A border print, if you aren't familiar with it, has a decorative border that goes along the selvedges. Sometimes just one, or sometimes on both sides. It usually has a more subdued print in the middle. I've seen it a lot in 1950s garments, and it tends to pair well with the novelty print addiction of that time. The wonderful thing about a border print is that you have so many options to play with to position it. I spent a good while before I cut it out playing with possibilities, and it was supremely fun. The teal border down the front is my favorite positioning.
Now, I said this was my favorite shirtwaist pattern, and that's true, but it's not my favorite to sew. I love wearing it because it's beautiful and practical. The shirring at the back is extremely comfortable, and the pockets are superb, as pockets always are. I have two others (bumblebee and Hawaiian floral), and I take one with me on every trip.
The sewing is a different story, though. The first time I ever made this pattern was at a sewing retreat in California. It was my first ever to attend, and to this day is still one of the best vacations I have ever had. I think I was caught up in some sort of retreat magical haze, because every time I've made this pattern since then, it's been a real bear.
For starters, I had a few sleeve fit problems I never noticed. The first time I made this dress was the first time I remember feeling I'd be proud for someone to examine my construction, which created a whole other sort of magical haze. Last time I made this, I thought it was the rayon giving me grief, because oh boy did it. It's certainly worse in the rayon, but you can see it in the cotton, still. Here's mid-way through, when I realized I needed to take in a bit on the shoulders and cut the edge of the sleeve so they sat more evenly across my arm.
I'm also not a huge fan of the method of collar insertion for this pattern. You cut an extra yoke, baste in the collar, and then sew in the facing with the collar in one go. It is extremely difficult to do without puckers, and creates a lot of extra bulk. Once you've got that trimmed down and understitched, you hand sew down the yoke on the inside. I've found that there's too much wear at the arm seam for that handstitching to stay overtime, so it requires mending.
The instructions also recommend that you keep the elastic thread from your shirring in your bobbin to do the gathers at the yoke. I don't care for the look of those gathers as much as when I use a simple basting stitch, although it's a neat trick. If I make this pattern again, I'll definitely be making a few construction tweaks.
The shirring is extremely easy, though, so no worry on tackling it. You just draw one line as your starting point, and keep moving up from there. It only requires hand-winding your bobbin with elastic thread, and then you just sew a straight line! Very simple, and oh so comfy!
Despite the hiccups in construction, I am completely obsessed with this dress. I finished it Friday evening, and wore it for the next four days every time I left the house. It's will be well loved!