I've hesitated making the dress mostly because of the gathered skirt. I don't like to add more fabric to my already thick waist. When I've made the pattern as a top, I've always done an a-line style that works pretty good for the short length. I wasn't convinced it would work as well for the full length dress. It might but I wasn't willing to try it. Then of course is the reality is I do not wear dresses too often so the top is really a great use of this pattern for me.
Okay, still I've always wanted to make the dress. I decided to do so for my daughter's baptism this past weekend. I did end up modifying the pattern in three ways. The first, of course, was to use a half circle skirt instead of the gathered skirt from the pattern. I was planning on a full circle but did not have enough fabric for that. I used the Circle Skirt Calculator on the by Hand London blog. Fantastic!
I also shortened the midriff, but went a little too far. I think I'll lengthen it next time. It hits just a little to high for my figure right now. It was too long before so somewhere in the middle should be just right.
The last alteration I made was to use the back bodice and waistband pieces from the Carolina Mae. I did this because I found that my bra showed no matter what I did in the back of the Jamie and I just do not like wearing a strapless bra. I wanted to cut it on the fold to keep the zipper on the side so I took out 1/2 inch from the center seam, added it to the side seam and cut on the fold. You can probably skip that if you wanted to but I also wanted the straps a little farther in so it worked better for me to do that.
I'm in love with this dress and now have to push my husband to take me out!