I made this dress by tweaking two patterns that I already had in my stash.
Maudella 5676, which I bought in a bundle of patterns from Ebay - probably paying about £1 per pattern. Look at those mutton sleeves - it took all of my powers to stop myself making that sleeve!
And Cynthia Rowley K1873 for Simplicity. I got this pattern with a magazine.
Firstly, I used the Maudella pattern to give myself a guide to bust gathers on a high bodice without darts. I then drafted side panels to bring the sides down to my natural waist - using my French curve to draw the same curve on the bodice.
The skirt and sleeves are the Cynthia Rowley pattern.
I adore these sleeves. They are a slight labour of love because they are shaped with five darts per sleeve and, as the bodice is fully lined, that means making twenty small darts. However I like them and remember, it could have been worse, it could have been mutton sleeves!
The back of the dress with an invisible zip - which I alllmost got to be invisible! :)
And a nice deep handsewn hem. I've said before that I am terrible at deep hems on a-line/circular skirts but I had a fortuitous moment on making this. The skirt back pattern piece is very wide due to the pleats and I had a quite narrow width of fabric - which meant that the very bottom of the pattern fell off the fabric - leading to the bottom of the hem falling straight down on the fabric as opposed to continuing the a-line, which meant that it sat nicely when folded up. I've no idea if that makes any sense - but it worked for me.
The reason for the narrow width is because I made this dress out of a pair of curtains I purchased in a charity shop a while ago for five pounds. I used the lining to line the bodice and, as I purchased the invisible zip for a couple of pounds I think, I reckon I made the entire dress (patterns and all) for about £14 if you include the £5.99 I probably paid for the magazine the Cynthia Rowley pattern came with.
Now mutton sleeves... I think I'm going to have to make some you know... :)