Several bloggers recommended the Emery dress which was my first thought, but then someone mentioned the Centauree dress pattern - the latest release from Deer and Doe. I still haven't decided on a pattern for the gingham, but around 10:00 last night decided to make the Centauree out of a recent linen purchase.
The Centauree is described as a sundress with double straps in two variations: short or asymmetric skirt. The bodice is made of geometric panels. This is listed as an intermediate pattern, and having made it, I would say for these reasons:
1. Make a bodice muslin! I am relieved I didn't need adjustments, but my muslin helped me work through the construction order as well, which can get iffy if you're not paying close attention.
2. Follow the instructions for the straps carefully! It's easy to get turned around if you're not paying close attention.
I used a lovely linen from fabrics-store.com - it is well worth the $15 per yard. I have purchased the lightweight and the mid-weight in the past but this is a much finer weave and just lovely to work with.
My cameras do not do this color justice - the website and the photo of the dress on are the most accurate.
I cut a straight size 46 (the largest size) and made a bodice muslin ala Susan Khalje with extra wide seam allowances and everything. Turns out, I didn't need them - the 46 fit perfectly.
The bodice detail is really lovely and unique, although I'm experiencing some rippling across the top seam even though I pressed, notched, top stitched. Who knows.
I did make a slight change: I added center back seam allowances and put the zip in the back. I added 5/8" to the back bodice and the skirt piece and this worked well. I interfaced the zipper seam allowances with tricot fusible.
I serged the internal seams except for the bodice, which I zig-zagged - next time I will use French seams for the bodice. I serged and turned the hem 1".
Center back zip - getting better each time! Practice makes perfect!
I also attached the straps in the back closer together to conceal my bra strap. There's no way I could wear this sans bra, so the straps closer together help a great deal. I didn't really follow the instructions regarding making the tape - I cut 2" strips, attached them then created a double fold, then opened them to stitch them down. The center front is genius - so easy! I used my 1/8" foot for the edges of the straps - not perfect, but good enough!
Overall, this is a gorgeous summer dress! I have several more planned and I just love the elegant and feminine construction and design. Eleanore is currently hosting a sewalong which technically I signed up for, but alas, I am impatient!
Pattern: Deer & Doe Centauree dress
Fabric: Cascade linen from fabrics-store.com, 2 yards
Changes: Moved the zip to center back; 1" serged hem instead of 1/4" baby hem; used 2" wide bias strips; moved back straps closer to conceal bra straps.
Thread: Gutermann Mara 100
Needle: Shmetz 70/10 Sharp
Make again? Definitely! I need to make more Deer & Doe patterns since they fit me so well out of the package!