I found this pattern recently and snapped it right up. New Look so rarely makes anything for "tweens" and I thought the Princess would love this dress. Just as I suspected, she went right to View C with the mullet skirt and the shoulder cut-outs.
We used a lime green zebra print knit from Hobby Lobby. This fabric has been around for a few years and I bet they carry it for a while yet. I used the same print a few years ago for a top for me, and the hot pink color way for a halter dress for the Princess. She prefers the green- lime is her favorite color.
I used the size 14 per the waist and hip measurements. The Princess actually measured at a size 12 through the bust, but I decided to use the 14 just to give her some extra growing room and I'm so glad I did. I don't think the 12 would have fit.
I added 5/8" extra length to the bodice and increased my waist seam allowance to 1" because there is a waist casing and I wanted to make sure I could use some substantial elastic there. Other than that, I made no changes to the pattern.
The neckline is finished with a band made of the same fabric as the dress. It's folded in half and stitched to the right side of the bodice. Then the band is pressed out and the seam allowances are topstitched to the bodice. It's a quick and easy finish that looks quite nice on the outside.
The sleeves had me worried- I wasn't looking forward to finishing that tiny cut-out. But the pattern is actually pretty creative. Each sleeve is two pieces. You do have to do a tiny 3/8" finish on the cut-out, but it's in 2 pieces so that makes it easier. (I found that clipping the seam allowance helped a lot.) Then you stitch the sleeve together at the bottom below the cut-out, and the top overlaps at the shoulder.
New Look would have you stitch the inner sleeve seam and then set the sleeves into the bodice, but I sewed them in flat and then sewed up the side seams from hem to sleeve hem- so much easier!
With the mullet skirt you do see the wrong side of the fabric so I serged my side seams and did a very neat 5/8" hem. In this fabric, I think it's okay. The hem is curved, but it's pretty gentle so I had no problems getting my hem to lie flat.
I think the dress turned out super cute and the Princess loves it. It was pretty quick to cut and sew and it's completely age appropriate, so if you have a young lady who needs a new dress this is a great pattern to try. I'd love to make the sleeveless version as temps are finally starting to rise here, or even the maxi version, but the Princess has said she doesn't want a maxi dress.
Up next is a project the Princess and I are working on together, plus a maxi dress for me. More sewing soon...