I’m much happier with this dress than my first one. I never would have bought this pattern if it wasn’t for seeing so many lovely versions of it all over the internet. Fitting wasn’t quite as big a nightmare as with my Anna as it’s a lot easier to grade between sizes on this one. I did still end up making loads of toiles but I won’t bore you with all details. I ended up sewing a size 12 at the shoulders and bust and then grading out to a 16 at the waist. A 16 is a a bit too big but a 14 was too small and I didn’t really want to faff about with altering the skirt pieces so I just went with the 16. I also took about an inch out of the front and back neckline.
I lined the bodice because I don’t really like facings and because the dress is made from a polycotton that doesn’t feel that nice.
A surprise discovery since I started sewing is that I quite enjoy hand sewing. Which is lucky as I did bloody loads of it for this dress, what with slipstiching the bodice lining down at the waist and to the zip tape and that giant hem. I’m not very quick so the hem alone took me two hours.
I’ve worn it twice already. First to a lovely monthly market in Uplands in Swansea where I was glad of the extra room in the waist as I snaffled lots of delicious foods – a huge roast pork bap, a scotch egg and so many delicious samples of cheese and pies (Caws Cenarth Cheese is possibly the best cheese in the world). And then to work, where I’ve had lots of compliments on it, which is nice. I love being able to say, “Thank you, I made it.”
Overall I’m much happier with this dress than my first one and I feel like I’ve learned more skills. There was lining the bodice, sewing pleats, staystitching the neckline and pattern matching – though I didn’t do as great a job of that as I thought I had and I have some slightly figure 8 shaped polka dots. I can definitely see me making lots more versions of this pattern.