This dress has been done for a little bit. What do I mean by a little bit? Well, how about over two years. Gasp! Yes, I am officially the worst sewing blogger there is.
I sewed it up in April 2011 while we were living in Rome. We decided to throw a real American style barbecue for the student, who were homesick by that time of the semester, and I wanted a fun cotton dress to go along with the occasion. That was the first time I wore it, but I only got to photographing it this year. Now, you can probably tell by the photo above that behind me is not November in New Hampshire. Nope. It was August. Sewed two years ago and photographed three months ago. Yep, officially the worst.
Actually, I have sewed two dresses from this one dress (do I get bonus points for that at least?) The original pattern I used was pattern #101, shown above, from the 02/2011 Burdastyle magazine. You will notice the glaring difference of the two. Mine has no sleeves. You could say that hers fits better, but that is not what we are saying ;) When I first made this and wore it to the barbecue the front neckline gaped and hung too low, and I also realized the back bodice was a bit too wide. Since the zipper was inserted in the side, I figured I could just hack away at the middle, resew the center seam and all would be well. I ended up having to take off the cap sleeves when I was raised the neckline, but it is a much more versatile summer dress this way. You can see in the photo below, even though I took of width on the back bodice, I still could have taken out some length too.
Looks pretty shoddy here. And wrinkly! Maybe you should avert your eyes ;)
The fabric I used was a red printed dotted swiss. I love this fabric! I lined both the bodice and the skirt with a bubblegum pink cotton voile because it was what I had on hand in Rome at the time. If I was to sew this pattern again, and I think I eventually will (not that you will see it until two years later, haha!), besides adding the sleeves back on, I will raise the waistline a bit. The weight of the skirt, even though both fabrics were light, makes it hang a little lower than I had anticipated, but as I mentioned above, it is probably just a bit too long in general. I also might need to do a sway back adjustment along with taking out some length. Here is a close up of the fabric.
Super cute, right?!?! I absolutely love it and wish I had grabbed more of it when I had the chance! Here is a peek of the bright pink lining that I put in. A dead ringer for Bazooka Gum:
This dress was great for the summer. All cotton, and even with the bodice and skirt lined, it was still light enough to wear even during the super humid weather we had when taking the photos.
Let me be honest here. If you look at the line drawing of this dress it is unbelievably simple: two darts in front, two darts in back, two rectangles for the gathered skirt, scoop neck. This shouldn't have been hard. Even though it looked super easy, I made a muslin before even cutting into my fabric and I still had problems! My advice to anyone making this is to make a muslin and wear it around for at least a day. My first muslin seemed to fit, but once I made the dress *and* wore it for a day the neckline (interfaced and stay stitched!) seemed to stretch and it seemed to fit all wonky by the end of the night. When I do make this again, I will make yet another muslin. And don't get me wrong. This dress is not so terrible that I don't wear it, and I still get loads of complements when I do. I am also assuming I don't look like a compete moron for actual going out in public in it! If you think people are just being nice to me, and I do actually look like a moron, someone PLEASE tell me :)
Once I can work out all the kinks, I think this pattern has the ability to become a TNT, a tried and true pattern for me. As far as constructing the dress, it was a breeze to put together. Since it is so simple there are so many options to modify it. I could change the neckline or add pleats to the skirt instead of gathering, the amount of different dresses I could create is endless! But before I start my mountain of dresses, I need to make another muslin first!
Has anyone else sewed this dress? It has 141 projects on Burdastyle, so maybe one of you out there made it? Have you ever sewed a simple dress and it has been anything but? Come on, spill it!