I decided to make a white pique dress for my daughter since she wears more dresses than I do. It's difficult to find patterns in size 4 but we agreed on Simplicity 1650. We looked beyond the peplum to the basic lines of the pattern. I made a muslin to check the fit and it's a good thing I did. One adjustment that definitely needs to be made before cutting is the width across the front neckline area. I had to take out about 3/4 inch from the front width by moving the pattern over at the fold about 3/8 inch at the top only. Otherwise, I would have been adding darts to the front neckline!
The front princess seams needed to be taken up a bit but I decided to adjust that after cutting out the bodice so that I could pin the adjustments on her body. I compared the skirt to a favorite skirt pattern and it was very close so adjustments were easy for the skirt.
We liked the cap sleeve but not the gathers at the top especially for the weight of the pique. I spent more time on the sleeves than any other part of the process. I don't know a lot about sleeve drafting so I laid the cap sleeve pattern (with the extra fullness folded out) on top of tracing paper on top of the basic short sleeve and drafted a new sleeve with the parts that I liked from each.
I added self-fabric piping to the neckline and to the bottom of the sleeves. I love piping! I used a Bernina #3 buttonhole foot which has grooves in the bottom and I was able to get a lot closer to the cord than with a zipper foot. I also used the #3 foot for the invisible zipper and it worked just as well, if not better, than my invisible zipper foot.
This is the sleeve piping before understitching with the lining opened out from the sleeve. The piping is tapered at the underarm seam to reduce bulk.
I made thread loops at the side seams with a method I learned from a Children's Corner pattern many years ago when I smocked for my daughters. I think I might be a nerdy seamstress because I counted the number of loops so that the thread chains on each side would match!
Here she is all accessorized for an evening out.
Evening out without the belt.
This is the casual daytime version with brown leather belt and strappy wedges, brown wood beads, and a denim jacket.
This is the blank canvas. My daughter loves the dress. I think she will be able to wear this very classic style for many years, dressed up or down, or somewhere in between.
I lined the dress with a poly/cotton batiste and inserted an invisible zipper in the back. Total cost of the dress is $16 for pique, lining, and zipper with coupons and my "over 55" senior discount at Hancock Fabrics!
Link here to my review of this dress on Patternreview.