Bonjour, Robe Belladone!
Believe it or not, one of my undergraduate degrees (yes, I'm insane and I have two) is in French. So of course I love Deer and Doe patterns. They have instruction books in French and English and it's really neat to look through the French ones.
This dress is an unlined sundress with a cutout back detail and was a lot of fun to sew up!
I will say, though, that fun does not always equal perfection. If I make this dress a second time there are several things I'd change.
For one, the dress is SHORT. Really short. This is the absolute longest skirt for the largest size done with a very narrow hem and while it's not indecent, let's just say that I am constantly worried about bending over, if you know what I mean.
Also, the back opening gapped horribly on me. Luckily, I was able to unpick, cut out some of the fabric (I just eyeballed it after I made Greg pin it) and made it work. I added a small loop of fabric to the center back there to hide the unsightly join in the bias tape that appeared.
Similarly, the waist is very high. Now, I love a good high waist, it's true. But this one has slash pockets that are pretty much unusable. I'd definitely lower it and/or omit the pockets.
The pleats I made were supposed to be going the other direction, but I thought they'd look better this way on me. (They do.)
Also, there is no way I could think of to line this dress. I know some folks have managed it, and I bow down to them. But I could not figure out a way that didn't make me want to tear my hair out. So this pattern sat on the shelf for a while as I pondered my options, since most of my sundress fabric requires lining.
Happily, I managed to find the perfect fabric for an unlined sundress. This is a quilting cotton I bought when Charlotte was destashing. It's a bit stiff, but I like the way it holds its shape.
I did a double line of top stitching everywhere just 'cause. This was the first dress I sewed on my new machine (I know, blogging out of order!) and I wanted an excuse to show off the lovely top-stitching. And that zipper! Can we all take a minute to just enjoy that super invisible invisible zipper? The Pfaff zipper foot is the best tool in my sewing room at the moment.
I also flipped all the bias tape to the inside, rather than leaving it exposed. I made matching bias tape, but I nearly always prefer the look of having it flipped to the inside when I use it for bindings.
While there are lots of things I'd change about this dress, I definitely wear it a ton. It looks nice with my chocolate brown hand-knit sweater, which is a bonus for sure. Not a high recommendation, but if you like the detail at the back, then it's definitely worth a try!