This dress could also carry several alternative subtitles:
- The simplest dress pattern in the world
- How to break sewing rules
- Continued high-necked adventures for full busted ladies
The pattern is about as simple as they come, just a single dart at each side of the bust and a slashed opening at the centre back neck meaning no zipper to install (hurrah!). Both front and back are cut on the fold and the neck edge is finished with a facing. The pattern was originally designed to be made from lace and as such it has 1cm (3/8″) seam allowances on the side seams but not at the hem of the sleeves or skirt as this would be where the scalloped lace edge would end.
The downloaded pattern only reached a size 44 (US 12) and my measurements fall a way above that so the first step was to grade that puppy up using this Threads Tutorial. I went up one size in the shoulders (selected using my high bust measurement) and three sizes at the waist and hips. For my first time properly grading a pattern, it went a lot smoother than expected.
Then I added a 2 inch Full Bust Adjustment using the basic slash and spread method (I’ll do a quick post on this in a mo). You can see above how the FBA-altered piece compares to the original (in purple).
When it came to cutting out, I was struggling to make everything fit nicely as I’d purchased the fabric before choosing a pattern which is most unlike me. So, being that I was already breaking the rules by using quilting cotton as fabric, I just cut the pattern pieces running 90 degrees to the selvage instead of parallel to it. With a nice square weave, it doesn’t seem to have caused any damage… in fact the world did not actually implode with either of these dalliances 😉
Being so simple and with the least challenging fabric to sew ever the dress went together in a jiffy. I gave the instructions only a brief glance as Burda’s reputation for bungled instructions had preceded it, but they didn’t seem awful just not very detailed.
Here it is un-hemmed. Now some might recall my habit for choosing patterns meant for tall willowy slight-busted girls, despite my own tall cleverly curvy physique. Here’s where these two go head to head.
The full bust adjustment left enough room at the front but then falls straight down, creating a fairly decent impression of a tent.
So despite not wanting to interrupt the delightful poppies, I added two darts to the front and back.
I’m so happy with the end result. It’s a little retro, a little modern, a lot of fun.