Cotton Eyelet Style Arc Anthea Dress

This was another Memorial Day weekend project.






I made this dress before but wanted to start from scratch with alterations due to some slight body changes and knowledge gained from other projects. There were a few things about my previous version that annoyed me:

  • Due to the lack of a forward shoulder alteration, the bodice was not good at staying in place. I also felt like the fit wasn’t quite right.
  • Something felt off about the armholes.
  • The skirt was too short, especially for a lightweight fabric. It made walking outside with the slightest breeze a risky proposition. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable wearing it to work, and if a dress is too short to wear to work it isn’t going to be of much use to me.

So for these reasons I ended up donating it. I made up a muslin to check the length and got to work on Version 2.

For this version I used a mid weight cotton eyelet from Gorgeous Fabrics. It has a lot of body and crispness. I probably could have made a jacket out of it.

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I wanted to make it as easy-care as possible, so instead of lining it I just wear it with my Alisha slip.  When I did the hem I used wash-away stabilizer and water soluble thread. It is quicker and more accurate than pressing.

My fitting adjustments were:

  • Lengthened the bodice between bust and waist 1/2″. I have a 16.5″ (possibly 16.75″) back waist length. This dress falls 1″ below the back of the neck and the measured bodice length after my adjustments is 15.5″.
  • 3/8″ forward shoulder alteration
  • Lengthened the skirt 2.5″
  • Added 1/2″ width to the front bodice at the waist, and removed 1/2″ width from the back bodice
  • Added a 3/4″ back shoulder dart
  • Broad back alteration: 3/8″ length, 3/4″ width
  • Took in the sides 3/8″ at the armhole, tapering to nothing at the bust dart.

I think the fit ok – the dress is perfectly wearable, IMO – but I am not 100% thrilled for a few reasons:

  • I learned from my Brenda blouse that the diagonal wrinkles at the back means the side seam is too angled. So for next time I adjusted my pattern and straightened out those back side seams, taking out the width at the back darts.
  • I think I need to increase the width of the side dart at the bust. I am wearing this with a self-lined, single dart dart bra which tends to slightly minimize me and even so I feel like it has sort of a squishing effect. With a regular bra I get gaping at the front armhole. I guess this means I need a FBA but FBAs seem to add length in addition to width. The waistline looks very level in the front so I just need width. (I wonder if this has something to do with my bust being more shallow than prominent?)
  • That side bust dart also looks like it could be lowered a little – I’m guessing around 3/8″.
  • The center back at the nape of the neck needs to be taken in very slightly for more shaping.
  • The shoulders are slightly too square, though some of that could be the bulk from the fabric.

For now though, I’m going to set it aside. The Style Arc Peggy dress pattern I ordered came in last week and I feel like trying something new.

5 thoughts on “Cotton Eyelet Style Arc Anthea Dress”

  1. Aw :/ I know you feel this dress is a work in progress, but I do hope you keep this one — you look so sweet! It’s a really different look on you, and suits you very well.

    1. Thanks :) I’ll definitely be keeping this one. I LOVE the fabric and it looks great under my white twill Stacie jacket.

  2. I enjoy your blog. I love Style Arc patterns and am so grateful that you do a pattern review each time you use their patterns. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the Peggy dress.

  3. That does look pretty and feminine. This will look great with the white jacket. My office is far too cold for anything sleeveless so jackets are necessary.

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