The making of this dress did not start out well.
I had some beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric in the stash that I thought would look great with this pattern but when I took it out to iron it I noticed that there were several faint (and some not-so-faint) green splotches on the fabric. Uggh! I decided I was going to make do with the fabric anyway, cut around the green splotches where I could, and hope that people wouldn't notice the green splotches where I couldn't.
Then once I sewed the bodice together I began to stress (as always) that I was making the wrong size and that there was going to be no way in hell that I was ever going to be able to zip this sucker up. In an attempt to address this issue, I installed the zipper in the back with a narrower seam allowance and ultimately I think I was saved by the fact that the dress has a partially open back. Phew!
Despite the invasion of the green splotches and the stress about whether I was ever going to be able to zip up the dress, the dress turned out just fine. And in some ways, better than fine.
I love the bohemian look of the AMH fabric on this dress and I love the detail of the partially open back. Sewing the little thread bar was a bit of a pain in the butt, but I used this tutorial from Threads and while my thread loop may not look as beautiful as theirs, I think it will function just fine.
As for the making of the dress, I pretty much followed the directions except that I used an invisible zipper in the back because an invisible zipper is by far the easiest zipper to install. Haven't tried one yet? Oh, you must! Just buy yourself an invisible zipper foot, check out some tutorials on-line, and sew away. The great thing about the invisible zipper foot is the ditch in the foot. You just stick the zipper teeth in there and go for it.
As for the fit, I think it's okay but if I were to do it again I would make the bodice a little longer (right now it hits at the bottom of my chest and I think it's actually supposed to hit right below "the girls"). I might also make the length just a wee bit longer, but other than that I'm pretty happy with the fit.
Pattern: Simplicity 3803
Fabric: From Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line
Final Thoughts: I should probably wait until it's over 40 degrees to wear it.