Usually, I wouldn't keep going this far on a pattern that is obviously poorly drafted and just plain weird, but I actually liked how it looked on me and thought I could fix the weirdness without too much trouble. I was wrong. It's more trouble than I want to deal with right now. But I will end up with one wearable and one maybe-wearable dress, so it's not a total loss.
Again, here's the muslin:
A close-up shows some of the oddities. The biggest problems are that the shoulders are two different sizes and shapes and the way the dress is pulled when it's tied makes the armholes behave differently. On one side (your left), the underarm is really low and shows the bra, even worse than what this photo shows since I've actually got a tank on under this muslin. On the other side (your right), the strap wants to slide off my shoulder and my beige bra strap is showing.
I thought I could simply fold the pattern over itself and trace one armhole/shoulder to get two that matched. As I said earlier, I was wrong.The way the dress pulls, the armholes actually have to be different so they appear the same when worn. So, I raised the armhole on your left and filled it in where my bra was showing, and I made both shoulder seams the same length because while the two different shaped armholes *may* be an actual design necessity (I'm still not sure on this one), the fact that one front was a good 1/2" longer than the back shoulder seam is simply a drafting error.
With that done, I cut #2. And cursed myself for choosing this crappy rayon knit. I know both Fabric.com and Fabric Mart have been selling these prints like crazy, but they really are not the best quality.
As you can sort of see in the pic below, the neckline is too big and is now folded over and pinned, until I decide what I'm going to do with it. I'm tempted to just throw it away. I bound the neckline and armholes on my CS machine. That went OK, but too bad the neckline is too big.
Here's the other problem with the pattern. It rides up one hip because of the tie in front pulling everything in weird directions. As you can see, the pattern is also not very friendly to linear prints in the back since the CB seam is shaped and you cannot match motifs all the way down.
Here's version #3, which has all the pattern corrections I'm going to make on this one. I used an ITY knit that I've had in the stash for a while, unloved, since I'm not really a "blue" person. But the print has grown on me, and it's OK for summer casual. I think this is the dress I will wear on my sister's boat next weekend.
The back still doesn't match up perfectly, and never will, but it's much better than the #2 version and isn't quite so glaring.The ITY has more recovery and the back doesn't ride up as quickly, but it does still ride up so it' a dress that needs regular adjustment. I also used clear elastic on the neckline and armholes, which I think is helping to keep things in place better than the versions without it. I ZZ'd it onto the wrong side and then turned under a 3/8" hem and coverstitched.
I narrowed the neckline by making at tuck at the center of the neckline, which, yes, is off to the right of the pattern like it looks here. On the back piece (not shown), I cut the CB seam about 3/4" deeper, starting from the neckline and tapering to nothing over about 6 inches.
If you look carefully, you can see the different adjustments to each armhole and the different shapes of the straps. Even though one is included, I cannot believe a sleeve will work with this and if you look at the pattern illustration, the sleeved views are drawings only — not modeled by a human.
A more careful look at the pattern photo shows exactly the problems I encountered, but they are easy to miss when you are trusting an envelope and are intrigued by an unusual style. The green line divides the model in half, but look at how weird and uneven the neckline and shoulders sit on her now that I'm pointing it out.
I'm really disappointed with this pattern because I like the idea of it and it looks good on me! I have ideas of better ways to execute the design and I may try it out one day, but for now, I'm moving on.