lover of vintage clothes
Buy 4 yards of 44” fabric. There are pieces for which there are not paper patterns, so there is more than there appears to be in the layout diagram.
I used a slinky rayon for my mock-up, and while slithering into the finished dress is possible, I recommend using a side zipper. If you make a winter dress of wool, or any non-stretchy fabric, it is going to be darn hard to pull the waist down over your chest. And if you have wide shoulders, you risk blowing a seam pulling it either on or off. You don’t want to go to this much work and then rip a seam!
This is not an intuitive pattern and the instructions are sparse, so I highly recommend you make a mock-up in advance because some of the techniques you have to figure out as you go and the drawing is not clear. This dress actually does have a half-wrap front, with a tie around back. From the drawing I thought the wrap was merely ornamental and not structural, but the left front piece does remain free at the bottom and you pull it tight when you tie the tie in back. I sewed both front pieces to the skirt hem, and it works fine that way, too (I could not figure out how to hem the front piece properly, and gave up).
There is about 50% top stitching in this dress. I recommend you sew the first time as close to the rolled edge as possible, and then a second time 1/4” away from the first seam. And buy a lot of thread, because you don’t want to run out and have something non-matching!
If you have a friend with a serger, do try to finish your edges in advance; because of the top-sewing, you can’t serge when you are finished.
When the dress is finished it fits like a dream! Good chest enhancement (without darts), the waist tie accentuates your waist, and the hips are nice and roomy with a good amount of swing in the skirt. (I think it's possible to make just the bottom half, add a waistband and side zipper, and have a great stand-alone skirt, too.)
I can see making this in both summer and winter versions, and wearing it often.
Reviewed by: Sandra Spencer from Oregon.