As I was getting outfits ready for our family photo shoot a couple of weeks ago, of course I needed something for myself as well — so as not to be completely overshadowed my the fabulousness of the girls’ outfits 🙂 I decided on a summery version of Anna Maria Horner’s Painted Portrait Dress.
I’d seen this dress pop up online lots of places, and was especially inspired by Ivy Arch’s version to try it out for myself. The pattern is pretty great — with blouse and dress options, with and without sleeves and pockets. I went with the pockets and without the sleeves here for my end of summer dress. The instructions were clear, and the whole thing was fairly simple to put together.
I sewed up a medium, and the fit was pretty good. I did end up taking it in a little bit at the bottom of where the yoke meets the bodice — but alas, I think I overdid it a tad, causing a little bit of puckering on the sides. You know what they say . . . once you go too far, it’s hard to go back.
For fabric, I used Art Gallery’s Emmy Grace — Knotty in Rain for the main and Gillie Wishes in Cool for the yoke. I really love these prints and feel like they made a beautiful dress. But next time, I’ll resist the urge to use quilting cotton, despite the draw of all those fabulous prints out there. I know, I know — we’ve all heard this warning a million times. I thought I’d get away with it here, and I almost did. The problem is that the drape below the gathers isn’t quite right in both the front and back. I can see how this would be a knock out dress in a fabric with the right drape. But this one is a little lumpy looking, let’s just admit it.
So, with a few lessons learned, I’m ready to give this dress a second chance. There’s already a beautiful piece of Anna Maria’s Sinister Swarm in rayon challis on the shelf to make a long sleeved dress version for fall. I think this will be a winning combo.