I chose McCall's 6749, which was released in 2013 and is now out of print. I always loved all the lace trim incorporated into the design, but actually finding the right shade was pretty difficult. I bought 10 yards of white lace from my local fabric store and set about dyeing it the blue color in my print. It turned purple instead. I swear, I have the worst luck dyeing things. I should just give up. After the botched dye job, I decided to buy a few 1/2 yard trims from Mood to see if any of them would be suitable. (They don't swatch their trims and this is the smallest increment available.) This Powder Blue Crochet Trim was a perfect match, and I bought an additional 9 yards. There are a few other colorways on Mood's site, including navy and red. I highly recommend them. The rayon and cotton content enable it to be ironed along curves and it presses beautifully.
I cut a size 12 in the bust and tapered out to a size 14 from the waist down. After trying it on, I further narrowed the side seams from the underarms to about half way down the bodice by an inch in total. This design has a really narrow waist seam, and I have a very square body shape. This was not a difficult pattern to make, but attaching all that trim was definitely time consuming. Both the fabric and the trim behaved and pressed nicely, and I had a lot of fun sewing my dress.
I did end up using the entire 6 yards since the pattern of the fabric is so large and I was trying to match it up both horizontally and vertically. I also wanted to avoid having any of the "bullseyes" in a weird spot. As a result I was only able to cut 3 of the 4 panels for the lower ruffle. I was a little afraid that the body of this fabric would cause the ruffle to stick out strangely, so I probably would have opted for a narrower ruffle anyway.
I shortened the bodice by 1" and the hem by 1", but it is still pretty long. I've got on my super tall wedges in these pictures. I may go back and make the hem a little shorter so that I can wear flats instead. I only have a fuss factor of 1, so if I have to keep my skirt out of my way while I'm going about my day, I can't be bothered to worry about tall shoes as well. Lol.
The reason the back bodice looks a bit askew is because my right shoulder is higher then my left. When I make these kinds of dresses I adjust the length of the straps accordingly.
Before cutting into the fabric, I washed it and dried it in my machines. Texas is hot in the summer and I get sweaty. All my casual clothing must be machine washable. Nothing happened to the fabric as far as I can tell. It did not soften up nor shrink, and the gold foil looks exactly the same as before I washed it. Wearing this dress for half the day when these pictures were taken did not produce any wrinkles either.
I made fabric straps the width of my trim and sewed them to the bodice first, then covered with the trim all in one pass. I wasn't sure just having the trim to hold up a dress with this long of a skirt was a good idea. I also sewed the straps 1.25" closer to the side seams so that they would cover my bra. I still get a little peak of bra here and there (see the first picture for evidence), but honestly I just can't be bothered to wear a strapless bra with a casual dress. I used a white invisible zipper for the back closure. A gold colored zipper probably would have worked better but the white one I had on hand so I just went with it.
This pattern calls for a full lining but long skirts are already hot in my area. Adding a lining just makes it hotter. The fabric is mostly opaque, but I probably won't be standing in front of any stage lighting while wearing it. I did line the bodice, and I used a white sheeting fabric purchased from Hancock fabrics years ago. I've lined other cotton garments with it over the years, and am sad to now be completely out of it. I topstitched the seams of the bodice lining down so that when I wash this dress, no inside seams will flip up under the lining.
Of course this dress is totally out of season, but I couldn't see the fabric as anything besides warm weather clothing. And although it is currently pretty mild outside and my children are all in shorts today, I still try to dress in clothing appropriate for winter. I'm putting it in the back of my closet with my other summer clothing, and will dig it out when I do my seasonal wardrobe migration.
Note: Both the bodice fabric and the trim were purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.