I wanted to take part in the OAL this year and I actually managed to finish the cardigan on time but not the dress, which is surprising considering the amount of time needed for each.
My gauge was spot on for the cardigan, but I made a mistake I no longer make when sewing – I knit it in size M, based on my bust measurement. Therefore the cardigan is big at the shoulders and the sleeves are too wide.
For the dress I used Simplicity 1873 on top and 1610 on the bottom. I’ve made the 1610 dress before and I love that skirt – perfect pockets that stay in place and are better located than in-seam pockets (they look better too imo), plus the width of the skirt feels just right for me.
I don’t love the top though. I tried Nancy Zieman’s pivot an slide method (see video at the end) and started with size 10 based on my front shoulder measurement. I had to add quite a lot of width at the bust and waist and I’m afraid that distorted the overall shape. The top has a lot of ease above and below the bust at the sides, but at least the armhole doesn’t gape. I made a muslin and made a few other changes to the pattern after that – moved the front waist dart a few cm to the side, lowered the bust dart and removed a 1.5cm wedge for sway back. One other alteration I meant to do but somehow forgot was to add length at center front. This is not mentioned in the video but it makes sense to add some space vertically too. I did squeeze a little bit of length by reducing the seam allowance, but that was not enough and I think the proportions are off because of the bodice length. It is just too short.
Even though I moaned all through this post, I don’t dislike and the dress and I will continue to wear it. It’s not perfect and I hope all my future projects turn out better than this, but sometimes less than perfect is enough. At least from some angles.
Since I made this I bought Nancy Zieman’s pattern fitting book, I’m not giving up on her method yet. It looks easier than other I’ve seen/tried, I hope I can make it work.