Hey, so remember that Wardrobe Challenge I started back in the spring?! Me too! No seriously, I haven't forgotten about it. And here's some proof! I made a dress. And I really like it. And I've already worn it a bunch of times. I declare this piece a complete success, contrary to entry #1, which is a moderate success.
The pattern comes from a Japanese sewing book called "One Piece" (ISBN 978-4-579-11149-7) and is #6. When I first chose this pattern, I was a little worried that the shapelessness of the dress would make me look like I was wearing a potato sack. Um, I was totally right. Somehow it looks super cute on the model in the book, but it was less than flattering on me.
So, once I had the whole thing sewed up (except the bias binding on the armholes) I ended up taking the sides in 1" at each armhole and about 2" on each side. I also added two darts in the back to make it more fitted. This helped a lot and made it much dress-like and less sack-like. Which, in my opinion, is pretty much always a good thing.
As per usual, I couldn't decipher the neckline instructions and ended up sort of fudging it, but you can't really tell and as long as it doesn't start fraying, I'm 100% okay with how it turned out. This is the third Japanese sewing book I've used and I continue on with my philosophy that these patterns are really more of a suggestion or guide, and you're completely expected to take your own creative liberties, you know, since you can't actually read the instructions. I never expect my pieces to turn out exactly as they are in the books. That said, I did consult this post when translating the sizing chart so I knew which size to make. If you are going to look into Japanese patterns, I would also suggest just googling the ISBN and you're more than likely to find some blog posts or forums with tips about the book you're using.
The fabric I used is an oxford cotton which I got on major clearance at Mill End a couple of years ago and seeing as this dress used up about 1/3 of how much I have, you'll probably be seeing it again in the future...With this dress, I was really going for an everyday casual thing and I think I ended up with a semi-nice work dress. Luckily, I think this dress can really double as either one, and conveniently, those were both holes in my wardrobe. Not to mention, this dress would look super cute with a long-sleeved shirt underneath and some cute tights and boots for fall. Again, I would say a complete success.
ps: I recently realized that this dress (color and all) looks just like an old girl's dress of Martha's, hmmm. I swear, it's a coincidence :)