Ever since I made my first Itch to Stitch Oia Dress in early 2021, I’ve wanted to make another without the centre front bodice panel. I didn’t know if it would work but I knew I had to try it. This is the dress I was finally cutting out (after having the fabric in my stash for a few months) when I got distracted a couple of weeks ago and made an Arielle skirt out of the scraps instead. I thought I should get back to it before winter passed me by.
I made a few mods to my Oia pattern pieces after my first make. I’d already taken one centimetre from the top edge of the bodice main and facing pieces. I’d also already reshaped the bust curve to lower it slightly and reduce the fullness at the top of the cup. Before cutting out my second version, I decided to try on my original again and decided to fold out an additional centimetre from the waist band pieces. Otherwise, I cut the same size 4 with the B-cup bodice as my first version.
One other mod I made on the fly was to increase the centre back seam allowance to one-inch. My first version I’d only increased it to 3/4 inches but the combination of removing the centre panel and the added give in this fabric made the bodice and waist too loose. The bodice still has a bit of extra room at the under arm so I’ll transfer this change to the pattern for next time and will take it off the side seams from the front rather than the back. Taking it off at the centre back pulls the side seams and pockets to the back slightly and I’d like them to sit farther forward.
I was worried that removing the centre panel would cause the front the gape. It does, but only slightly and not enough that I’m worried about it. I really like the deeper neck line at the front.
Looking at these photos, I can see that the waist band is pulling up a little at the centre front and the back is pulling up a bit in the middle. This is probably because I was trying to keep the front from gapping when positioning the straps so pulled them fairly tight. I left some extra on the straps though, so I may open it up and release them slightly to see if that helps. Otherwise, I’m happy with how this turned out. It’s very close to what I imagined a year ago.
As with my first Oia, the instructions on this pattern are top notch. I highly recommend making an Itch to Stitch pattern if you haven’t yet. I love how the lining is sewn in at the zip. It is quite simple once you wrap your head around it and makes a lovely clean finish. The facings keep the top bodice edge from stretching out and the self-lined straps mean it’s not a big deal if the inside shows. The instructions for the straps are great though and make it unlikely the insides will show – except if you do what I did and remove the centre panel entirely!
This fabric is the same deadstock wool twill made in Scotland and purchased from Blackbird Fabrics. I bought two metres of it, which was just enough for this full dress and facings and the Arielle skirt and facings. It’s a looser weave than the gorgeous wool twill I used from my first version so the skirt has a little more drape. I also wasn’t confident in how well it would hold up at the waist so I full interfaced both the front and back waistband pieces to give it a little more structure. The lining is Bemberg rayon.
I said after my first Oia that I’d like to make a black wool version and I think I still would. I’ll wait until next winter though to see how much wear I get out of this one. I think I’d also like to have a more open back so might angle the back pieces from the side seam toward the waistband on my next one… I hope I remember to re-read this blog post first…
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