I have now made this dress four times. I may make it four million times, because it's the perfect canvas to show off an awesome print, and when it comes to sewing, fun fabrics make my world go 'round. It's one of the reasons I keep coming back to quilting fabrics: it's hard to find apparel fabrics with prints that appeal to me half so much. I should probably try designing my own someday, though with all the good stuff already out there (and the expense of services like Spoonflower) the bar is pretty high. But someday. Especially now that I have the perfect pattern to use the fabric for. I think that in the coming months I may bore you with my lack of pattern variety, but long-hoarded fabrics are going to be bursting out of the stash right and left!
Anyhow, would you like to see these wondrous dresses? I have photos of Dresses 1 and 3, so I will show you those now. We'll start with 3, because that's where I really perfected the fit, plus I have pictures of me actually wearing it! I shall call it the House dress, because duh. The fabric is Michael Miller's "Mod Pad".
This is at the end of a long day ... I had an event to go to downtown and this is what I wore. (I wore it on a stage, even -- I was handing out awards.) You can see a seatbelt crease across the front of the bodice, but trust me it fits me better than any dress ever in the history of dresses!
I chose to leave off the sleeves. I did muslin the bodice with a short sleeve, and it was actually not far off fit-wise, but I really like the look of the dress sleeveless better, and I always wear a cardigan or hoodie anyhow.
I used Butterick 6075 as a starting point for fitting. They're a little different (Butterick 6075 has no waist darts in the front) but it guided me well in my pre-muslin pattern alterations. Based on the muslin, I made a few more alterations, then Dresses 1 and 2. Here's Dress 1, which is made using Kate Spain "Sunnyside" raincloud fabric, drifting through my backyard:
I think it was between Dress 1 and 2 that I doubled the width of the back neck darts -- a common alteration for me because of my shoulder blades. I had already completed Dress 2 by the time I decided that a slightly closer fit would be better. The only changes I made between Dress 2 and Dress 3 was to sew 3/4" seam allowances on the bodice sides instead of 5/8", and to pinch out another 1/4" from the upper center bodice, tapering to nothing at the waist.
I decided to drop the House dress into the Sew Dolly Clackett pool, and may add Dress 4 as well if I get it photographed in time. Some fabric came out of stash for that one!
Finally, here's a closer look at the House dress, and Dress 1 ("Stormy Dress?"). You can see my contrasting facings. The Emery dress doesn't come with facings, but I drafted a neck facing for a little extra stability, and did my usual thing of attaching it to the lining.
When I come back with Dresses 2 and 4, I'll catalog my pattern alterations, and show the change I made to the armscye when I went sleeveless, which I took from Butterick 6075.