Phoebe Dress by Sew Over It

One of my favorite online fabric stores, Sewing Studio here in Portland, posts new remnants for sale every Sunday night. I often see pieces of about 3/4 yard but hesitate to make a purchase, having no idea what to do with a piece so small. Then I found the Sew Over It Phoebe Dress! It requires only 3/4 yard of a lighter-weight knit and 1 yard of a heavier-weight knit. The next time I saw remnants for sale at another favorite local store, Bolt Fabrics, I scooped them up and made this.

The skirt is a black ponte de roma that is just fabulous. It’s thick enough to make yoga pants or any kind of activewear out of. The top fabric is a bit lighter but still pretty substantial.

When I first tried on the dress, it reminded me of something from the movie Working Girl. The only activity I can picture doing in this dress is pushing a dim sum cart around the floor of a corporate mixer.

When I looked up the scene, Melanie Griffith wasn’t wearing anything like this. She probably wishes she was, the way she was sweating. (BTW, I’ve never seen dim sum with cocktail toothpicks in it.)

I made one major modification to the pattern that probably caused more fitting issues than it solved. I lengthened the bodice pattern pieces by 3″. Like the Kathryn top, when I held the pieces up to me, they did not even cover my bust. There was no lengthen-shorten line, so I just slashed horizontally at the notch and added the extra length.

I’m blaming this for the large pooch of fabric that ended up pooled at the bottom of the bodice when I sewed it to the skirt.

To remedy the situation, I gathered up a handful of the pooch fabric in each hand and crossed them over each other. Then I ran that under the sewing machine, inasmuch as it would fit under the foot. The result looks semi-intentional, and at least better than before.

The other issue was the keyhole opening at the back neck. It was gaping terribly.

All I could think of here was to gather the fabric into pleats, and then sew all the way around the keyhole. Again, better than before, but it’s a bit weird. As I’m looking at it now, I can see that the pleats should have been gathered so the fabric falls down and not up!

This make was a quick diversion from my larger project that is due October 31 for the (great) WFH Module Sewalong. I’m ahead of schedule and only have one pair of pants left to sew in my five-piece module. But maybe I can fit in one more fun dress! -rp

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