|Pattern Description: Mid-knee length dress has casing and tie variation, upper and lower sections gathered into waist inset, side zipper.|
I used view B.
Pattern Sizing: 4-18. I think I started with a 12, since that's what was cut out from the first time I made this (it was my very first dress!)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, kind of, but not really. I used the pattern as a jumping off point to knock off a dress I saw on a show I watch. Screenshots: front and back. So it's like a cross between that dress and the envelope!
Here's the front view of mine.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I literally didn't even touch them this time. But they must have been okay if I successfully followed them to make my first version of the dress way-back-when!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the style of this dress a lot, with the gathered front and back pieces and the neck tie forming the straps. It was also so close to my inspiration dress that I didn't have to modify it that much, so I liked that!
Fabric Used: A thinnish ITY-y print from my local 99-cent bolt-end store. I grabbed this a couple years ago without a specific idea in mind, so it's been in the stash for a while. But at places like that you have to grab it when you see it, right?
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few to achieve the split-back design of the inspiration. I lengthened the bodice 2 inches, to lower the waistband from the empire line to my waist. The pattern also has a shaped waistband, which I didn't want here, so I cut my waistband as two straight rectangles the approximate width and length of the pattern's waistband (3 inches by 18 inches).
For the back, I started by tracing the side and top of the back bodice piece. I determined that I wanted to have about a 5 inch opening at center back, so I subtracted 5 inches from the waistband length and divided by two, giving me the length of the bottom of the back bodice from the side seam to the opening (6 1/2 inches). Then from the end of that line I drew a freehandy convex curve up to meet the top line. Here's my modified pattern piece next to the original.
To construct the back, I started by hemming the curved edges and the armscyes (folded over and twin needled). I then laid one back piece on top of the other with both right sides facing up, matching the top edges, and sewed across the top. I then flipped the back one around to be on top, hiding the seam allowances between the pieces, and sewed a line about 3/4 inch down from the top to form the casing for the neck band. I then very carefully attached the waistband in the traditional way (sandwiching the bodice pieces between the waistband and waistband lining). I attached the back skirt to the waistband, constructed the whole dress front, and sewed the side seams last. I took in the side seams quite a bit to get a close fit, to keep the back waistband from drooping too much in the middle. I didn't want to have a big piece of elastic in the waistband because I didn't want the bulk or the gathered look. Of course it occurred to me after the dress was totally constructed that I could easily have zigzagged clear elastic to the seam allowance of the waistband to support it a little more, but I wasn't about to tear everything apart to do it, so I'll have to live with a slightly droopy back waistband.
I wanted a more streamlined neck band, rather than the neck tie from the pattern, so I just cut a rectangle that was an inch and a half wide by about 20 inches long, and sewed it into a tube. I tried the dress on and adjusted the length until it sat where I liked it and I just sewed the ends together and hid them in the casing.
I also took off two inches from the top of the skirt piece (because I lowered the waisband) and another two inches off the bottom before hemming.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't know if I'll make another split-back version, but maybe in a dressier fabric? I already have another RTW dress in mind to knock off using this same pattern, though! I recommend it both as-is and as a starting point for something slightly different.
Conclusion: I really like how this dress turned out. I liked the design of the inspiration dress but I knew I'd get more wear out of something more casual. Feels like summer!
Blogged at no time to sew