I purchased this pattern last summer because I liked the bodice and it's front opening, the side gathers and the zipper in the back. It wasn't until I actually got the pattern home that I realized the center front and center back pieces are one long piece and the side front and back pieces are separate pieces. So the pattern sat while I wrapped my mind around the construction.
Then seasons changed and it got placed back in the uncut pattern piles which seem to litter my sewing cave. Another reason I'm not buying any new patterns. However, in the time of Corona, I seem to have an abundance of time to sew. I've also finally admitted to myself that it will be summer when I'm allowed back in public, so I'm sewing summer.
Going my own way was necessary because of my fabric choice...
Supply List ~
4 yards of a medium weight border print cotton jacquard from Fabric Mart
22" white invisible zipper
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
Pattern Alterations ~
- This is where I deviated from the pattern instructions because I always saw the entire bodice as separate from the skirt.
- So I cut the center front and back pieces off matching them to the side pieces.
- Then instead of using the pattern pieces for the skirt, I cut two 45" wide pieces.
- The back piece was cut in half so I could insert the zipper
- The front piece was left the entire width which is different from the pattern instructions
This dress was all about using the border print to the best advantage. I made a couple of changes to the construction of the dress and I'm going to list them below. However, please feel free to skip over this. I'm documenting it here so when I make this dress again, I can review what I did.
1. Shoulder Seams
I should have made this alteration first but of course I noticed it when I tried it on. So I sewed the princess seams 1" wide until about 4" down the princess seams for both the front and back seams.
2. Center Front Bodice
I made a change to the center front because the opening was way too low. I made an mark on the pattern 7.5" from the top of the bodice, after measuring the front piece against my body.
Since I cut the front skirt pattern as one piece instead of the three pieces the pattern suggests, I had to start the gathering in a different place. I used the center front side seams as my guide to start the gathering. My end place was 1" before the side seam. I did the exact thing with the two back pieces.
4. Side Slits
I omitted both slits. I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the border print on the bottom of the dress. Though when I make this again I will use at least one side slit...two is a little too much for me now.
One more thing - I will need to remember to add the pockets before sewing the bodice to the skirt. I didn't this time and it was a challenge to add them back in later.
Now A Few Pictures ~
This version is a little looser in the bodice than I wanted. The fabric makes this dress and while its a little stiffer, it works. I will take in the side seams for the next one. I also want to make it in a drapier fabric so it will have a better hang. So of course I've already picked out fabric to try this again...sooner or later.
Next up on the blog is a cardigan and shirt. While I'm sewing for summer, I'm realistic enough to know that there will be cool days when I will want to wear my white jeans. Plus after six maxi dresses...I'm ready for something else. That's whats next on the blog...
...as always more later!