First up, I didn't buy enough fabric. I didn't go out intending to buy fabric, I didn't have the pattern with me and it's out of print. But John Lewis had this pink cotton eyelet with a butterfly motif on sale. So I guessed at 1m and it turned out I needed 1.5m. (When I say "on sale" it was still £8/m down from £17, so I didn't want to buy more than 1m at that price).
But... luckily the gathered skirt was huuuuuge so I just took out some width and got creative with the cutting layout, I used New Look 6850 -the pattern is a basic bodice, sleeveless or short-sleeved, with two neckline options, and a gathered skirt. I cut view D with the higher neckline from View A, choosing size 3, with the length of size 4.
Second I decided to change the centre back closure, to do away with the centre back zipper and swap it for a button back. This meant adding an overlap to the centre back bodice. Also given the design of the dress with a waist seam, I needed to add a continuous placket to the skirt section. I had never even heard of one of those!
But... I searched for info online and just dived straight in. These are the two tutorials I used to figure out my pattern changes:
* Changing a zipper back to a button back
* Sewing a continuous bound placket
Yes, my first attempt at a continuous placket was in my good fabric, when I had absolutely none left to re-cut if i messed up. (This photo shows what was left when I finished cutting my pattern pieces, I couldn't do anything with that!) For the continuous placket-thingy, I used a section of selvedge which didn't have any embroidery as it was much easier to sew through multiple layers this way. And I had decided to eliminate the centre back skirt seam and fully line the skirt so I had to factor that into things too. Thankfully it worked.
Thirdly I changed the order of construction as I sewed. I guess you could say I used the original pattern as a guideline, but I wanted the side seams to be sewn in one, and right at the end of construction. I know its a bit crazy making a summer dress for a growing child this late in the summer so I wanted to make the dress easy to alter. I figured that the skirt as long enough to allow for some growing, but she may need a little extra wiggle room in the bodice to make this fit next year.
But... it worked! It really worked! And it even looks pretty inside!
Luck over skill this time? I think so! Despite all my pattern changes and fabric hiccups, I am so proud of the finished dress. The seams all matched up perfectly, there was no unpicking at all. It looks great and feels way more expensive than it was (in my humble opinion!!) This dress was really fun to make. It went together pretty quick over the course of Sunday afternoon, with just the buttons and hem to complete yesterday.
Fabric: Cotton eyelet from John Lewis, embroidered with a butterfly design. Originally £17/m, down to £8 in the sale. Lined with a pink lawn, £3.25/m also on sale.
Notions: 3 flower buttons and thread from stash (dontcha just love having a stash!)
Pattern: OOP New Look 6850, gifted in a swap from Tania.
End result: a lot of sewing luck and one happy kiddo.