I had a go at the Xerea dress by Pauline Alice last week but didn't like the way it sat across by bosom, however I loved the pockets, so I thought I'd have a go at combining it with one of my favourite patterns, The Washi dress, from Made by Rae.
First I made couple of pattern adjustment to the Xerea. I removed the top armscythe section from the back and side front sections. This took away the dart, which I didn't need, as there's one on the front bodice of the Washi. I also needed to widen the pattern a couple of inches, so that it would match my Washi bodice top section. Yours may need a different amount depending on how much pleat you like. I just moved it away from the fold to the required amount.
Then I amended the curved pocket section of the front. It's a strange configuration on the Xerea, which means you are suposed to fold the excess seam over the raw edge. Didn't get this when I tried it the first time, so I found it easier and neater to alter the square edge on the pocket bag to a point, and alter the curve on the centre front to fit it.
I drafted a seperate, back bodice piece from the original Washi pattern. I cut 2 of each bodice so I can fully line it. I'm not a fan of facings, they always look messy and 'homemade' to me, so I prefer a full lining.
Join the bodice sections at the shoulders, press the seams open, then right sides (RS) together sew all around the neck opening. After clipping into the curve turn it RS out and press around the neckline. This gives a lovely, neat neckline with no flappy facing!
(If I was making this sleeveless I then use this facing/lining as a way to neaten the armhole. I'll do another blog for that when I make this again)
To make the pockets, sew the pocket bag along the center front curve, RS together. Clip into the curve. Turn RS out and press.
Lay the front side pieces over the top of the pocket, match the curve. At the point where the front side meets the centre front, line up all the raw edges. Pin and the sew. You'll see a triangle point form where the seams overlap. This will give you a smooth finish on the RS. Baste the pocket bag edges to the sides to make it easier to sew the side seams.
Match up the front section with the front bodice RS together. Adjust pleats to fit along the bottom of the bodice edge. Baste pleats across top and then sew bodice to skirt section.
Join the back bodice to back skirt. I overlock my seams as I go along, but it doesn't matter how you finish your seams, it's still easier to do it as each seam is constructed.
For this dress, I decided to just gather the back seam along the bodice edge, but you could use shirring as per the original Washi.
Stitch the elastic to the overlocking using a zig-zag stitch. Stretching the elastic as you sew. My elastic is the size I always use across my back, so yours may vary.
Sew the side seams up and finish them.
I put a short sleeve in mine, from the Washi expansion pack.
Sew the underarm sleeve seam and press open. Sew a line of gathering stitch along sleeve cap and set sleeve into armhole.
Hem sleeve edge and bottom of dress.
All done! Took me about 3 hours including pattern messing and cutting out.
Think I'll make a long sleeveless version for my hols, so I'll blog how to finish the armhole for that one. Hope you like this- give it a go!