Gingham Billie Jean dress


Do you remember my interview with Abby of Bluegingerdoll? At the time, she asked me if I wanted to try her new pattern.
Let's see... feminine dress, gorgeous neckline, vintage silhouette... my answer was HELL YES!
Anyway, it took me a while to make it and photograph it, so here it is, finally.
Let's see the details:

Pattern:
Size:
size 8 with alterations

Alterations:
Since the dress was a bit too snug at the waist, I added 1 cm to the side panels of the bodice just at the side seams. It's not the standard way to alter a pattern, but it worked for me.
I also lengthened the bodice by 1 cm, which, I guess, compensates for not doing a FBA.
I stitched the neckline using a seam allowance of 1cm instead of 1,5cm because I wanted it a bit higher and I wanted the straps to be a bit wider.
I made version 2 of the pattern, with the gathered skirt, but used a much smaller panel than the one that comes with the pattern. I wanted to avoid adding too much bulk at the waist.
I also added a tiny bow at the center back for extra cuteness. I'm so happy I did, it's such an adorable detail.

General impressions: 
I am VERY happy with this dress. It totally fits my style, it's girly and cute with a vintage flair. Also, very important to me: it's bra friendly! I just added bra strap carriers (I use the same technique that Dixie brilliantly explained here) and I don't need to wear a strapless bra, which is something I tend to avoid.

A few words about the pattern: Abby sent me the pdf version of Billie Jean and I must admit that assembling it wasn't the most pleasant experience. First of all, there are a lot of pages for such a simple design, because the skirt panels for version 2 are huge! I strongly recommend you skip printing them, save on paper and just cut a rectangle of fabric for your skirt panels. Also, there's a general lack of markings on the pattern sheets and you have to overlap them over the margins, which means there is quite a bit of guess work and patience involved.
In conclusion, if you like this pattern, I do recommend the paper version over the pdf.
Other than that, everything went smoothly! The instructions are clear but very basic, so if you're a complete beginner, you might want to research more detailed tutorials at least on how to sew a princess seam, how to line a bodice and how to install an overlapped zipper. I guess this is also the reason why the pattern is marked at an intermediate level.

I can't wait to see what Abby releases next. The girl definitely has talent, and with some minor improvements here and there, she's definitely one to watch!