Nearly two years later, I find myself searching for something to sew my postpartum self. As I am 30 pounds up from pre-pregnancy weight, none of my TNT patterns fit. For some reason it seemed more reasonable to buy a totally new pattern, than to refit the Plantain or Lisette Traveler that were my cool-weather mainstays before I got pregnant.
So I threw caution to the wind and bought Josephine. And I am SO glad I did!
I made a few modifications. The pattern does include two cup size options, but there was no way C/D was going to cut it these days. I'm rocking a G cup at the moment, so I did an FBA on the C/D bust size Large (which corresponded to my high bust measurement). I also moved the dart down, so that it pivots to the bust at an angle. I find this angled dart much more flattering than parallel-to-the-floor horizontal darts. I had previously thought this dart was called a French dart, but I recently read that French darts start just above the waist, and mine is higher than that, so I am not sure what to call it.
(My six-year-old took these photos in the rain using our DSLR ... they are a little blurry but I think she did a pretty good job!)
I did not sew the pin tucks all the way down, but ended them a bit below the bust line a la Rae's release tuck version. I also omitted the back elastic because I just wanted something loose and floaty. In the wrong position it does look a bit maternity, but I am still rocking the baby belly and there is only so much you can do to camouflage that.
I suspected that I would not like the degree of sleeve puff at the top, but I put them in per the pattern anyway ... and I was right. Rather than cut a new sleeve, I just removed them and sliced an inch off the top of the sleeve cap. I am sure this is the absolute wrong way to de-poof a sleeve, but it actually worked pretty well. I found some good tutorials for sleeve adjustments here that I followed on my second Josephine (I'm halfway through but having a little trouble).
I knew before I sewed the pattern that I would need to lower the neckline to avoid looking matronly. It's funny - I actually like almost all the Josephines I've seen, and I only think a couple of them look matronly - but I knew that, on me, it just wouldn't work. I cut the neckline written, and then tried it on after I'd put in the darts, pin tucks and sewn the shoulders together to decide how much to lower. I ended up bringing it down a full 2" and I think I could even drop it another 3/4" or so the next time I make the pattern. It is really quite a high neckline, though it doesn't look that way on smaller busts. I bound the neckline to the wrong side with prepackaged bias, and managed to avoid the dreaded neck gape on my first try! Clipping the neckline really makes a difference.
I used a crinkly gauze purchased for $4.50/yd from Fabric Mart last May. I didn't like it as much in person, as on the screen, so I figured it would be an easy sacrifice for my first try on the Josephine, and as it turns out I love it made up in this pattern! It's interesting, but not so busy that it completely obscures the pin tucks. And it's a nice weight for a summer-to-fall transition piece.
Linking up with Gray All Day.