Sunday, August 28, 2016

Vera's Dress

You know you are getting on in years when you start taking fashion advice from Vera Stanhope. Every week I watch Brenda Blethyn brilliantly portray DCI Vera Stanhope, a well upholstered Geordie woman of a certain age. As she trudges across the Northumberland countryside solving murders, I have come to notice one thing: her shirt dresses. Underneath her floppy fishing hat, shapeless green coat and mass of personality flaws, Vera wears beautiful shirt dresses. Ha! They probably thought no-one would notice. But once I saw her green linen floral dress, I couldn't unsee it. I became obsessed.

But as a 5 foot 3 inch curvy woman with an E Cup bust, I can't exactly buy off the rack. So now that frumpy Vera Stanhope had inspired this tomboy to start wearing dresses, what was I to do? I often sew tunics for myself, but once I sew something big enough to fit the bust, the rest of the garment is too large and sloppy. Enter the FBA, or the full bust adjustment. Had my prayers been answered?  Before I dove into my stash of expensive fabrics, I gave it a go with some muslin.

An FBA goes a little something like this:

Step: Select a pattern size based on the smallest measurements of your torso; your upper bust and waist. Draw the pattern out onto Swedish tracing paper.

Step 2: Cut your pattern piece apart and add in the extra room you will need. You can find many FBA tutorials online that will walk you through this process.

Step 3: Add extra paper and redraw your dart lines.

The size difference between the pattern size I needed and the FBA adjustment pattern was 3 whole sizes! Now add the fact that I needed a pattern size 4 sizes bigger than my waist measurement to fit my...ahem... va-va-va-voom arse, well, no wonder it sucked big time trying to buy ready to wear clothes off the rack.

After sewing a muslin and making several adjustments along the way I was ready to sew up this adorable sleeping fox fabric. And why not knit a little sweater to go with it? I mean, once I decided to walk the ledge of being girly, why not jump right off the Northumberland cliff so to speak.

So, girly fabric and yarn in hand, off I went to knit and sew my very own version of a "Vera" dress.

Fabric: Napping Fox by Tula Pink
Dress Pattern: McCall's 6696
Yarn: Noro Solo in Olive
Sweater Pattern: Miette, found here on Ravelry