I have to say straight up that this is my favourite dress ever. Handmade or not it wins hands down. I adored the fabric from the moment I laid eyes on it and knew I wanted to turn it into a Simplicity 2444 even after my long drawn out battle the last time I tackled this pattern.
So let's talk about this pattern. Last time I had serious fit issues that lead me to do all crazy kinds of things to get it to vaguely fit me. This time when I made a muslin I realised that I had completely misdiagnosed the fit problems. This was both good and bad. It means that one year on my sewing and fitting has improved so much that I now get lightbulb moments when faced with things I used to consider a problem. The bad thing is that I now had different fitting problems to address.
The sole reason I struggle with this pattern (and any pattern with a fitted bodice) is because I really should learn how to do an SBA. Like really. I cheated this time (again) by making a 12 in the bodice with a size 6 above the bust so I could cut down the gapey-mcgapeness. This sorta-kinda-mostly does the job to make it looks like it fits but presents a teeny problem when the armscyes/sleeves aren't big enough (to fit over my giant bulging biceps - donchaknow?). It gives me about 80-90% normal range of motion in my shoulders/arms which I am going to quietly call a win on a really pretty dress - until I can actually address my fit issues.
I also added about 4 centimetres to the bottom of the bodice pattern so it would sit on my natural waist. Not that I have a long torso, or that I'm tall (5"2 and proud) I think this pattern is just naturally quite short.
I think it really is time for me to find a dress shape similar to this but with regular darts that are parallel up to the apex of the bust so that I can practise an SBA and have a bodice that will become a "block" for me to Frankenpattern with.
I ogled this fabric for quite some time to make sure I could get some epic print matching happening on both the front and the back. From afar the back lapped zipper is barely visible because the print is so match-matchy. Truth be told it's off by mere millimetres (which is oh so frustrating) but I think I can handle it.
Oh and I spent so much time focussing on matching the bodice I kinda ran out of fabric (just a teensy bit) on the side of the skirt pieces. So I cut out some triangles and sewed them in there like they were always meant to be. Plus they turned out match-matchy.
I loved this fabric and the resulting dress so much I made a matching headscarf. I had headscarf envy from seeing Amy rockin' one on her blog. She followed this tutorial from BlueGingerDoll and so did I.
And here I am wearing the whole ensemble proudly. Love this dress!