This one is an oldie but a goodie.
I first made this dress from an orange/brown floral printed polyester crepe back in around 1994 or 95. I really liked it at the time, and since I still have pretty much all the patterns I’ve sewn in my adulthood, I was able to locate the pattern to make it again. Almost 20 years later.
It still had the folds where I had shortened the torso length. I made size 12, the same as last time (it was a single sized pattern). Looking at these photos, it could have done with a small FBA. It’s not actually as noticeable in real life that there are some drag lines at the side of the bust. These photos were taken in very bright light and every tiny fold, wrinkle or pucker has been highlighted!
The fabric is the same high quality navy woven from Darn Cheap that I recently used to make some loose pants. I paired it with some beaded trim near the hemline (also from Darn Cheap). The hem has been secured with a machine blind hem, that also looks much more obvious in this photo than it does in real life.
There were a couple of slight modifications to the assembly. I used an invisible zip in the centre back, rather than centring a regular one, so was then also able to use Nikki‘s method of attaching a facing to an invisible zip to neatly finish the inside back neckline. She details this in her A-line skirt pattern – I refer to it all the time!
The wide stitched pleats actually give princess line shaping to the front. They release just below the bust, which is something that I always like in a dress. After I attached the sleeves I realised that there was way too much ease. They needed shoulder pads to sit properly – and I wasn’t interested in adding them. So I unpicked most of the sleeve armscye, re-sewed the shoulder seam to angle it down about another quarter of an inch at the armhole, then set the sleeves back in again with a small inverted pleat at the shoulder seam. I’m pretty happy with this solution. It means that there is still plenty of room in the sleeves for my “muscular” biceps and triceps.
It was interesting to make the same pattern again so many years later. I almost feel as though I’m in my early twenties again when I put it on. Is that a good thing? I’m not convinced. Older does mean wiser for me! I don’t refer to the instructions as much when I’m sewing something as I did back then, and happily did things like the sleeves, shoulder seams and the neck facing “my way”. I think I’m a little more confident, and aware that just because the instructions say to do things one way, it doesn’t mean that I have to.
Maybe it’s time to pull out the old Knitwit patterns from the early 1990s and see if they can be revived as well!