I'm so glad I went with my gut. I finished this over the weekend and when I tried it on my husband loved it. Now for most that would be no biggie, but my husband doesn't say much. Usually I get an "It's nice" or "That works" from him, but I actually got a bit of a jaw drop from him which I don't think I even got on our wedding day.
Also, it was a good choice for the party which was last night. There was an array of clothing, from hootchie mamma to matronly and from jeans to sequins, so I fit in the middle nicely. It was also frigid here and this ponte is nice and warm.
I loved this pattern from the minute I saw it. I couldn't believe it was a Butterick. They surely aren't my grandmother's Butterick anymore. This dress is very fitted and pretty darn sexy if you ask me. I don't usually make things with that high of a neckline but I went for it. That neckline usually makes my bust look huge. I'm going to say that it definitely didn't minimize it but I don't think I look any more out of proportion than I normally do ;-)
The pattern itself is actually quite a simple pattern. You do however need to be patient enough to mark all the lines and the darts reasonably carefully. The goal of the dart placement is so that it hides underneath the folds of the lines. I have one that is slightly off but you can't really tell too much. Ponte is such a great fabric is you can wear poly, it hides so much.
Below are the pictures of the marks. I marked both the lines and the darts on the wrong side but should have done the darts on them on the right side. It was a "doh" moment. It ended up working out ok, just took a bit longer to pin them.
You do need to stretch the garment while you are stitching the lines so that when you stretch it to put it on you don't rip the threads. I popped a couple of them while trying it on and had to fix them. Straight stitching and a stretchy fitted garment are not conduscive. A straigter zig zag stitch didn't look right on the folds. I was careful when I put it on last night but it doesn't deter me from loving this dress. If I make it again, I'll make sure to stretch it more when I sew the folds.
I did end up cutting out a 14 and did end up only taking 1/4 inch seams on the sides. It did fit like they said it would. Normally Butterick has quite a bit of ease but this didn't. The shoulders fit me great in the 14 but I should have cut the sides from the bust to the hips in a 16. It would have given me bigger seam allowances and been easier to sew but I think the sizing ended up roughly the same. I don't know how I would have done an FBA on this and didn't even try. Ponte is quite a forgiving material so I just went with it. I didn't have any funky pulling across the front really, maybe a smidge but it loosened up as the night went on. This is quite a fitted dress though.
I'm actually extemely happy with the dress. I love the royal blue ponte, I love the fit and the style. I can see me making this again. I don't think it would work in a lighter weight I think the dress needs some heft to it. I might try it in a stretch woven though. Ponte is one of my favorite fabrics. I know lots of folks don't like poly but this one is a nice blend of poly/rayon/lycra from FabricMart. I bought it in just about all the colors they offered it in. I still have about 2 1/2 yards of this blue left too.
I wish you could see the details better. It was hard to get a picture of. Usually I take them until I get one I like but DH offered to take the picture and wasn't really patient in getting a good one.