I decided I was going to make it into a European style dress and came up with this pattern: it’s Burda 9/2012 #109. It’s a really simple dress with only two large darts in the front and only a centre back seam for shaping.
So this is my result:
I used a white cotton batiste to underline the front and back pieces, the sleeves are unlined. I did think long and hard about the pattern matching, but you can see on the back of the dress that the result isn’t quite perfect. But at least I am making progress – I never used to even consider pattern matching at all until I started reading sewing blogs and getting inspiration from there.
Another thing I learned from following you sewists is to insist on a better fit, even if the pattern does fit perfectly from the word go. I have always had problems with gaping at the back neckline and always simply accepted this as the home-sewer’s look. Not any more! I learned to add some darts to take out the surplus width at the back neckline. Finishing with the white binding rather than with a facing was an afterthought and so it does not sit flush with the top end of the zip. I am treating this as a design statement rather than an oversight…
I also added two tiny pleats to take out the fullness at the front neckline (I usually trace a size 40 because I need the general width but I would not need the cup size) otherwise I always always have gaping problems there as well. You can hardly see the pleats, they are hidden in the paisley just above my collar-bone. You can also just about make out the difference in the transparent sleeve and the underlined rest of the dress.
This is in fact the first time I have used underlining and overall that was a good experience. I feared all sorts of sliding and shifting of layers of fabric, but using cotton underlining did not really make that an issue. There are a couple of creases on the inside, but as I did not decide to photograph those I don’t feel so bad about them 😉
Overall I am happy with the way this turned out. I am always a bit nervous about wearing white what with all the options for getting stains on it, so I am not sure how much I am going to wear the dress. But for those occasions where I do want a white summer dress I am set up ok, don’t you think?