Back in September the lovely people at Simplicity got in touch to ask if I would like to choose any of their patterns to feature on my blog. I often struggle to fit dresses and I had heard great things about the Amazing Fit collection of patterns, so along with a shirt dress (more on that in a later post) I chose this dress:
I intended to sew this dress up much quicker, along with one more, in time to complete my 2013 sewlution of making two everyday, work-appropriate dresses. However, as often happens, life got in the way. I moved house in October and my life was consumed with packing and boxes and unpacking and even more boxes for what felt like a very long time. By the time I was finally in a position to start work on this dress, it was December and I had made peace with the idea that I was not going to complete my sewlution. But I was still going to make this dress!
I used a lovely cotton that I bought some time ago from Fenwicks in Leicester. I’m not a bit fan of facings so instead I lined the bodice and skirt using a gorgeous silk cotton I bought from Goldhawk Road. I know that many other bloggers have raved about this lining – I can tell you that all the accolades are justified. It’s beautifully soft and feels so luxurious. Because the pattern calls for facings I winged adding the lining. For the most part this worked out ok, but there was a fair bit of head scratching to start off with. I debated whether or not to add the sleeves and I’m glad I did as I think this makes the dress slightly more wearable for winter.
In the picture about it looks like the zip is gaping – in real life it sits fine but I do have a confession to make…in an attempt to take pictures of this dress in natural light there may be some pins holding the dress together in some of these pictures(!). Even so the light isn’t brilliant but it’s the best I could do on this gloomy day. These pictures were taken in a rare break between rain showers by my long-suffering boyfriend! Oh and in case you were wondering, yes I was freezing!!
Being a perfectionist, I like the inside of my makes to look as neat and tidy as the outside. Partly because of the addition of the lining, and partly because I didn’t stop and think about how I was going to do the seam finishes until I was well into making the dress, I have ended up with a bit of a mish-mash on the inside. For me, French seams are the ultimate seam finish but for most of the skirt I didn’t think about this until I was past the point of no return. Also, as much as I love them, sometimes life is too short to sew everything twice, especially for a skirt like this which has 7 seperate pieces – that’s a lot of seams! Sadly my trusty overlocker is also out of action at the moment (my own fault, I need to get around to buying some more thread!) so I used a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to go over all of the unfinished seams. If you don’t have an overlocker, this is a great alternative – the main thing I missed was the cutting function which makes the seams extra neat for that professional finish.
I’m really, really happy with how this dress turned out. The fit is spot on and I love the fabric. I’m pleased that I took the time to add additional touches such as the full lining. I also slip-stitched the hem for the first time EVER (usually I’m too lazy to do this!). It was worth it though for a good finish. This is the first everyday dress that I have made and I can see it getting a lot of wear. I may have failed on my Sewloution (and for this I grovel to the mistress of the jar for forgiveness) but I ended up with a fabulous dress – so it’s all good!
Looking back on 2013, I was shocked to discover that this is the first dress I have made since August 2012. 2012!! Given that I would wear a dress every day if I could, I find this hard to believe. I think perhaps it’s because fitting dresses can be a daunting prospect. However this make is proof it can be done and so I have decided – 2014 is going to be the year of the dress!
What are you hoping to make more of this year?