You can see my first version here, and my second here. This is the Coastal Breeze pattern, by Make It Perfect. I could wear a million of these. It's such a quick sew, with a great result. I love the band in the middle that allows for fun color combinations and customization.
This is a size XS. Previously, I had a bit of gaping at the center back, and I wanted to narrow the neckline to cover my bra straps. I've finally got my pattern altered to be almost perfect (get it? make it perfect?). I very rarely make a pattern more than once, and three times is almost unheard-of, so you know I love it for realz.
I did make one minor change to the pattern design, just to see how it looked. The pattern calls for six pleats in the front and six in the back. This is easily the most time-consuming part. It's not terrible, but I wanted to see how it would look with gathering in the skirt instead of pleats. Remember, I gather with my serger, so it takes almost no time. I like the gathers, but I think the pleats probably look more...fancy? High-end? In any case, it's nice to have options for future dresses.
Let's talk about the fabric. This is a lightweight (though not sheer) cotton knit print. In case you weren't aware, AB wears cloth diapers, and two years ago I ran across one made from this fabric (it's not waterproof, you add a waterproof cover). Anyway, I fell in love with the fabric and thought the colors were beautiful. Imagine my extreme joy when I found the fabric at The Fabric Fairy! (Now, it appears to be sold out there, so, sorry...it's called "gala floral pucci knit" if you wanted to know.) I ordered two yards and...nothing. I did nothing. I barely even took it out of the plastic bag in which it was packaged. It gets worse. A year after that, it was on sale, and I bought three more yards! Now it was serious. I needed to make something with it, finally.
The best part? The print fits my Wardrobe Architect color scheme (pinks and blues...although really it's red). Don't get me started on how hard it is to find a good print in a specific color scheme!
If I had to do it over again, I would have used something a little more substantial for the middle band. You can see in the above photo that it sags a bit under the weight and ripples slightly. The band is a lightweight rayon knit and I basically only choose it because of the color. So now you know, in case you make this dress.
I think three of these is enough for one summer, but you can bet I'll be pulling the pattern out again next year! Do you have fabric you refuse to use? I have to tell you, being able to wear the fabric instead of petting it on my shelf is WAY WAY better!