As promised, here is one of my recent creations. I made a "Hilary Duff" pattern for the first time. Other than her photo on the envelope I wonder what she actually has to do with the design. But I think a lot of "her" patterns are fresh designs and very wearable.
I really like the bodice of this dress- it is pleated at the neckline and has gathers under the bust. The midriff is pulled in which creates a flattering look for the midsection. And it's lined which gives you the opportunity to use a fabric that would otherwise be too sheer for a dress.
I used an embroidered, swiss dot cotton material from Gorgeous Fabrics. I spent about $24 on that fabric. For the lining I used bemberg voile lining, also from Gorgeous Fabrics. I love this lining! I have used it in more than one project and it has a nice soft feeling against the skin. It's a little difficult to sew with because it squirms around quite a bit, but the finished product is very nice. I spent about $15 for the lining. Then I just needed a zipper for the back.
The pattern is called "easy", and it very much is. I probably spent about 5-6 hours total to put the dress together. I did not have any problems with interpreting the instructions.
I usually go down a size in the Big Four patterns. I usually make a size 16 which is what I made this. However, I've lost some weight and could have gone down to a 14. It's not huge- but could probably be better fitting around the bust and midriff. I am also a shorty and usually have to take length off. However, I actually added about two inches to the length because I didn't want it as short as it is in the photos. I am happy with the new length.
Overall, I am happy with the dress. It is great for warmer weather. The swiss-dot combined with the lining are still light enough to keep me cool when it's hot outside. This one will look cute with a cardigan over it as well.