This is the dress on the cover of 'Basic Black' by Sato Watanabe and is the reason I bought this book. I had hoped to make the dress with my Japanese, indigo-dyed linen, but unfortunately didn't have enough for this pattern. The linen went back on the shelf, but I discovered this black cotton in my stash that I had bought at a sale by local designer 'Breathless' for about $15. For black cotton, it's quite pretty with a pattern in the weave. I had plenty of it, so the decision was made.
The pattern is 'U - the Asymmetric Jumper Dress'. The neckline, waistline, front pleat and side seams are asymmetrical, with the most obvious design feature being the extension at the side of the skirt. This just folds itself over and drapes at the side. I like it, but my sister advises that I need to secure it down to prevent unsightly flapping. So far I have rebelled and allowed it to catch the breeze at will. This is partly because I sewed it into a pocket, rather than just sewing across the top as per the instructions. The pocket wouldn't fit my phone anymore if I tacked it down, so for now it's staying.
I used a black and brown patterned fabric for the facing, which peeks out and adds a bit of interest to the black. It's not easy to see in these pictures.
I fussed about with the sizing of this pattern, which is most unlike me. According to my measurements I should have been a medium and I made a toile of the bodice to check the fit (only because I had originally planned to use my special linen). The toile was actually quite ill-fitting and I fiddled and added bits for ages before I was happy. In retrospect, I should just have cut a large and added a bit to the length and it would have probably been fine. In short, I would recommend going one size up for this pattern.
I also got into a muddle with the pattern pieces. Because they are asymmetrical they need to be cut on a single layer. Despite being super careful, some pieces were cut the wrong way up and I had to use the wrong side of the fabric to get all the pieces to fit together. Gasp! Luckily this hardly showed in the black.
I love this dress. The length, which is way longer than anything else I have, feels elegant. The simple, quirky design is fun and the cotton is lovely to wear. Despite my silly mistakes, this was not a difficult pattern to sew, although I mostly did my own thing, rather than following the instructions. I would recommend the book too. There are definitely a few other patterns in this book that I have my eye on.