I thought "flax" was a bit politer than vomit yellow, which even my children agreed was an accurate description. Not that the actual color changed along with the name.
I don't actually hate this dress, by the way. I think it has some merits. For instance, it has no zipper. And I lined it. And it's warm.
But here's the thing - this is a sort of a clingy knit. I knew this when I bought the fabric. I also knew that
Sweater dresses, really, should be knitted, not sewn. But I don't knit, so I sewed it. I've been wanting a sweater dress for a while now, because they're so casual and comfortable and you can run after children in them. The challenge for me and sweater dresses is they're really designed for tall thin people; sure, short people like me can wear them, but the knit fabric is chunky to begin with, and thus weighs down unskinny people and shortens untall people. And, if you also happen to not be uncurvy, there is the very real danger of being er... misrepresented. I'm not talking about wanting to look pounds lighter - I'm talking about simply wanting not to look pregnant when one is not actually pregnant.
Anyway, let's talk a bit about this sweater dress and then I'm heading out the door on errands. You might notice that I'll use the word "short" a lot, because I'm 5'3" and that, at least in dressmaking, counts as "short". Go ahead and say "petite" if you prefer, or "vertically challenged"; this is not about body image and social ideals, so don't take it so seriously - it's simply about mathematics and proportion and drafting.
First, it has raglan sleeves.
I always like raglan sleeves in my knit garments. They sit nicely. No other reason. Also, the sleeves are three-quarter length, because
(a) that's always flattering
(b) especially on Short People.
Second, it is short. People who shop in the petite section of clothing stores cannot have chunky dresses whose hems hit the knee or, worse, mid-calf. That's just depressing to look at. They can have maxi skirts in gauze and chiffon and so on, but they will look like barrels in anything in-between. Tall People do not have this issue; they have other issues like exposed ankles and long torsos and stuff like that, but they will very rarely have to worry about being mistaken for a keg. Even a large keg.
Third, while it is dartless (and this is why we love sewing with knits), it has darting in the underbust region. There are three pintucks on each side to shape the underbust area.
Fellow Short People, take note: you can wear anything that Tall People wear, but you must pay more attention to shaping because it is easier for you to look
(a) unintentionally gestational
(b) even shorter
(c) chunkier in places you don't want
(d) like your outfit was sewn badly when it wasn't
than Tall People.
When I was younger (and just as short), I used to think that Short People couldn't pull off the empire line because it was an automatic maternity look. I was wrong. In my defence, my flawed reasoning was the result of wearing store-bought empire line blouses that were made for Tall People who were also Thin People - you know, the aerated cotton kind with hundreds of gathers under the bust that look like you hitched a flouncy summer skirt up high and forgot to stop before it reached your armpits? Since then, I have learnt that a better Short Person's empire line is a fitted Aline beginning under the bust or a shallow pleat under the bustline. Or tiny gathers in light, thin fabric that does not manifest bulk.
In other words, Short People need very clean lines in their garments, where possible,
especially if those Short People are also Not Skinny People. By clean lines, I mean good shaping and good darting.
Hence these underbust pintucks - just enough to shape the underbust area and define it as separate from the general chunkiness of the waist and the roomy ease of everywhere else. Thought I'd include that discussion here since we'd just recently introduced the idea of pintucks as a darting alternative to shaping.
I prewashed this fabric but I know that it's going to stretch again as I wear it. So I might take this dress in a little more at the sides if I decide it's starting to balloon out of shape. Maybe. Currently, it feels like a fitted sack and I must say I like that feel.
Incidentally, I don't mean to tell you how to dress, friends. I mean, for instance, if you make a sweater dress yourself and want to wear your belt right at your waistline, go right ahead. I wear mine, as many Short People With Short Torsos do, on my hip so I can pretend my legs don't begin just under my bust.
And in case you like my hat as much as I do, I didn't make it (knitting/crochet ignoramus, remember?)- it's a $12 Banana Republic thing I picked up while shopping. Short People, I am happy to say, have same size heads as Tall People and can wear anything on them that they want. Hurrah.