(Did I mention I have a new job? I have a new job. The dress requirements are a little different: semi-formal, with no casual Fridays. I hate suits -- I never wear them except to interviews -- so I mostly stick to either dresses or black pants/black sweaters/bright shirts.)
Anyway, it looked amazingly easy -- just 2 dress pieces and facings. No closures, no darts, no pleats. Easy peasy, right? The envelope called it a "1-hour" pattern.
I wound up making three muslins because this dress has so much ease. It's a tent, basically. (Some PatternReviewers made nightgowns out of it, and I can totally understand that.) Going by the measurements on the pattern envelope, I started with a size 14. It was enormous. Then I tried a 12, which was OK, but still pretty big.
I cut the fashion fabric in a size 12, interfaced the facings, and tried to attach them. The facings looked terrible, and I just couldn't get them to work because the interfacing was too heavy. Plus, I realized midway through that my white IKEA fabric was sort of see-through. Whoops.
|Well, not here. But trust me.
To complicate things even further, I went to Grey's Fabric and Notions and fell completely in love with this navy blue, Tron-esque fabric:
|Old Tron, not new (bad) Tron.
I made another muslin in a size 10. It fit but was still pretty billowy around the waist, so I decided to make a sash to go with it.
I used Crafterhours' reversible dress tutorial, and aside from some initial confusion around the shoulders (step 16) and when to hem and turn the dress out (couldn't figure that out, actually; I wound up taking it to my tailor for hemming), construction was pretty straightforward. Then I went back to the IKEA dress and used the same steps to line it in plain white cotton. (I don't think the white lining is opaque enough to be reversible, sadly.)
I made two sash belts, one in Tron fabric and black and one in plain black, by tracing around an existing belt, pinning right sides together, stitching with a 1/4" seam allowance, turning out, pressing and topstitching.
So here we go (disclaimer: it was insanely hot and humid yesterday, so I look like hell):
|Black with blue Tron belt
|Blue Tron dress with black belt
|IKEA dress, no belt, pay no attention to the cat hair on the sofa
|Reversible, Tron belt
|Reversible, plain black belt
|Blurry IKEA dress with belt
|IKEA, no belt
All told, these took around 2 weeks to do. Now that I have it down, though, I'd make it again.
Conclusion: It's a nice, easy pattern, but if you want something fitted, look elsewhere.