This dress was my second ever make. I wanted a summer dress, in a heavy linen fabric, which was suitable for a wedding. I wanted it to be fairly close-fitting and taylored on the top with lots of drape to the skirt.
I hadn’t worked with a Simplicity pattern before and while it wasn’t too hard to follow it did assume familiarity with a lot of terms that had me turning to the Readers’ Digest Guide to Sewing more than once. The diagrams were also less clear than Vogue.
On the outside the pattern looks absolutely hideous. No idea what the plan is with those gypsy balloon sleeves. However, I liked the sort of Catherine of Aragon sweetheart neck and the long continuous seams all the way down the bodice. Note: not a suitable pattern for being stingy with fabric as you can’t really tessellate these pieces.
Therefore, pattern option C was the winner.
For fabric, MacCulloch and Wallis struck again with this lovely bird-printed linen. They are no longer stocking it, but I found an equivalent online here. It reminded me of country table cloths and chinoisserie and all good things.
(i) I botched the order of sewing and ended up having to sew the (already fully lined) back and front bodice straps together last, leaving an ugly visible seam allowance at the shoulder which I hastily attempted to cover up with a tab of fabric… [You Lose Some]; and
(ii) I did the most beautiful covered zipper ever which is neat and symmetrical and never catches and which still brings a tear of pride to my eye. And a tear of pain and frustration when I realise I have no idea how I did it… [You Win Some].
Generally, if I had my time again on this one, I would have picked some nicer and more complementary lining. White looks a bit cheap and like I used my mock-up for the real thing (Clue: I didn’t make a mock-up). The heavy fabric generally means that the dress sits well and I cannot gain any weight! Good thing is that it reassuringly fits a few years down the line.