Sometimes, a fabric is just too good to risk on an untried pattern. The fabric that was too good to risk (more on that later) was Merryweather knit, and the pattern is Butterick 5242, which looked promising -- but also had the potential to be decidedly maternity and too high-waisted.
Enter, the mock-up! I really don't like the idea of a mock-up that you can't wear afterwards, so I scoured my stash for something I'd want to wear if the pattern worked. Fortuitously, I had a small piece of a blue heathered knit -- I'd purchased it to make a maxi skirt, but realized when it arrived in the mail that I'd probably never have any tops that would match it. So there it was, waiting for me -- and it had been waiting quite a while. I was just, just able to fit my pieces on the fabric!
As usual for me with "Big 4" knit patterns, I cut out a size smaller than my measurements (though I did grade it to the next size up in the skirt). I opted to omit the sleeves (I couldn't have fit them on my fabric, anyway!), which should give me more layering options for the fall and winter. Plus, I disliked both sleeve options in the pattern. I finished both the neck and armholes with facings, and added ties at the sides -- I thought I'd want to be able to cinch in the back, and I was right. I think I added maybe an inch to the length, and it's perfect for me. Long enough that I'm not worried about accidental "reveals," and short enough to be comfortable and easy to move in.
Speaking of fit, I love it! It is one of the most comfortable dresses I own, and in a light-ish knit the pleats don't seem to be too "maternity." But, also a plus, the pleats in the skirt and the low-cut v neckline make this a perfect early maternity, post-partum, and nursing dress. Such versatility will be very useful, assuming I don't wear it out by frequent use before I need it for those purposes. *wink*
I'd planned to wear a demi-camisole with this dress, anyway, and it certainly needs one! And on the subject of demi-camisoles, this one's made with the bottom of a camisole; I'd cut off the bottom half ages ago so I could use the top half as a demi-cami, but it seemed a shame to waste the lace at the hem -- so here it is, "upside down." Waste not!
Fueled by my success, I was ready to cut into the fabric that started all of this in the first place -- but that's a story for next time! This is a story of second chances. Leftovers and rejects stuffed away, pulled out for such a time as this, and given a new lease on life. Wearable mock-ups are always a bonus, especially when they lead to greater things...