This Ragtime era dress was my re-entry into historical sewing in 2012, after not doing any at all while I was at university. It has proved to be a very versatile dress and I seem to alter it slightly every time I wear it!
The pattern is Simplicity 8399, view A. The bottom layer is yellow cotton, the middle layer is peach chiffon and the top layer is ivory point d’esprit. The pattern went together nice and easily. It does have a zip, but could easily be converted to hooks and eyes or buttons. The most troublesome thing was dealing with three layers of fabric at once, and one of them chiffon. And then hemming said chiffon… I tacked the point d’esprit layer at the shoulder seam to stop it sliding off (the pattern does not have you do this, but it seemed sensible). I also added bra-catchers on the inside of the shoulders.
After the first wearing I decided that the point d’esprit layer was too long in the back. To avoid having to re-hem it, I added three 1-inch pleats in the center back seam. I liked the draped look this gave, and subsequently added some pleats to the chiffon layer in the front.
I was never really happy with the yellow belt and bow, and eventually replaced them with the belt from Simplicity 1517, using a peach lace. The lace has a scalloped edge which I used to make a flower instead of a bow.
The next thing I want to fiddle with is the sleeves, to make them less boxy.
I also used this dress as the base for my Daybreak costume which I wore to the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball in 2016 (blog post coming next Wednesday!).