This dress is a great one: it's Simplicity 1469, and is great for both mamas-to-be and mamas-to-new-babies because it has both belly room AND nursing access. Win-win! The Simplicity version is out-of-print now, but never fear: it was a reissue of Megan Nielsen's Amber dress and top.
Planning a dress with a panel, border print, or very large repeat is definitely a different animal than an allover print. I really had to think about where I wanted each color and engineer the placement of the print. Even now that I'm done I think I would've done things a bit differently. For instance, perhaps not placing the lightest part of the fabric at what is currently the largest circumference of my body.
When using these kinds of prints, I love putting my favorite part of the repeat on either the top and bottom of a dress, or all at the middle of the dress, radiating out. I really loved the blue and purple chevron section, so that became my hem and the top back of my dress.
I always enjoy playing with stripes and chevrons directionally, so I cut the bodice pieces so the chevron traveled along the bodice neckline (which is no problem with you have plenty of vertical stretch to go with your horizontal stretch!).
I would have preferred to cut the sleeves starting with the purple and blue chevron at the cap, but I just didn't have enough fabric. So, I did my best to match up via eyeball where the white chevrons on the sleeve would lay in relation to the white chevrons on the skirt. I didn't want any plain navy showing at the top of the sleeve, so I didn't quite match it up, but it's close enough for me.
The breastfeeding access is really what makes this dress shine. You can add a few inches onto the front skirt of many an empire waist dress to make it work for pregnancy, but covert ways to feed a baby without exposing too much skin are much fewer and far between. Here's a little peek at how it works, and the innards of the dress in general.
Construction-wise, this dress is a pretty easy breeze. It definitely helps that I've made this twice before (a shirt and a dress) but it's pretty straight forward regardless. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of my favorite notions, which I was happy to see Fabric Mart started carrying a few months ago: SewKeysE fusible stay tape. I used the 1/2" fusible knit version to stabilize the neckline, to give it some stability but still a bit of give; they just seem to have the woven version currently on the site.
I measured into a medium, but made a small with 3/8" instead of 5/8" side seams per my last pregnancy and I'm happy with the fit. The only thing I'm thinking about tweaking would be the sleeves: they could be about an inch shorter and a tad slimmer, but overall I'd feel fine with leaving them as is.
Thanks for reading! Until our next sewing adventure...