This pattern required A LOT of alteration to become wearable. I cut a size 14 and added one inch to the side seams, which is my usual alteration. However, it is so large in the neckline that I should have gone down a size. The holes where the center loop goes through were too large, so I sewed them up smaller. Also there is an inside lining piece that goes down to the waist. The directions have you make a casing and run elastic through the bottom of the lining. That added a lot of bulk to my ribcage and it caused the lining to crawl up and bunch, so.....after painstakingly inserting the elastic, I had to painstakingly remove the elastic:( One thing I did not do that I should have done: stabilize the neckline (which is a deep V front and back) with knit stay tape. I didn't do it because it's a bit awkward to figure out HOW to do it on this type of neckline, but it would have helped the neckline lay closer to the body. It's a low neckline and a little va-va-va-voom.
The skirt was very full -- a lot fuller than it looks on the model -- and I took out a lot of width on the side seams below the waist. I can't remember how much, but at least 8 inches! All these alterations were not enough to prevent the dress from the dreaded maternity look, which is fine if that's what you're going for, but I am trying to avoid that. Ugh......I was really bummed because I loved the fabric. I hung the dress in the magic closet, hoping that when I pulled it out again a month and a half later, my opinion might have changed.
Unlike this top, the dress did not improve with its time in the closet. I thought about cutting it up and using the fabric for something else, but it had a center front and center back seam so there was no large piece of fabric. I racked my brains trying to think of some way to salvage the dress. Emboldened by the fact that I had nothing to lose, I took in the center seam by one inch from hem all the way to the lining, which helped get rid of some of the excess front fabric and it tightened the neck up a little, too.
Here's the much-altered dress:
A view of the back:
The part I am most excited about are these bra-keepers I added to the inside of the shoulder seams:
These were super easy to add with just a small piece of ribbon, two snaps, and a little hand sewing, and they work great. I am going back and adding these to some of my other problematic dresses and tops. They keep your bra straps from showing and they keep the dress from sliding around and off your shoulders. This is the one part of this dress that I truly recommend:)