Hi guys its Lesley again.
This month’s blog post is all about a gorgeous dress I made to wear to the rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding. Except for this thing called the Beast from the East – more on that later.
Anyway, as usual with these blogs for Sewisfaction choosing fabric is the hardest task. They’ve just got in so many lovely gorgeous fabrics that made choosing so difficult. I’m trying to build a wardrobe with colour palettes that make things wearable together – for me that’s blues, yellows and reds. Eventually after a lot of procrastination I chose this navy Art Gallery Floret Honeydew jersey fabric because it hits 2 of those 3 colour notes. It’s a lovely medium weight jersey that is very soft with good stretch recovery. Perfect for a winter/spring dress or a jersery top (I’ve seen a few Agnes tops in this and they look lovely).
The pattern I chose (after yet more procrastination – you getting a theme here?) was this McCall’s pattern, 6884, that came free with Love Sewing a few months ago. Magically view B fits perfectly into 2 metres of fabric. And I mean perfectly. I even managed to lengthen the skirt by about 15cm to make it knee length rather than above the knee (horrible varicose veins need to be hidden at all costs). I also went for the longsleeve version – this is one of the aspects of sewing I truly love. Its so difficult to buy dresses in the shops that have proper length sleeves (they always seem to stop just below the elbow). Its so cold up here in Scotland and I’m bored of layering up with cardigans. Who wants to cover up an awesome dress with a cardi if you can make your own dress that keeps you fully warm!
As usual I read the pattern size on the back of the packet and then completely disregarded it. I know it’s been said before but the amount of ease in the big 5 patterns does my head in. In the end I folded a jersey dress that fits me and laid it against the pattern pieces. This put me at 2-3 sizes smaller than the packet would have you believe.
The actual sewing is really quick. In total it probably took me 2.5 hours of sewing time and that’s only because I’m cautious about solely relying on my overlocker. I tend to sew each seam with a stretch stitch on my normal sewing machine first to make sure I’ve got all the seams in line correctly and haven’t caught any fabric in the seams. I then go back over each seam with the overlocker to keep it neat and tidy. The bonus of this method means if you don’t have an overlocker this pattern is still totally doable.
Another step I take that isn’t detailed in the pattern is to reinforce the neckline and the shoulder seams with either see-through elastic or thin ribbon. These are the seams that have the greatest pull on them during normal wear and I find using elastic or ribbon keeps the garment looking good for longer. For this garment there is no facing – you merely double fold over the neckline so it was easy to hide the ribbon I used and keep it looking neat. Tilly and the Buttons has a really good tutorial in the Zadie sewalong which you can read here.
Here is the final result – a really rather lovely dress in fabric that is so super soft it feels like secret pyjamas. The belt is rather lovely at hiding any chub around the middle that you might be self-conscious about.
I’d definitely make it again though I think I’ll make a little adjustment to the bodice. You may note I’m wearing vest underneath – that’s because its just a little bit indecent around the boobs. Those of you that are small of norks probably won’t have an issue you lucky things but if you’re like me you’ll have a drawer full of vests for this purpose.
I also think this dress would be pretty easy to adjust for maternity wear. If you were to cut and spread the front pattern piece at the waist line you could build space for a bump.
If you’re wondering why there are no photos taken at the rehearsal dinner you may have missed the weather updates from the UK last week. Sadly the Beast from the East caused us a major upset in travelling down to our friends wedding. We set off from Edinburgh on the Thursday and after many, many detours finally made it to Wiltshire on Saturday roughly 1.5hours before the wedding. So sadly we missed the rehearsal dinner but the important thing was we made it to the wedding.
Hope you liked this blog and are inspired to get this pattern out. I’ll see you all in a few months.
PS – Honeydew Florets is currently out of stock, but we have lots of lovely jersey fabrics perfect for this pattern!