Pattern Description: From the website: "This sweet and flattering dress features a cut-out scoop neckline, an above-the-knee hemline, pockets, and shirring in the back for an easy, comfortable fit. No zippers or closures are needed, making it a wonderful project for the intermediate sewist! The pattern can be made without sleeves, with a basic scoop neckline, as a tunic, or with a longer skirt to achieve a large number of different looks. You'll be thrilled with all of the variations you can create with this fantastic pattern!"
Pattern Sizing: XS to XXL. I made an XL based on my upper bust measurement.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, just like it except for my one obvious change to the pattern.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very. The pattern author provides both a summary sheet of instructions for people who know what they are doing and detailed instructions with lots of photos and illustrations for less experienced sewers.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I wanted an easy little sun dress pattern and this fit the bill perfectly. I also liked that there are so many small variations either built into the pattern or easily achieved from descriptions on the author's blog. I love the little pleats on the front and the shirring on the back of the dress. I didn't like the bust fit using the bust dart, and eventually abandoned it altogether in favour of princess seams.
Fabric Used: This poly-cotton fabric was originally a king-size duvet cover. I don't usually do the "sewing with sheets" thing, but I had very limited fabric options, a burning desire to sew, and I was very taken with the bird and plant border print. Alas, I ended up with a bird right over my crotch, but I am pretending it doesn't bother me.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The big pattern alteration I made was to change the front bodice piece from a single piece with bust darts to three pieces with armhole princess seams. This is totally personal preference based on the difficulty I have getting a good fit from bust darts to my uber-busty (H/I cup) body shape. The problem I had was that the bodice, being empire waisted, is very short. When I put in a large enough FBA to fix the dart, the width below the bust got out of control. I didn't have enough room in the bodice to put in a waist dart without making the whole bodice look like a sack full of boobs. Since I've recently had some success with armhole princess seams, I used this Burda tutorial to cut the bodice piece into two pieces, and then used a previous, successful empire waisted top pattern to adjust the new pieces.
I also made some other minor alterations for fit like a square shoulder alteration and adjusted the length of the skirt to my preferred length. I left off the sleeves and shaved 1.5cm off the width of the shoulders to get a better shape to the straps. I also raised the armhole by 2cm and could maybe have done with raising it just a tiny bit more.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I absolutely would sew it again and already have plans for two more. It's a great simple dress and the lack of zipper or other fastening puts it within the capabilities of any advanced beginner. I found the bust fit tricky and like the author recommend a muslin, though by no means will most sewers need to go as far as I did to change it.
Conclusion: Great little dress pattern that I was able to modify easily to get a great fit. I'll be making more!
More on my blog.
** Updated with a second version in the maxi length: Photo or blog post