Oh my goodness, I love this dress! I have had this pattern for the Antonia Dress by Pattern Division for a while, and love the simplicity of it. I thought it would be fun one, and I had already traced and prepped the pattern pieces a while back. So I decided to cut it out last week while I was on a cutting spree ;)
It has a front, back and facing pieces, with cut-on pockets. It was a breeze to lay out and cut, and took me 3 hours start to finish to sew it up the next night. I am a slow sewist, it would probably take others less time! Being such a simple pattern, I was unsure that the fit would be very good, or flattering. But I guess this one is that unicorn pattern, the one made just for my body, because the only alteration I made was to shorten it by 2" for an above-knee length on me. Even the cool little gathered back feature sits at the right spot on my waist, and this is an area I often have to shorten.
Did I mention I absolutely love it? The waist, pockets, shoulders, everything is just in the exact right spot. And the back feature is adorable. The back gather was the only "difficult" part, and that was only because I wasn't quite sure how to sew it up at first. But you just follow the seam lines marked on the pattern, it's kind of a wedge. I haven't made something like this before; the lower skirt is cut on the fold and upper bodice has a centre seam, but it's all one piece. It's pretty neat to see it come together.
The facings are also very wide - I like this, as it keeps them from flipping out. Well, that and the fact they are also topstitched. There are the front yoke seams and the centre back seam to tack the facings down to as well, so altogether this is a very quick and efficient pattern without the feeling of a pattern that cuts corners.
I used a cotton from my stash that has a bit of a sateen feel, but isn't too heavy. This worked well, even if you can't really see the gathered front shoulder/yoke or centre back features too clearly in such a busy fabric. I really love this and will definitely make it again! It also has a top length and midi length version in the pattern -- I might make a top, but I do really love this knee length dress and can see making a solid coloured version.
The pattern is named after the writer Antonia Fraser, since as the designer, Ann, states in the pattern copy: "I read that Antonia Fraser didn’t like to shop so she had her favorite dress made in different fabrics so she could wear it every day, every season… I loved that idea! This is my everyday, every season dress and I make it myself. "
A great pattern that I really enjoyed making - easy, quick, no closures, fun to sew up, and a great result. What's not to love? :)