Pattern Description: Fitted dress has self-lined empire bodice, below mid-knee, A-line skirt has back zipper closure and front and back darts, dress B is strapless.
Pattern Sizing: I cut the 14 based on my measurements and working with McCall's patterns before. (RTW and Pattern sizing guides are way different, so if you are a new sewer, always measure yourself! I made this mistake on my first item I ever made by buying the pattern in my normal RTW size and realizing it looked like a size 2 girl could wear it!) I made view B.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!
Don't mind the bad picture of me...it was like 10 at night and I had worked all day!
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! This was a super simple dress to make and truthfully I barely looked at the instructions. I did follow the instructions closely for doing the boning in the bodice as I have never done that before. They explained how to work with boning very well! I was intimidated with working with boning, but after this dress I am not. It is simple to work with and makes a dress look so professional!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like that it was a simple style that I could make in a variety of lengths, with straps or without, and with a variety of fabrics. I like how versatile the pattern is.
Fabric Used: Cotton Sateen Lemon and Lime print from Jo-Anns
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Where do I start? The drafting of this pattern is AWFUL! I made a muslin before I actually cut into my dress fabric since I had a feeling the strapless bodice might be a problem. Everyone is a little different in the chest and I wanted to make sure the fit was spot on before constructing. At the muslin point of production, I found that the top was indeed too large. I fit it to my body by taking in each side seam 1" and grading it out to the skirt. The skirt, by the way, is fitted wonderfully right out of the package. This seemed to fix all the problems. That is until I got to the point in construction on the actual dress to realize that the top was still too big! I ended up having to keep taking in the bodice and grading it down to the hips until I got the fit just right. I believe I ended up taking in the bodice about 2 and 5/8" on EACH SIDE! That is 5 and 2/8" smaller than the pattern was drafted to make. I don't blame this on the pattern by any means. Everyone is a little different on top and on a strapless dress I think it is really important to make a muslin to figure this out.
The other alteration I made was to shorten the bodice. When I did my first fitting with the actual dress, I felt like the top was way too high on my chest. It was much higher than any of the other strapless dresses I own. I ended up cutting it lower so that it would fall where my RTW dresses do.
I also made it with an invisible zipper instead of an exposed one. I feel it looks more RTW this way.
I lined it with a white cotton broadcloth from Hancock. I buy it by the bolt when they put it on sale for 99 cents a yard...$10 for 10 yards and you have linings for all your project for a while!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! It is such a versatile pattern and now that I have worked out the kinks in the fitting, I think it would be a breeze to create another one. I still would like to make one that is a little shorter with yo-yos on the hem. I am thinking about making a bright jewel tone with the yo-yos for a little extra.
Conclusion: Overall, it is a great pattern. Make sure you make a muslin beforehand to get the bodice fit just right!