This is the kind of dress I can imagine wearing for an afternoon on a yacht or drinking wine spritzers at the marina. The design is sweet and sophisticated, just like my nautical picks earlier this week. The contrasting cap sleeves are reminiscent of an epaulet, giving the dress the look of a military uniform. The length is short and the cut not-so modest (with the low cut front and short sleeves) but the loose fit and flouncy skirt keep it far from trashy.
The pattern is Vogue V1344 by Rebecca Taylor. I've seen that a few people say that they thought the design was frumpy and unflattering but I wanted to give it a go anyway. I have a lot of loose elastic waist dresses that I think are flattering so I wasn't that worried about the fit. I lengthened the waist by a little over an inch because I have a long waist.
The only other change I made was to the elastic waist. First, I eliminated the casing because I didn't think it was necessary. Then I shortened the length of the elastic by quite a bit. I originally used the length indicated by the elastic guide and stitched it on but it didn't gather the waist enough for a fitted look. I unpicked the elastic, determined a length that would be comfortably tight on my waist and re-stitched it to the waist seam.
I started this dress as part of Selfish Sewing Week. It was a little more involved than I anticipated and I didn't manage to finish it that week. The dress was fairly easy to make but it does have a lot of details. There are the pleats at the shoulders, a front faux-wrap that needs to be hemmed, a lining with a facing and contrasting sleeve caps.
I really like the design of this dress and made this version as a wearable muslin before trying it out with a more precious fabric. The fabric is again from the Michael Levine Loft bulk fabric store. I used it once before for a pleated skirt. The fabric is a little weird in that the background color goes gradually darker in panels. You can see it in the front view of the dress above.
I'm not really sure how I feel about the dress in the end. I like the design but it is a little frumpy. I think that the back looks better than the front. The front is a little too loose to be very flattering. I probably won't make it again but it was a good project and I used up fabric I already had on hand. Maybe I'll wear the dress before the Me-Made-May is over! Or maybe someone will invite me sailing, then I'll have to wear it. :)