How are you this week? I'll admit, I've been better! Don't worry, there's nothing too horrendous happening but life has definitely been a little annoying recently. Thankfully a little bit of creativity will always cheer me up, and this project did just that. It's the latest instalment of my quest to make more knit dresses this year, and this time it's the turn of the Pauline Alice Aldaia dress.
The Aldaia pattern is for knit dresses and offers three options each for the bodice, sleeves and skirt which can all be mixed together giving a total of 27 possible combinations. Just to prove how well the different options work together, for this dress I used the bodice from view B (wrap style bodice), sleeves from view A (elbow length with bands) and skirt from view C (6 gore skirt).
I decided to make a size 44 - my bust should actually put me in a 42, but there's only an inch between the bust sizes for 44 and 42 and the 44 still gives me negative ease so I thought it would be fine. I made a toile of the bodice in some leftover jersey from my Christmas pyjama making marathon just to check, and it fitted nicely.
As usual, I had to lengthen the bodice by an inch - fairly standard for me. I also had to lengthen the skirt a lot to get the length I wanted, and in the end I added 5 inches (for reference, I'm somewhere around 5' 8"). Because I was lengthening it quite so much, I added the extra length to the bottom of the skirt pieces and continued the outward flare rather than using the lengthen/shorten line, because I think if I'd done that then I'd have lost a lot of the fullness (and you probably know by now that I love a twirly skirt).
Sewing the dress was a really enjoyable process. The instructions are perfectly clear, but aren't too hand-holdy. Obviously I had to skip around between the instructions for the three different views, but that was no problem. Part of me is still apprehensive about sewing knits in a way that I'm not with wovens, but there was no need to worry about sewing the Aldaia. Even my twin needle behaved perfectly (redeeming itself for playing up the other week).
My only slight quibble about how the dress turned out is that it seems to sit slightly oddly at the seam between the centre front piece and the front side piece where the lower layer of the 'wrap' is under the top one. I wonder whether that's because both the upper and bottom wrap pieces are pleated at the side, and whether it might be better to try to eliminate the pleats from the bottom wrap to reduce bulk a bit.
The fabric I used is a turquoise marl cotton/Lycra jersey from Maud's Fabric Finds - unfortunately it no longer seems to be in stock but there are lots of other lovely (non-marl) colours available. It's a really nice quality, was great to work with and I think is just the right weight to give the skirt enough body to twirl nicely without being too heavy.
Overall, I'm really happy with how my Aldaia dress turned out - it was a pleasure to sew and it's a joy to wear. I'll definitely be making more versions in the future, after all I have to try out some of the different combinations, don't I?!