You know how on "Next Top Model" they will tell the girls that they are lousy models when they have to tell them how to pose for every shot? Yeah, I'm a lousy model, especially with being self-conscious about this dress after the first pictures. Pete had to give me pose ideas.
As you can see, the front of this dress is all business. Not too exciting. Not that simple lines are a bad thing, but the fun for this dress is seen in the back view.
Just in case you can't see that, the back has a zipper with a large pleat at the waist. The bows are sewn on to one side of the back just outside the zipper seam line. The zipper is installed slightly different than the usual centered application method of basting the seam shut and sewing down each side. For this dress, the seam is left open and the zipper is pinned to the seam allowance so that the thread can be broken at the waist line and started again below the pleat so the pleat can be left out of the seam allowance. I can't say it's a perfect zipper, but short of doing the whole thing by hand, I can't think of a better method for installing in this situation.
The fabric is a houndstooth woven cotton-suiting-ish piece from Fashionfabricsclub. The "shirt" underneath is a sweater I've had for a few years that is one of those things that's a little too thin and snug to be a proper sweater, but too bulky to be worn under jackets or cardigans. This dress might be the best possible pairing for it and vice verse. The tights/shoes shown here are still under consideration, but it's a vast improvement over my initial styling attempt.
In one aspect this dress was a bit of an experiment. It's a 1/2 size pattern w/ a 41 inch bust...and I didn't alter it at all. I can see where I maybe would benefit from taking it in just a little beneath the bust/at the underarm area (which is what the directions state to do if planning to make a sleeveless version; though, I obviously missed that until I'd already finished that step). I'd have to pin it to check first, but maybe it could also be taken in a bit down through the waist, measuring the flat pattern, it seems it was designed with 7 inches of design-ease through the waist. Otherwise, this dress the best fitting make I've had in years without doing an FBA. Seriously, go back and look at that first picture and you will see that the dart is pointing exactly where it is supposed to. My theory is that I should be able to use some of these vintage 1/2 size patterns and take in a little through the center back rather than taking a modern misses size and having to FBA and shorten here and widen there and generally rework each and every piece before I cut into the fabric. Even if my theory doesn't work out to be entirely true, I've now got a dress with bows up the back, so I still win. :)