I've seen some great versions of this dress out in blogland, and I LOVE me a pattern with cup sizes, particularly a knit pattern. For some reason, I have more trouble doing an FBA in a knit than a woven.
I pulled out this piece of ITY that I have had forever. It was from my very first ever FabricMart order. I love it, but those big dots made me nervous and so I could never settle on a good pattern for it. I thought it would work well for this, since the skirt is such a large piece, which allows the print to remain intact. But since I hadn't used it in all these years, I knew I wouldn't cry too hard if it wasn't wearable. Still, I'm thrilled that it is!
The pattern is Vogue 8724, which is a Very Easy pattern with cup sizes. It really was very easy. I did a quicky tissue fit, and then fit as I go. I ended up making no alterations, and I can wear it, but a cami is necessary. You can't really tell on Sandra Dee, but the neckline is LOW. As in bra baring, and I wear demi cup bras. I thought it was going to be fine as I was stitching it. I tried it on before I attached the skirt and it covered all the business. The skirt is heavy though, and pulls the bodice down, which is something I'd only have discovered by making this "muslin".
The armhole is also a little low and overly scooped out for my taste. Again, the weight of the skirt worsens this problem, so it might not be as obvious in a firmer knit or in the shorter version.The cami covers up the gap under there, but the next version I'll raise and fill in the armhole a little.
Another thing I'm not in love with is the bust darts. I like the smoothness of the line that the dart creates, but in the D cup pattern, it is just to wide to sew without forming a dimple at the point. Several other reviewers on PR noted this as well, and converted the dart to gathers. It's a different look, so I'll have to contemplate it.
The back is completely fabulous though. I love the princess seaming that gives it such a beautiful shape. I didn't do a great job placing the print back there, but I think another sewist would probably be the only one to notice. Overall, I really love this pattern. I wore it all day running errands and chasing kids and felt totally great. The cami is definitely essential though, as Duncan seems to like pulling the bodice to one side. It's absolutely nursing friendly! It is a great shape and style, economical of fabric (the long version takes less than 2 yards) and an easy sew. With a few alterations to the neckline and armholes, I think it'll be great! I have this amazing border print that I'm planning for the next version...