This month's blog post is from a dress pattern I made from the book (I already own) Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Gretchen Hirsch (aka "Gertie") as I have mentioned her before. I realize some home sewists may be on the fence about her, but reading her blog is a big reason I started sewing again. I take a lot of inspiration from her.
This pattern is called the Sweetheart Sundress.
With these patterns, there are many "draft-your-own" skirts, collars, etc, which can be a fun way to customize if you're comfortable doing that. If you're not, this book may be a frustrating and defeating pipe dream. For me, skirt-drafting is no big deal, and I did draft my own 3/4 circle skirt for this dress. She calls for a dirndl skirt (rectangle with gathers at the waist), but I always find circles more flattering on me.
I made my version out of a navy gingham. It is lined with a sheer cotton batiste, and the collar and straps are white cotton poplin. I did make a muslin of this bodice because a full bust adjustment for this type of neckline was totally new to me and a little tricky. I still slashed and spread like you would for a darted FBA, but then I slashed again to close the dart on one side and add the fullness back to the front where the gathers are. Then I had to move the apex of the bust down... like a couple inches... because these girls just ain't where they used to be. The result was a WHOLE TON of gathers. I can't even show you the inside of this dress... Trust. For a well-illustrated guide on moving/converting darts, you can check out this craftsy tutorial.