In this post
I asked for help picking a dress pattern. I wear skirts pretty often, but I never wear dresses, and I was looking for help to find something flattering for a busty girl, which also made an impact.
After a lot of input from people here and at Pattern Review, I made a choice and as of last night finally finished the dress! I'm starting a new thread because I wanted to address the specific patterns I used.
But first, pics! Even though I wore the outfit out last night, I only photographed it on Heddy my dummy. It fits me better. I wore it with mid-calf lace-trimmed black leggings and black/white polka dot wedge heels.
I chose Simplicity 3741
view C, which I probably wouldn't have even looked twice at if someone else hadn't pointed it out to me. After picturing it in the Alexander Henry "Born to Ride" fabric I chose -- and recognizing how simple the pattern would be to sew -- I picked it up.
I wear 16/18 in ready to wear, and I picked size 22 for this pattern. I was shocked to find that it fit me just about perfectly! I did make a couple of changes, primarily the width and location of the straps. I made them wider and angled inward at the back in order to follow along with the bra I intended to wear with the dress. Oh I also ditched the lapped back zipper because it seemed over-complicated and unnecessary. Once I had the straps in place, I also found that the length seemed kind of short to do a regular hem. I probably wouldn't have anyway because I hate hemming and I love bias tape, but this will be something for people to keep in mind -- I'm about 5'5" and BEFORE hemming, view C hit just above my knee.
Also, there's that little gather in the front there. That's not originally part of the pattern, but after I got the facing in and topstitched (maybe I shouldn't have?), the top edges were doing this weird sticky-outy thing. I started pinching the dress in various places to see what I could do to get it to flatten out, and gathering that little bit in the middle did the trick. As an added bonus, it gave me about another inch of cleavage.
The bolero jacket is from Simplicity 3748
also made in size 22. I have slightly disproportionately larger upper arms (at least I think so) and I'm very happy to say that this jacket fit me beautifully and I believe sits just as it's supposed to. It's an extremely easy pattern EXCEPT for when it comes time to line the sleeves. More than likely, this is cake to people who have done this before... but I never have, and the instructions made ZERO sense. I just kind of hacked around with it until it made sense, though, flipped it around and voila. Marvelous.
I'm very pleased with how this came out. It's a topic a lot of people have been talking about lately -- flattering summer dresses for bigger girls, which don't look either blobby or holly-hobby. I think this one does the trick!