Pattern: Simplicity 2171, a "Sarah Rose" design. Frankly, I don't know who Sarah Rose is and must do a google. This dress is easy, peasy with little fit issue. It is called a knot dress among the cognoscenti as the straps, which are sewn into the back bodice, come over the shoulders and in through a buttonhole and after adjusting, are tied in a knot to hold the dress up. In this case I used the heavy turquoise lace I got at Fabric Place Basement for the straps. I did not want to knot the lace until I try it on Sophie so what you are seeing are rolled up balls of lace, not the knots. This pattern has an optional apron which I gave a bit of smocking to as well as some ruffly bloomer type pants. Originally I was going to do the pants but there is enough volume here and I think this will be cute with a little white tee and some white leggings.
Construction: There is nothing complicated here and this would be a great design for a beginner who is not afraid to make the big buttonholes on the front bodice. I did make a few changes, however:
* I added piping to the waistline seam. Smocking just is not pretty butted up to a plain seam.
* I found the fabric just didn't have enough oomph to carry all of the volume of the skirt and apron. I backtracked at the end and interfaced the bodice. This helped prevent seam show-thru from the waist seam as well as give it needed support. Highly recommend you interface back and front bodices. You will be glad you did.
* To finish off the inside facing the seam was understitched as you can see. This is not recommended in the pattern. Again, all that skirt weight will pull those facing out, guaranteed. So, understitch!
* To further secure the facings, the raw edge was serged and then the facing was ditch stitched in the well of the underarm seam to prevent roll out.
I pretty much followed the embellishment ideas from the pattern other than adding the smocking to the top of the apron, the extra row of lace to the bottom of the apron and the piping to the waistline.
I will definitely be making this again, for Carly next time. I am on the hunt for fabrics but so far have struck out. I highly recommend this easy, quick to make dress for any little girl who wants to twirl and catch a few rays in the sunshine...Bunny