This dress started out terribly, beginning with my experience buying the fabric. At one point, Brandon even declared it the ugliest thing I’ve ever made. Eventually, though, with some creativity, I turned it around.
Before I dive into a project, I like to find that others have had success with the pattern. There wasn’t a lot of evidence of success with this one, though. I could only find two reviews of it…one on pattern review, and one blog post. I learned enough to lengthen the dress (by 1.5 inches), but that was about it. That was strike one.
Then, I had an awful experience at Joann’s buying fabric for the dress. I originally wanted to make this in a bright, fun, springy floral print. But, Joann’s didn’t have their spring fabric out yet – despite the 70 degree temperatures in March when I went shopping. I finally settled on this blue and off-white stretch twill. But then, Joann’s didn’t have an off-white invisible zipper that was long enough. I settled on a tan color instead. Finally, there was some sort of computer glitch going on and they couldn’t check any one out. The check-out line was sort of held hostage until everything came back online. I left Joann’s feeling pretty discouraged, but I resolved to treat this dress as a wearable muslin instead of the final dress I had envisioned.
The pattern came together easily and quickly. I made view A in size 6 (smaller than my measurements as is usual with Big 4 patterns). The most time consuming part of the process was making and attaching the ruffles to the sleeves and neckline. Then I tried it on….
And yikes. The fit was awful, like worse than a potato sack awful. I wish I took a picture so you could see the before and after. It was at this point that Brandon made his disparaging remark, and I almost threw in the towel. I figured it was worth at least trying to make it fit, though, so I gave it a go.
With the dress on, I pinned it to be more fitted. First, I shaped the side seams to come in at the waist, up to 2″ on each side. Then, I also added some darts in the back for some additional shaping. These were not measured, but more guesstimated based on pinning my own back. These were similar fit adjustments to what I did on my black and white Coco dress.
And with all of those changes, I must say that this dress fits pretty well now! It is still on the short side, for sure, but I think that helps to balance out the ruffles and sleeves. After all of that work, I don’t think that I will end up making the original floral version of the dress that I envisioned. The silhouette is quite distinctive, so one is enough for my wardrobe.
Pattern: Simplicity 8264, view A in size 6
Fabric: 1 5/8 yards Off-white and blue stretch twill from Joann’s @ $7.79/yard
Notions: 20″ invisible zipper, thread
Cost: $12.67 fabric + $2.99 thread + $2.39 zip = $18.05 ($19.05 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 7 hours