I've had this pattern in my stash for a while now and I've seen some great versions around blogland so I thought I'd give it a try on this great fabric (found here). It turns out I didn't have enough plain cotton fabric to make a muslin out of so I read a whole lot more reviews on the pattern before getting started. Every review said it turned out two sizes too big so I knew I could err on the side of caution and cut a slightly smaller size. So being all brave I cut into the real fabric and got started.
They were right. They were absolutely right. The dress turned out huge and I ended up sewing it up the sides to the equivalent of about 2 sizes. Then I tried it on again and figured out that wasn't enough and I'd have to take it in another couple of centimetres. Seriously. So if you intend on trying this make a muslin or just cut one out two sizes too small and save yourself all that fabric!
In fact it chewed through so much fabric to make it in the first place that I ended up having to cut the side pieces on the weirdest angle - thank goodness the print is really forgiving! Also the pockets aren't as deep as they should be because I ran out of a little bit of fabric there too. Oh and then I realised it was going to be sleeveless because I couldn't fit the sleeve pattern piece across the scraps I had left. Bah!
So in the end this changed from being a pattern that gives a little nod to the fifties with a boatneck and little capped sleeves to being a regular summer dress. I figured if I was going to go sleeveless I might as well make it summery and cut a bit of a scoop neck into it so I could wear it on hotter days.
I loved the light blue colour peeking through between the purple print and decided to sew it up with the light blue thread as well as a light blue zipper. Although I think I did something weird when sewing the pockets up but again I think the print is pretty forgiving with that.
In the end I really like this pattern. I love the deep pockets and the A line skirt which brings your waist in. I also like that I paid enough attention to cut it to a more comfortable length than the Mint Herringbone Dress - I love that dress but I cut it just a little too short for my comfort.
I think I'd use this pattern again. Maybe with a solid colour or colourblocked on the side panels seeing as it's really simple to do that with this design. It was certainly kinder to me than Simplicity 2444 so I'm really glad, of the two, that this was the one I didn't make the muslin of.
Now bring on summer so I can get frollicking in the sunshine!