When I asked the family when they could see me wearing my latest handmade dress, there seemed to be a consensus. On the whole. Not shopping. Maybe not to work. Not too formal an occasion. To a gallery or theatre trip, perhaps. A restaurant. Especially a fish restaurant. (I love fish) To an event.
There were suggestions that I might want to break it up with a plain cardigan or shawl.
I see their point. The print is big. In retropect, it might work better as a top.
Putting that aside, I like it. It is so comfortable to wear. I used the Butterick B4386 pattern again. I contemplated adding the sash this time, but I suspect it would have condemned the outfit strictly to special occasions only.
Having learnt from my previous dress, I made a few alterations. The back sagged, so I took 2mm off each of the side seams and made the back darts bigger, which narrowed the back without losing the comfort. The back hugs me more than the first time I used this pattern. I have plans to alter the darts on the brown one too.
I’m pleased I cut the fabric out carefully for the back. The fish swim effortlessly across the zip perfectly. I made an error when sewing it. Hmm. I guess that’s what seam rippers are for. After careful re-pinning, I managed to match the two sides up again.
I usually hand sew hems, to give them a polished finish. This time I went for a decorative stitch. I kept it subtle. Trying to give the impression of waves, to go with the fish. It was so easy to do and just adds that little detail, that I will do it again. Maybe experiment with contrasting thread next time.
The cotton poplin fabric came from a local shop. It does crease easily, given half a chance. I forgive it as the colours are beautiful. It is vibrant, which is best seen in the sleeve photo.
Raining today, so I retreated to my sewing room for the photos. Eldest helped take them, until all three children ran off with the puppet and left me to figure out the self timer. Ah well. Needs must. Shame though. I’ve always felt that particular puppet was flamboyantly dressed, making it the perfect companion for this particular dress.
I love this dress. A good rainy day dress. I shall find as many occasions to wear it as possible, because it feels fun to wear.
Before I start, this post is about a dress. A dress I made. Looking at the photos, you might be forgiven for thinking it is about Blue the Deerhound. It isn’t. It seems that she has recently discovered that she likes having her photo taken. Camera comes out and she is straight there. As splendid as she is, she had absolutely nothing to do with the manufacture of the dress.
I’m glad we’ve sorted that one out
Now on to the dress.
I picked up the fabric last year at a discounted price (£1.99 per metre – I’m sure it must have been a typo!), from Minerva Crafts. They no longer stock it. It’s an embroidered, stretch needlecord and a gorgeous colour. Orangey-brown with a black cord twisted and turned on the surface of the fabric.
The only problem I had with the fabric was that some of the black cord started to undo. A quick anchoring stitch or two sorted it out. I suspect it will happen again, but I absolutely love the pattern the embroidered cord makes, so I’m not put off.
In the same order, I selected Butterick 4386 pattern (Butterick patterns). I was after work outfits and this pattern offered six combinations, which would give me a good choice. Plus more, if the sleeves are swapped around. Also, any pattern that says “Fast & Easy” on the front and “very easy” on the back suggests that the first dress I make stands a good chance of not putting me off whisking up another.
I went for view C without the sash.
The pattern instructions are straightforward, with not too many steps. I like my sewing patterns the same as recipes. Short and sweet, so I can add my own variations in.
The only part I would change is the zip stage. It’s sewn in after the side seams are stitched up, which left me fitting the zip in a tube rather than on the flat. It would have been easier to sew the zip in and then stitch the sides. The zip is 22″ (55cm) long, which makes the dress wonderful to step into when I’m dressing, but made matters worse when it came to fitting it to the dress.
Next time, I’ll fit the zip and then stitch the side seams.
Only other change I made is that I used silk from a recycled silk shirt to face the neck line, instead of the needlecord fabric. (I’ve already mentioned this in an earlier post. Forgive me for repeating). It meant I avoided the black cord thread rubbing against my neck, which would have irritated. I love the touch of green and it still does the designed job.
I am very happy with the finished dress. Super comfortable to wear and a great choice when I visit work clients. The dress is intended for the autumn. I can see myself wearing it with shoes or boots for a different look. Maybe a scarf to ring the changes. I suspect that come the cooler months, I’ll be taking the side seams in, as it is already feeling too loose and I’m determined to get fitter.
So on to the next project. I’m working on the next version of this pattern. A more summery version.
Thank you to the Teen who took the photos and her sister who tried to control Blue. It proved to be a difficult job when a young deerhound is determined to have her photo taken, but you both did well.
You can be honest. She stole the show, didn’t she?