If you have a curvier figure, you know how rare it is to find a shelf bust dress that fits, let alone one that flatters your shape and supports you in all the right places. That's why I'm really excited to introduce you to our newest sewing pattern, The Picnic Dress!
This pattern has been in the works since early 2015, when a certain large-busted dance teacher (ahem, me) needed a supportive, figure-flattering dress to dance in. The result is a shelf bust designed for curves, with a lower midriff seam, more volume up top (so you can breathe!) and a structured lining to reduce bounce.
The fit through the midriff is flush with your body, so that the dress provides a bit of the support you would get with a longline bra. The gathers on the bodice add visual interest and volume to complement the skirt, which accentuates your waist and creates a flattering hourglass silhouette.
The best part? The Picnic Dress is an elegant way to stay cool. Dresses with low backs and thin straps and full skirts are lovely to dance in, and they're great for getting a little sun on a hot summer day, too. That structured bodice holds you in without boning and keeps you from looking like a total mess at the end of the night, too (ask me how I know!)
You'll love wearing The Picnic Dress just as much as you'll love making it!
The Picnic Dress Sewing Pattern
Your Picnic Dress sewing pattern features a full gathered skirt, a fully-lined structured bodice, a center back zip, and adjustable spaghetti straps. Since the key to this dress is a close fit, it's designed to make fitting relatively simple, with no fussy curves to mess with. And if doing an FBA or SBA is not your strong suit, don't worry - I've got a few posts coming up that will show you how to do both.
If you like your garments to look as nice on the inside as they do on the outside, you'll love the finishing on this pattern. Since the Picnic Dress is designed for larger busts, the fully-lined bodice includes a fitted center bust piece, so that you're supported through the gathered section of the bodice.
The skirt is finished with French seams and rolled edges instead of serged, and the bodice includes an enclosed zip and waist seam, so that no raw edges are exposed.
These vintage touches make for a beautiful, long-lasting garment. They also allow you to sew this dress entirely on an older straight stitch machine if you so desire.
The Nitty Gritty
The sizing for the Picnic Dress is the same as the sizing for our Sweetheart Dress. Please measure yourself carefully and make a muslin before cutting into the good stuff!
Like the other Lila + June patterns, The Picnic Dress includes sizes 0-10 and 12-20, and the printed pattern comes in both A4 and US Letter formats. You'll also get a beautifully-illustrated 25-page instruction set, which includes helpful tips to help you grow your sewing skills.
In terms of difficulty, this pattern is suitable for an advanced beginner/ intermediate sewist. The construction is mostly straight lines and darts, but fitting can be a little challenging thanks to the underbust seam in the bodice. That said, I think it's totally doable for an adventurous beginner with a few projects under your belt!
I hope you love The Picnic Dress sewing pattern as much as I do. I can't wait to see what you make!