So after realizing I had a fit issue on some of the previous dresses, I decided to finally figure out how to do a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment). Most sewing patterns (especially from the big commercial companies) are written for a B cup, and I am not that. There are some patterns now that have different bodice pieces for different cup sizes, which makes things much easier.
I looked around on Pinterest, and found this Full Bust Adjustment tutorial. It's pretty clear, but when reading it over again for the 4th time the comments about the movie she's watching get a little old :) But I successfully altered the front bodice piece for Simplicity 2444, and this is what I got.
This quilting cotton has been in my stash for years. I think it worked out well for a dress, the vertical pattern is flattering.
The fit is much better, too! Yay! The FBA makes the bodice piece a little bit wider, so I adjusted for it by sewing a 3/8 inch center seam in the skirt front instead of the regular 5/8 inch.
I also added in lining instead of facings this time, and I'm much happier with it.
I decided I was finally ready to cut into some of my batik fabric after this success, and this is instance three of Simplicty 2444.
The batik fabric is a little softer and drapier than quilting cotton. This made the collar a little bit funny after washing it, but I'm sure if I ironed it more carefully than I did here, it would be fine.
Note that is is Indonesian batik (pronounced BAH-teek there), so it's not the same as the batik fabric you find here in the US. The design is printed instead of made with a wax resist, but it's based on really intricate designs that were originally made using a series of wax resists and dyeing.
I'm really proud of myself for figuring this out! I'm giving Simplicity 2444 a rest for a while now, but I could try making it again with different options for a different look.