happy in such interesting places. We have really been able to get in touch with the youngest's life here in Austin and of course being here makes hops out to the West Coast so much easier than from Nova Scotia.
They are all such good kids. In fact even after I am home I will be back down here again, in Nashville in May. My son and daughter-in-law are going to an annual Memorial Day weekend they do every year with friends and they are bringing my down to stay nearby with the baby for four days while they go off and do that. I mean how lucky am I?