Here's the dress on a hanger, front and back.
I really like this dress, and when I put it on this morning to take pictures, Hubby said, "Wow, I think that's the best thing you've ever made!" One of the things I like is that the olive green background of the fabric is pretty much the same color as my eyes (color is accurate above). One thing I don't like so much is that for some reason which I haven't been able to figure out yet, the waistband doesn't meet up in the back, although everything else does:
On the other hand, thanks to my new invisible zipper foot, I've done my best zipper insertion ever. Look at the difference when compared to the Parfait dress I made a year and a half ago - at the time I was pretty darned proud of myself for that zipper!
The purpose of making this dress was to experiment with fit. I made my first one in a straight size 6, as Sewaholic's size 6 measurements are the same as mine. I was happy with the dress, but felt that the fit was somewhat looser than what I've been seeing around on other ladies. My ultimate goal is to make the dress in a very special fabric gifted to me by Andrea; before I cut into that piece, I want to make sure I have the fit I want with this pattern. I also wanted to try out the full-skirted version just to see how I liked it, as A-line is my default skirt shape.
The verdict? Well, I'm not really sure. The size 6 fits. The size 4 also fits, but in a different way.
It also occurred to me that getting the right fit depends on first deciding what that means to you: I've decided that fit is a very subjective thing. I'm happy with both my dresses; they both fit, and I think they both look good on me. I haven't yet decided which silhouette I like better though: the relaxed easiness of the first one, or this more retro fit. I'm also not in the least surprised that Hubby prefers the closer fit!
I didn't actually do any adjustments on this muslin - I made a straight size 4. I did however bring the shoulder pieces down further than recommended into the openings at the neckline, and more on the right side, which brings that shoulder seam forward. What I ought to have done is sew the right shoulder seam about a quarter of an inch deeper. Maybe next time.
Interestingly, I have a couple of gapes on this dress which I also have on the larger size: one at the peaks of the sweetheart neckline, and the other at the back of the armhole. I haven't yet figured out how to deal with these (or even if I need to), although for the neckline I'm thinking a little interfacing would help.
And of course, no post would be complete without me confessing my errors. I had decided that I wanted to skip the pockets on this one, because I've always found pockets on full skirts to be kind of tedious - you have to shift so much fabric around to find the opening. What I didn't realize until I'd cut out all my fabric and begun sewing is that the pockets on this version are not at the side seams: those seams have been brought in toward the center to make the pockets more easily accessible. Thankfully, my print was busy enough that it doesn't really show.
I also found this version a little trickier to sew, just because of the mass of fabric in the skirt. I felt like I spent way more time shifting it all around, and of course there's more to deal with in the gathering and hemming. Still, I like the end result - it's very feminine, and goes well with my red pumps!