You might remember last year when this fabric, rayon challis from Joann, was making the rounds on the sewing blogs... remember Lauren's beautiful Southport maxi? And Monica's gorgeous Roscoe blouse? Abbey's Saltspring maxi? I remember several other garments popping up around the interwebs around that time, too, all beautiful. I myself bought some when I was in the States visiting family, then shoved it into my overflowing stash back in Bangkok and promptly forgot about it. Whoops!
I finally busted out my two yards for Style Arc's Olivia dress. Style Arc describes Olivia as, "a great every day dress to have in your wardrobe that is very easy to sew. The flattering extended shoulder line along with the elastic waist makes this dress suitable for different occasions." You know how I feel about easy-to-sew, easy-to-wear every day dresses. They're pretty much my bailiwick.
I was able to eke my Olivia out of two yards of fabric because I cut it on the cross-grain, which is why the print might look a bit different than on some of the other garments made from it.
After trying my Olivia on, I raised the armholes by 3/4" because my bra band was showing a little bit in the underarm.
By sewing the casing just slightly larger. I was able to use wider elastic (1/2" instead of 1/4"). I prefer wider elastic at the waistband as it seems to stay flat and twist less. The waistband casing is created by sewing the bodice and skirt together with a wide seam allowance, and then pressing and sewing that seam allowance upwards.
The neckline is a teeny bit wide. I could have take a small wedge out of the front so it doesn't collapse inwards at the center front. But it's still totally wearable.
While I didn't make the belt that comes with the pattern; I may make a fabric sash at some point. Or just wear it either without one or with a store-bought belt. Only time will tell!
I really like my Olivia dress! I wear this type of dress a lot. It reminds me a bit of the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dresses I made as far as wearability goes, but even more comfortable. Although I still wear mine regularly, I find that sometimes Bettine's pegged skirt can be somewhat restrictive for walking/sitting and the sleeve cuffs and tabs tend to sag on my rayon challis version.
I wore this dress out for dinner and drinks (and a few rousing games of Jenga) right after taking these photos. Two thumbs up. As I said to my husband while we walked through the sweltering streets of Bangkok, "I love this dress because it feels like I am wearing nothing." So while this simple, elastic waist dress is unlikely to change lives or win any awards for novelty, it is highly likely to be worn a ton!