I've been wanting to sew the I AM Patterns 'Cassiopee' Dress Pattern for what feels like forever. I included it in my 2018 Make Nine sewing plans in attempt to finally sew it, then when I saw that Minerva Crafts stock I AM Patterns I was over the moon as I could make it for one of my blogger network makes!
Here's a peek at the pattern:
The 'Cassiopee' dress is a super simple smock style babydoll dress, reminiscent of one of I bought off the high street a few years back. I lived in that dress and it was my go-to outfit for meals out as the loose style would conceal my food baby... 
I also like to stalk the 'New In' section and when a new range of Viscose Fabrics appeared I knew this navy Roses Fabric would be the perfect pairing for my Cassioppe. This viscose fabric is a little thin and can be see through. But to get around this I'll simply wear a dark slip underneath, like I have done for these photos, and that solves that issue. Otherwise this fabric is a lovely weight for this dress and suits the swishy loose style. The print is also right up my street, I love darker florals and the colours in this print make it a great day-to-night dress and easy to pair with black tights in the colder weather.
Whilst the Cassiopee dress is simple to sew and a lovely style, there was one thing that really annoyed me. A lot of indie designers will offer PDF and printed options for their patterns, I don't enjoy the faff of PDFs and like to just crack on and cut my pattern out (plus I love the pretty packaging). I figured ordering the printed option would follow the usual specification of a pattern printed out and ready to cut out. But that wasn't the case. The pattern is over-layed on one sheet of paper, meaning you still need to trace all the pattern pieces out. GAHH. If I had known that I would have just ordered the PDF as it would have been simpler. This seems to me to defeat the point of offering the printed pattern option. I certainly had a sewing rage moment. 
I don't know if this is the case for all I AM Patterns, but I wouldn't opt for a printed pattern from them again, especially as the PDF is cheaper. 
Other than that initial hurdle, the Cassioppe dress is one of the easiest things I've ever made. There is no fastening, you simply pop it on over your head, and the loose fit leaves little room for fitting errors. 
That being said, being busty, sizing can sometimes be a headache. This style recommends you choose your size by your bust size. For me this puts me at the largest size. This sounded far too big, but I didn't want anything to be tight, so I made one size down from the largest instead. Resulting in a dress which is still way too big for me. Next time I'll go down another size or two. I also think I will go back to this dress and shorten it and take it in at the sides. 
Sewing Summary:
Notions: None
Sewing time: A hour or two.
Modifications: Nothing.
Fit: Too big.
Difficulty: Very easy!
Watch out for: Even gathers and getting the right size will make a big difference to this style.
Make Again?: Yes, but I need to go down a size or two.
Overall, I really like the style of the Cassiopee dress. I certainly need to do some tweaking before I'll be 100% happy with my version. For this particular dress, I'd like to shorten the hem and take it in at the sides, as I feel it drowns me a little bit. I also think if I were to make it again I would choose a thicker fabric, I think a crepe or cotton would be great. But I'm very happy I've finally tried the Cassioppee pattern and I look forward to trying this one again. 
Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo