There are two different versions of this pattern that you can make. Both versions of the dress feature an unlined sleeveless bodice with three small darts under the bust and a wide lined waistband. I will point out that the waistband looks much thinner on the pattern illustration that it actually is. The waistband is lined and interfaced which gives this section some structure.
The back bodice has darts and the neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding. View A has a gathered dirndl skirt which is basically a rectangle of fabric. The dirndl skirt also has large patch pockets. View B has piping and a fitted pencil skirt. The illustration makes this look more like an an A-line skirt than the photos on Christine Haynes's website. I chose to make View A as this is more my personal style.
I made a size 8 based on my measurements (36 inch bust) and I made no adjustments at all. I have to say the fit is pretty good. It's fitted but not too tight, so makes a nice dress to wear on a hot summer's day.
The dress was easy to sew together and the instructions were very clear and detailed. The most time consuming part of making this dress was the bias bound neckline and armholes. I found this quite fiddly and time consuming. The pattern uses double fold bias binding rather than single fold binding, which is basically single fold pressed in half again. The pattern instructs you how to make you own double fold bias binding. The instructions on how to attach the bias binding are super detailed, however this part can be a little confusing. There are loads of brilliant tutorials on how to use bias binding including this one on Christine Haynes' website. I posted a comment to ask her whether I could use single fold bias binding and this is her reply:
It was lovely to get such a detailed personal response.
I think when I make this dress again (and I am planning my next), I will draft an all-in-one facing and see if I prefer that finish. That said my bias binding is pretty neat but I do feel like the neckline stretched out slightly despite stay-stitching. The only other change I made was to leave the pockets off as I couldn't quite get my pockets the same size. I think I will make a card template next time and use this to press my pockets into shape.
My invisible zip is really neat and I am getting really good at inserting them. The only thing I still find really tricky is closing the gap at the bottom of the zipper tape. Any tips on how to do this? I inserted it a little low so also need to add a hook and eye.
So to sum it up, the Sylvie Dress is a great pattern. It was fairly easy to make and I think an ambitious beginner could certainly tackle view A, although view B might be a bit more tricky. I am surprised how few Sylvie dresses there seem to be out there in the blogosphere, given what a great pattern designer Christine Hayne's is and how popular the Emery Dress is. The Sylvie Dress is a perfect dress for a summer's day and is super wearable.
I hope I've inspired you to give this pattern a shot. I'd love to hear from you if you do make it or if you have any other perfect summer dresses to recommend.