It's always a sad moment when you realise you will soon need to say goodbye to a well loved and well worn dress. About eight years ago I bought a couple of summer dresses for the office from Oasis. I still have them but only one has been consistently pulled off the rack, week after week throughout the seasons. I love this dress because of the way it makes me feel when wearing it, it's happy bright flowers backed up by a lovely shade of purple and its fit - which is pretty good for ready to wear.
Recently I have been trying to find a replacement for it and have been trying on various takes on the shift dress. I couldn't find any that worked as well. I came to the conclusion that this is because most of the styles don't have much shape at the front. My dress has long French darts on the front with a bust dart. The back also features long French darts but with a small additional diagonal ones which point towards the centre back seam. The closest sewing pattern I have found to this is Tilly's Francoise but it isn't quite right for what I wanted.
In the end, I traced off the dress and made it from the delightful Boca Raton in purple from Alexander Henry's Rio collection. You can read the further details including the changes I would make to the second version over on the Fabric Fox blog.