I recently bought the 'Milly' dress pattern from Aussie company StyleArc. The picture below is the pattern envelope. It's a bit confusing at first, but shows diagrams of the actual pattern on the left/bottom and pictures of celebrities wearing similar garments on the right/top. I would prefer to see photos of the actual dress as well as the diagrams.
So, I bought the pattern for $14 and some gorgeous bamboo stretch knit from Fabulous Fabrics for $20/m. The pattern says you need 2.2m of fabric but I'm sure I can get away with less and have some left over for a top for me!!
Now spending $20/m on fabric is something I never, ever usually do. I can generally be found perusing the $2 table at Textile Traders or the fabric rack in the op shop! But, it's for a birthday present so I splurged. This has now led to something else I never ever do - a muslin. I grabbed some coral knit fabric I'd got cheap and made up the Milly dress as a test run.
The pattern instructions are very minimal and it took me a little while to work out the pin tucks. I think I eventually got it right after seeing a helpful picture on Pattern Review. In case anyone is interested, I've added a couple of pictures of me sewing the pin tucks. Basically, each tuck is folded along the longest line to the point and stitched as shown to the lower point. The pin tucks do not overlap and actually have a small space between each one.
I wasn't happy with the end result of either the pin tucks or the neckline of this dress as neither was as neat as I would have liked. However, I am pretty sure that this was because of the cheap fabric I used. I wasn't able to iron the tucks as this fabric is too melty, so they didn't sit flat. Apart from these issues, I was happy with the overall look of the dress and it was easy to make after I'd worked out the pin tucks!
I added five rows of shirring to the back to pull it in slightly (not in the pattern) and used the short sleeves. The sleeves don't look like the ones in the pattern diagram but I like them anyway.
The sleeves and hem were finished with a twin needle stitch.
I showed this dress to my sister yesterday and she said I should chop it off and make it into a tunic length top. I haven't decided yet. Thoughts anyone?