But for right now, I give to you the most perfect dress pattern in the world: Simplicity 7541, a vintage 1997 pattern for a pullover a-line dress. It had been in my stash for about a year before I finally made it up, and since then, I've made FOUR of these in different fabrics. I only have pics of one of the dresses--no wait, I made one for my Galveston beach weekend with my sister and she snapped a pic when I wasn't looking.
Let's take a look:
|Front, obviously. That little buckle in the neckline isn't a sewing mishap. The dress just got hung up on m'lady and I didn't notice while I was taking the pictures.|
These pictures may not show the awesomeness of this pattern, but I assure you, it is the best for the following reasons:
1. It's only two pattern pieces.
2. No darts, no gathers, no zippers.
3. It's loose yet skims the figure for a most flattering look.
4. The a-line style would look good on ANYone, any size, any figure type.
5. Cool and comfy in summer. Could make it in wool or flannel and wear it with a cute blouse and tights for winter.
6. It's a perfect "eatin' dress." Meaning, you can pig out and your food baby won't show. That's why I made several for the beach, because my sister and I planned on eating fancy cheeses, salty meats, tiny pickles, crackers, and desserts all weekend, washed down with plenty of whisky, wine, and vodka.***
The pattern comes in two lengths. I made the shorter one and I made it without the pockets. I don't have time for pockets.
The neckline and armholes are supposed to be finished with facings. I didn't use facings.
In my first version of this dress, I used a very lightweight cotton lawn and did a self-fabric lining.
In the yellow version, I lined it with a cotton gauze but I think that was overkill. I just didn't want to do facings.
On the black dress above, I used bias binding for the neck and armholes, which ended up taking longer than putting the dress together.
In retrospect, I think that facings are best if you are using a heavier fabric for this dress. If you're using a lightweight fabric, lining it works best.
The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the waist by about an inch and a half, because I'm very short-waisted. The pattern does have a slightly fitted bodice in that there's a waist indentation on the pattern, so I felt it would have looked "off" if I hadn't shortened the waist.
I love styles like this because as someone who has tummy issues and frequently has to deal with sudden bouts of bloating (more like inflating, to be honest), I appreciate being able to wear comfortable clothing that's still cute and flattering. A dress doesn't have to hug the body or emphasize any particular part of it to still be cute.
***that lasted about 18 hours and then all we wanted to eat was salad and boiled shrimp.