The pattern that I used, as you are all probably sick of hearing by now, is Style Print 1283, which I won in a giveaway from Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place - also the host of the Sew Grateful week!
(Just like the pattern cover... except not!)
As you can see, I made view A, with the full skirt and short sleeves. I also added four belt loops (just a 1 inch strip of material folded into quarters lengthways and stitched down... probably not the best way to do it but it works!) attached at the bottom of the waist darts on the front and back, to make sure they were evenly spaced. Next time I decide that I want to attach belt loops onto a dress with a full skirt, remind me how INCREDIBLY NOT FUN it is!
I had a lot of fun making this dress, and learned a lot! It was the first time I've done anything with a collar, which came together a lot more easily than I was expecting. I had a play with more flat-felled seams, and used them on the shoulder seams, the seams closing the bottom of the sleeves (not sure what these are called), and then decided that I wanted to put them on the arm-hole seams as well! So that was incredibly fiddly, but I think it worked out well - and now it looks so beautiful on the inside!
In other news, I found out that the machine I have been using has a blind hemming foot, so I used that to do them hem of the skirt and the sleeve hems, and it looks lovely - except for where the machine decided that it would be a good idea to take a navy blue stitch straight through the centre of a red strawberry. But I think I am the only one that will be looking that closely at the hemming, so it doesn't particularly matter, not that there's much I can do about it aside from hemming all 3m of the skirt by hand.
I also rearranged the buttonholes slightly to accommodate 3 buttons, the same as Debi did in her versions (view A with full skirt, view B with straight skirt), rather than the two that the pattern called for - I get a bit paranoid about the gaps between buttons gaping unflatteringly, which has happened to me with a couple of my work blouses!
(I painted my nails navy blue for this week, and when I messed up one of my ring finger nails, I decided to try to use my feeble art skills to paint a strawberry - do you think it was a success? Also, my sister the photographer says it's very hard to take close up photos with some sort of light in summer - the sun's either overhead or set!)
I didn't make any other adjustments to the fit of this one. Because of the era that this pattern is from, the bust darts do give a bit of a 'pointy-boob' look, designed to be worn with a bullet bra. However I didn't feel confident enough to mess around with the darts, so I just left it. The slight looseness of the bodice combined with the busy print means that the slightly odd fit around the bust isn't particularly noticeable.
Overall, this was a lovely lovely pattern to work with, and I'm so glad I got to make this dress! My sister is currently working on a version of her own, so hopefully that'll appear on here at some point in the future. Debi, thank you so much for sending me this! I'll try to find it a lovely new home when the time comes - maybe next Sew Grateful week! :)
Fun photos to finish - this dress is very good for spinning in! Also, the dogs like to 'help' with photos, mostly by putting white hair all over my dress and bringing my spitty, muddy tennis balls to throw.
Thanks x 1000 go to my sister, for taking photos of me in the exotic location of the back veranda, on the first sunny day all week!