French Floral ESP Dress

I made this dress way back in March at Sewing Retreat.  On day one of retreat - I tag teamed 2 blue ESP dresses.  So far there are only photos of one. 

As is my habit, I traced all the pattern pieces.  Also habit is to take 1.5" out of the back length - I'm very short from my neck to waist in the back.  Finally - the last thing I do routinely is to add length to the skirt.   I made one muslin of the bodice only before cutting out 'real' fabric.  

The muslin showed that I needed to move the side darts down slightly, move the shoulder darts forward and - I felt - the sleeves were too full.  You can see from the photos that my sleeves are very wrinkled from being stuffed in a cardigan.  ( I forgot to modify the facings to match the fact that I moved the shoulder darts forward, but nobody knows!)

This dress is very easy to wear.  Even though the skirt is quite full, it doesn't feel horribly full and I think that could be based on the thinness of the cotton fabric.  And yet, it feels full, feminine and flirty.  Those are important qualities in a dress for me.  

I swear the hem hangs even, regardless of the fact that it doesn't look like it does in the side view.  Remember how I mentioned that I added length to the skirt?  Well - I added as much as my fabric would allow, which on this version was 4", then I took a 2" hem all around.  I don't recall  how large of a hem the pattern calls for - but I think adding length was a good idea.

On me, I feel like the neckline is quite high.  I reached out to the Decades of Style team and honestly - they were prompt and incredibly helpful.  I'm so very pleased with the customer service.  I have another version cut and mostly sewn up - but vacation got in the way.  Speaking of vacation - I wore this dress to Gibraltar and the Statue of Liberty and she did very well.

Verdict - I will make more versions of this dress.  What's your favorite style of dress to make over and over?


  1. What an absolutely lovely dress, gMarie! The fabric is gorgeous and that color is divine on you. I love it! This pattern is sitting in my "to sew" pile and just moved up, thanks to this post. I can't wait to see your second blue dress!

  2. Love the dress. I don't sew for myself, I order from Talbots..... But I did make a gorgeous Mary Poppins costume yesterday.

  3. This dress is fabulous and i am about to start one of my own. I've been dragging my feet a bit since I know that I would like to lower the neckline- did you do that on your second version? It seems like it will either cause the shoulder to widen or I will also have to adjust the sleeve piece, so any advice is welcome! Thats good to know about the sleeves also, I just asked Tanya today if she found them to be too wide to layer with a cardi because it seemed like it would be a problem. Thanks for all the info on this pattern, I can't wait to make one myself.

  4. Did JB take these pictures? Cause they are awesome! They show both you and the dress to the best advantage and you & the dress look beautiful! Tell JB I said he did a great job!!!

  5. Ditto everything Mary said above. Such a great dress and colors for you.I agree that the skirt is definitely not TOO full but still full enough to be very feminine and pretty.

  6. Yay! I love this on you!! Such pretty fabric, too. I'm hankering to make myself another one with a lowered neckline.

  7. It looks very pretty, swingy and feminine. And if it makes you feel pretty, that's the most important thing of all!

  8. It does look really fabulous on you!!! I think this is one that you can definitely own several of!

    I don't make many dresses but so far I love seams at the natural waist, but not waistbands. And love wrap fronts! :)

  9. So pretty - you and the dress! I can't answer your questions because I don't sew, but I prefer straight, slim skirts. Right now, I don't know that I own anything with an even slightly full skirt.


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