Pattern Description: Slightly A-line, knee-length shift dress with v-neck option and front darts.
Pattern Sizing: (8-18) I made a size 12 bodice blending out to a size 14 at hips.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, except I did not include the neckline ruffle for this version.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, extremely easy.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's easy, perfect for a quick, cute make. I have made this dress before and love the forgiving shape, its perfect for a summer dress.
Fabric Used: 2 1/2 yards cotton in the Alexander Henry Mocca Chocolate print (c. 2003) from my stash, bought years ago. This feels like a thin crisp poplin and doesn't wrinkle! 1/2 yard matching red rayon challis from Hancock Fabrics for the contrast skirt border.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made no size changes because my other version of this dress still fits well and I had altered the pattern pieces at that time. However, both the drape, weight, and neckline of that one was different and I should have taken that into consideration. I ended up shortening the shoulder length by 3/4" inch because the bodice would rise above my shoulders when I sat down. There was too much length from armscye to shoulder seam, something that wasn't as noticeable in the first dress.
It took me a long time to finish this dress because I didn't have enough fabric and had to add a border of a different fabric to the bottom to make up the length, much like my other dress. The print fabric does not wrinkle; however, the challis does and did not have as much body. Therefore, I used two layers of the challis, a self-lining of sorts, to provide more structure and eliminate the need for a hem.
Instead of trying to cut straight on the slippery challis, instead I pulled threads to straighten the grain, making a perfect rectangle, that I folded it in half, and attached one side to the bottom of the dress and hand sewed the other over the seam, encasing it inside. Both fabrics pressed well and resulted in a neat border. I finished the inside side seams by folding the seam allowances under and stitching down the middle, leaving no raw edges visible.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will probably make this dress many more times. However, for some reason, the dress feels a wee bit looser this time, perhaps the linen version shrunk at some point. I love that this dress pattern can be adapted and changed infinitely. It would look lovely as a brocade cocktail shift from the 60's. If you can not find this exact same pattern, there is now a more recent version, New Look 6095. It is a quick dress to whip up in a day or two. Just remember to buy enough fabric!
Conclusion: I knew this was a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric. I wanted a simple dress design that wouldn't steal thunder from the large, bold, and colorful print and I believe I succeeded.