I think I've found my perfect sun dress pattern! I've had this pattern in my stash for a year or two now and I'm so glad I finally got around to sewing it. I struggled with the top part of the pattern purely because I read the envelope wrong. Sigh. If I'd followed it properly straight out of the packet it would have been a dream sew!
Once I'd gotten the top part of the dress sorted the rest of the dress was a breeze. It's a cotton voile fabric lined with cotton voile so it was a super easy sew. I lined the top portion of the dress and I french seamed the skirt panels. Which was great until I sewed the back zipper in and realised that I had no way of french seaming that so I pinked the edges. I was going to sew bias tape to the bottom of the outer fabric and the lining independently so it could still be all swishy but again I'd already sewn that back seam so instead I trimmed both layers really carefully and treated them as one fabric when I sewed bias binding around the hem. So that means my skirt panels have french seams and they're fully enclosed. I guess my skirt is NEVER GOING TO UNRAVEL. I'm glad it all worked out this way though because having both fabrics hemmed together gives the hem a lovely body and the folds of the skirt are just a bit more pronounced which I love.
Words can't describe how much I love the cut out on the back of this dress. It's so simple but I just love it. The pattern actually calls for little straps on the ends of the cut outs and you're meant to tie the straps in a bow but that seemed a little twee for me so seeing as I was already fiddling with extending my pattern pieces I just extended them a little more so I could overlap them. I sewed two snaps on either side to keep this part together and they're pretty easy to do when putting it on (which I worried about for a while as I was putting it together).
As you can see from the photo below I sewed my straps on after. I seem to have a fear of sewing straps in the beginning of putting a dress together. Which might have something to do with ALWAYS having to shorten them. I think I shortened these by about 6 centimetres in the end. And fray stop on the ends of them will do the trick.
I really do love this pattern even though I struggled to get my sizing right after going astray. It's a winner of a pattern and it's so flattering on. Come at me hot weather - I'm ready for you!