Re: the magic dress
- Judging from the picture someone offered from "Birch Street", that dress looks like one I made several years back for summer outdoor Shakespeare (our ensemble ladies). We copied our own pattern from a dress one of our staff owned.
It's basically two layers of a sleeveless dress. The dress is fitted well from shoulder to bust, then flares out to as full as you like (the more full, the more possibilities of ways to wear it). Both layers are assembled independently, then sewn together at the neck line and armholes. The outer layer has openings at the sideseams, ie, the sideseams are only sewn up just under the arm and toward the bottom, leaving holes in the side big enough to pull over the head.
Because it needs to have a full hem, gores or godets are added to very basic front and back pieces that flare only as much as your width of fabric allows. Alternatively, you can add center front and center back seams, and use as wide fabric as you can find to allow the skirt to flare.
If you use one-way stretch fabric you will be able to give the bodice a more fitted look without putting in a zipper. Or you may use stretch on the underlayer only, and make the overlayer looser.
Sidepockets are great to have in the underlayer, that's how ours were made.
I'm sure the big 3 pattern companies available at Jo-Ann's and the like have a basic sleeveless sundress pattern you can modify. Just make sure the skirt is full enough. if not, you can draw your own godet to alter the pattern (a godet is basically a tall triangle that you insert into a seam, long sides on the seam, short side at the hem, to give more fullness at the bottom but not at the top).
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