Look at my Evening Empire dress (pattern by Anna Maria Horner)! This is Option B.

This pattern was a DREAM. It took me 6 days (mostly evenings).

The yellow and pink fabrics are Anna Maria Horner. The bottom one is a pink dobby dot from the Pastry line collection, the other 2 are Little Folks voile. The grey & while polka dot is like a lawn that I bought in Costa Rica. The pink lining was so discount fabric from Hancock, and I'm not sure what the exact fiber content is (mostly cotton from the feel). I was hesitant about sewing with such light fabric, but it went really well. I pinned more than I usually would, but I was also more careful than usual because I wanted it to turn out well.

I did NOT cut out the pieces. I used tracing paper and a tracing wheel to make cardstock templates of the smaller pieces, and traced directly onto the fabric for the skirt front & back pieces.
I'm mostly a quilter, so I used my ruler & rotary cutter for EVERYTHING. 

I did this project bit by bit. One night I cut out pieces. 
The next night I sewed the bodice. I opted for the elastic on the back and am SO GLAD that I did. The directions were a bit confusing with left & right, but the accompanying diagrams answered all of my questions.
Then the zigzags & skirt front (& next day zigzags & skirt back). HERE ARE MY 2 ALTERATIONS. When I sewed the rows of zigzags to the skirt front, I used a 3/8" seam allowance, as opposed to the 5/8" specified. I tried 5/8" and ripped it out because my peaks were cut off. 3/8" worked for all the rows. And when I sewed the front to back, I used the specified 5/8" allowance and everything lined up perfectly. I also SHORTENED the dress 2" (I'm about 5'3").
Gathering the skirt went so much easier than I expected, the directions were clear and easy to follow.  At this point it all started to come together and I couldn't wait to finish. But I did, because slow & steady gets and awesome dress.
Finally it was time to finish. The invisible zipper directions are AMAZING. No need for a special foot (just a zipper foot). Sewing in the zipper to the outer & lining was a bit confusing, but again, the diagrams really made it easy to understand.

The cons
This dress is not made for small people. I made an XS, took in the side seams, and the top is still HUGE. I'm a 32A, so granted there isn't much there to hold things up, but still. I am SO GLAD that I added the elastic. The back is really cinched in, but it doesn't look bad when the dress is on because of all the gathering at the waist. 
That's the only con...


  1. The dress is gorgeous.
    Being 5ft nothing I can't get away wearing long dresses, but I wish I could!
    I love your choices of colours.
    Cat xxx

  2. You have done a really good job Alexandra, the dress looks great :)


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