Based on both online and offline comments about my previous blog post on which summer dress to make, I decided on the girly Simplicity 2884. I have to admit I was leaning towards that design so everyone's feedback just reinforced that I had made the right decision.
Here's what I found:*
100% cotton voile for the outside, with some soft white cotton to line the entire dress. Lining was a must for this dress since the voile is fairly transparent.
I also used a 14" dress zip in an off-white colour and a hook and eyelet to ensure the zip can be done up easily.
Pattern (Simplicity 2884: View B with View A halter-tie)
I chose to make View B with the gathers and shorter skirt, but used the halter tie on the neck as I wanted to have a bit more give and flexibility on where the tie would occur - the button halter neck measurements might not have been exactly the correct length for my torso and I'm too lazy to have to revisit and adjust it multiple times.
The pattern was overall not too difficult to follow, however there was a moment of confusion for me when I had to line the bodice section to ensure all the internal seams were hidden. After re-reading the step several times over, analysing the diagram and then making use of my many pins, I managed to work it out.
I decided to forgo using any boning in the dress, as I thought it might be a little restrictive and unnecessary for a casual summer dress. This may have resulted in the bodice now crinkling up a little when I breathe in (yes, it's not holding me in - eep!) but it isn't too noticable.
I also understitched the top of the dress, which was not part of the pattern, but I find that it nicely finishes off lined garments.
The last alteration I made was to cut a slightly larger width bodice front and back to cater for my wide rib-cage. I have to say that that was the best thing I did with the dress since it now just fits me.
I have to say though for an 'It's So Easy' pattern from Simplicity, I didn't think it was particularly easy compared to some other patterns I've looked at.
Would I do it again?
I really like the femininity of the gathered skirt. I'd be interested to see how the pleated version would turn out, and also how this would work in a more flashy fabric, but I do have some reservations about how long it took me to sew this up - from start to finish it took me over 2 days.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, considering lazy me didn't create a muslin and didn't really do much in the way of measuring myself. I also think I really need to work on my zips - the zip on the dress eventually worked out but I wouldn't want anyone to look too closely at the stitching ;)
* I'm experimenting with my iPhone camera a bit so apologies if the photos are a bit grainy.