I downloaded the pattern for the Maxi dress #117 by Burda Style magazine from Burdastyle. You make the purchase online and then you are able to download the pattern and print it from home. I have downloaded several patterns before now and you have to piece the papers together with tape before you cut it out. They give you a diagram of how the pieces fit together so it's pretty straightforward, if a little time-consuming. They do have a reasonable selection of free patterns as well as ones to buy, and members are able to submit their own so it is worth doing if you find something nice you want to sew and especially when it is free! The pattern for this dress I think was about $5 and although I love the dress the instructions for putting the dress, particularly the bodice, are really horribly written. And I mean HORRIBLY. This would make an ideal project for a novice sewer or someone with just a little experience who wants to make something to wear, but I think they would be immediately put off by the instructions which appear to be written by someone whose first language is not English. And nor is it their second.
So, whilst I was making my dress, I took some photos so that I could show you what to do.
Firstly, you need pieces 21, 22, and 23. My download came with piece 24 which appears to be part of a jacket and so it confused me for a while, as I tried to work out where it fitted in. You do not need piece 24!
Seam allowances are not included in Burdastyle magazine patterns so I went around the edges of my paper pieces with my ruler and measured 5/8 of an inch with dots and matched it all up (a bit like a dot-to-dot). It felt a bit like a maths lesson. And I never liked maths. It is however, a necessary evil when sewing.
Once I had cut my pieces I then needed to work out which bits joined where, and obviously the instructions were of little help. After a trial run on a piece of scrap fabric, I realized that the pins in the photo below need to join to each other.
Since you are sewing on a curve, you are creating a shape to the bodice and it will stick out. If you have done it right, it will look like this photo below.
You then need to join the back pieces onto the sides. This is fairly straightforward, just make sure that the curve of the pattern piece, curves downwards.
And this is what the bodice shape should be like. I made 2 like this and used one for the lining. I didn't use the lace the keep talking about in the instructions. Instead I used some piping I made for another project and used that around the back and the neckline.
I found the part about attaching the skirt layers pretty straightforward after that, and used my common sense and read between the lines. If you have any questions about it, I can try and answer them for you.
My fabric is a Kona cotton in raisin.