I shall just forewarn you, my dear readers, this is going to be a slightly picture heavy post. My wonderful sister managed to capture some fantastic photographs with my parents' camera, and it is amazing how much of a difference a real camera vs. an iPhone camera makes! Before I get into the pattern review, let me show you the dress:
I must say, I love this dress! While I was making it, I was so concerned that it would flop, or that I would never want to wear it, but in the end, it turned out just a fabulously as I hoped! The fabric was a gift so I do not know exactly what it is. It is drapey and slightly slinky, rather like satin or silk. I only had five yards of it, and the pattern, Simplicity 8013, calls for ten. Ten! I decided that I would take a peek at the pattern pieces, and see if I could manage it somehow. It turns out that the main reason why it requires so much fabric was due to the skirt and the skirt lining. I knew I wanted the full skirt, but when I read through the skirt instructions, I realized that it wouldn't affect the finished dress in the least to omit the lining. Yay! I did have to shorten the sleeves and cut the bodice lining out of some stash lining fabric, but, with some creative pattern tetris, (and less than perfect attention to grain lines on some pieces. . .) I managed to get the full length and width of the skirt out of my fabric. I cut a straight size 14 with no pattern adjustments.
The pattern came together much easier than I had anticipated. I did make a slight mistake though. I didn't pay enough attention to the instructions, and I pleated the bodice front before attaching the bodice lining, when it was actually supposed to be vice versa. It caused some awkwardly thick seams, but I made it work. I had already completed the pleats and attached the lining before I realized the problem. Now I know for next time! If I make this pattern again I will definitely need to add an FBA. I was going to attempt it with this variation, but I chickened out and just decided to see how it went. Without the additional length that my bust needs, the dress is more of an empire waist which isn't necessarily bad, but it isn't my favorite.
Since the skirt is SO FULL, I added a waist stay to help with some of the weight. I used some polka dot grosgrain ribbon that I had in my stash, and a plastic snap. I also added some lingerie guards to the shoulders to avoid any unsightly lingerie straps peeping out. I knew that an invisible zipper would never hold up on this dress, which meant that a lapped zipper was the order of the day.
I am extremely happy with this dress. There are a couple of issues with it, but I love wearing it! It makes me feel truly elegant. What more could a lady ask for in a dress?
Have a jolly day!