I stumbled across Elaine's blog a while ago and adored her stylish creations & witty tone (her FAQ is hilarious). I also couldn't believe she was offering such a cute downloadable dress pattern.
I love sewing, but I don't make a lot for myself. That's because it's usually tough to get a good fit without a lot of slight changes, since I'm short & thin-ish, but still a little curvy. And when you've got 3 kids under 10, you don't have a lot of free time to sew, let alone time to make a muslin first, fiddle with alterations and then get to actually sewing the item. But since this was free I was willing to give it a go and I had an accidental epiphany of how to save time too.
I found this fabulous, retro kitchen appliance print fabric (from Jo-Ann's last summer - totally should have bought more!!), but the issue was it was too see-through to use on it's own.
The pattern has a facing around the armholes & neck, but that wouldn't be enough to cover the goods, so I decided to make a full lining out of plain muslin. I now do this for nearly every new dress pattern I try. For one it gives a nice finished lining for the whole of the dress and doesn't really take much more time than fiddling with multiple facing pieces. For two, it IS the practice muslin, so any goofs, changes, etc. are done to the cheap interior, not the nice print fabric, so big time saver. No fabric or time wasted on something I won't use.
The amazing thing was I didn't have to make a bunch of changes, I used her original size 32 version and just did a slightly smaller seam allowance and it was perfect. Even the length!! It's got a nice fitted shape thanks to some well placed darts & the zip up back gives it a smooth look too.
I just had to slipstitch the lining on the zipper sides, but that was pretty quick to do while watching tv one night.
The only other change was that I skipped the ruffled bit at the front. With a pattern this busy, it would have been too much, but I'd definitely add it to future dresses, because it adds just the right amount of designer-style flair.
You can find the pattern HERE on The Selfish Seamstress's downloads page (just scroll down to the bottom for this dress - there are other great patterns there too).
Have you found any awesome free clothing patterns? I'd love if you shared the links in the comments.