The conception of this dress was that I wanted a simple, casual shift dress, cool to wear in the summer. I came across The Brigitte Dress #0001 from Simple Sew sewing patterns. It had the fit I wanted with the bust and back darts to add some shaping and the fact it was free was a bonus. The other versions online looked pretty good and there were a lot of positive comments.
I used some 112cm wide royal blue broadcloth (100% cotton), more to make a wearable muslin more than anything, and a 56cm invisible zipper. Needless to say I had so many issues with this dress, starting from sticking the PDF pages together. I’m not sure what happened as I haven’t had issues with this in the past, regardless, they just weren’t lining up for me. Instructions are very minimal but the dress is a simple design and is unlined and is for intermediate skill levels.
My first error was that the dress turned out too short for my liking but it’s my fault as I should have checked the description more closely as it clearly states its a “tunic dress” but I’ll address this later. I cut out the size I thought would be appropriate and found it was too big. I might have over estimated given I was using a woven fabric as opposed to a knit. I took in the side seams by about 3cm each side from bust to hips and then altered the skirt from the a-line shape to a straight skirt. I did this as I felt the oiginal shape was not working with the alterations and fit issues I had and was more flattering this way.
I found the bust darts way too high for me and lowered them to what felt comfortable, not really sure how much in the end. As the dress wasn’t turning out as I hoped, I omitted the included neck facings and bias bound the neckline. The sleeves also felt constrictive and the wrong length so I omitted them too, cut the bottom of the armhole wider and then bias bound the armholes. I finished both these edges with double topstitching. I also stitched on a hook and eye above the zipper but clearly forgot to do it up in the photos, ooops!
As aforementioned, my main issue was the dress was too short for my original purpose. I overcame this by adding a ruffle hem. I cut the ruffle 8 inches wide and the length was determined by using the remaining piece of fabric (160cm). I rolled hem the bottom edge and gathered the large rectangle and attached it to the dress.
So in the end this so called simple, casual summer dress that was from a “Simple Sew” company became a complicated not-so-casual dress. I wore it out to dinner and although the fabric wrinkled by the end of the night, turned out okay in the end. A couple of unbelted pictures below.
Unfortunately the pattern ended up in the bin after this attempt due to my fustrations, although I still have the PDF file saved in case I decided to alter it for next time.