I haven’t dropped off the planet – I’ve actually been doing quite a lot of sewing, both Mathilda and Jonathan have birthdays this month, so I’ve been busy preparing for that! But, I don’t want to share those just yet…however, in between all the fun birthday sewing I managed to squeeze in some sewing for me.
And, I actually made myself a dress!
The last dress that I made for myself was this one:
But that’s not what I’m going to share with you today, because I made myself an Emery dress:
- 4m main fabric
- 1m lining
- 56cm invisible zipper
- matching thread
- Brother My Star 3 sewing machine
- Lumina Overlocker
- Pins, and needles for hand sewing
I used fabric from my stash for this. A mystery wool tartan, with a fairly thick, but loose weave. I used standard black dress lining for the bodice lining.
The pattern I used is the Emery Dress by Christine Haynes. I feel like I’m a little bit late to the party on this one – I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and it was recently on sale, so I thought it was about time that I dived in and bought it.
And, I love it. This dress is designed for woven fabrics, and it has a fitted fully lined bodice with bust, back shoulder and waist darts, and an invisible zipper at the back. The skirt is slightly a-line and can be gathered or pleated to the bodice as you choose. The skirt falls a bit longer on me than on most people, because I’m a bit of a shortie.
But best of all. It has pockets.
I actually made two testers of the bodice before I committed to cutting into good fabric. The only adjustment that I made was to add some length – about 2 1/4 inches – which is a standard adjustment that I have to make. I think this is why its been so long since I made myself a dress – I thought that it would be too hard to get it to fit correctly, but I’ve doing a bit of reading on the interweb and gained enough confidence to give it a go.
And it worked out rather well.
My bust darts turned out really nicely.
The instructions for the side pockets were really easy to follow, and I ended up with the neatest pockets that I’ve ever had.
And not just on the inside, they sit so well on the outside too. So often, side seam pockets end up a bit bulky – but not these ones, they are almost completely hidden.
The invisible zipper turned out beautifully, even on the inside. I’m still new to invisible zippers, the techniques described in this pattern are slightly different to the way that I’ve been doing it, and it made a huge difference, it was so easy.
(Sorry for the funny looking photo – its hard to photograph black)
I handstitched the lining into place around the waistline, and I even handstitched the hems on the skirt and sleeves.
I chose to pleat the skirt, this fabric is fairly thick so I wasn’t sure how it would go with being gathered, but pleating was a great option.
But I did have one seriously bad problem.
Yes, I did feel a special kind of stupid! Not just because I stitched one of the sleeves on upside down, but because I had wondered why the notches didn’t match up – but blundered on through anyway, and because I had actually turned the sleeve the right way out to check the stitching, and also because I had already overlocked the raw edges to neaten them. Sigh!
Fortunately I was able to unpick it and re-sew it without any ongiong problems. But honestly, who would do this? Just me.
Another derp moment that I couldn’t fix – for some twisted reason I managed to cut the back skirt panels upside down. I guess that explaines why I couldn’t get the stripes to match! Unfortunately I didn’t have enough of the fabric to cut any more, so I have to live with it.
Overall, I’m really happy with how it fits. Its comfortable to wear, and will definitely get worn once the weather warms up a bit.
The neckline is just a little too wide and gapes a bit though, both at the front and back, but it doesn’t seem to be so very noticeable in these photos. Next time I will try to make some adjustments to fix that. And hopefully that will also fix the slight bunching that I have at the back.
I think its just a tad too wide across the shoulders for me. Although I’m pretty pleased with matching up the waist seam and almost matching up the stripes.
The fullness of the skirt is also really nice – not too big, not too small, just right. As I said before, its a bit longer on me than most people, falling to about 4 inches below my knees, but that’s quite a flattering length on me anyway, so I’m pretty happy to keep it at that.
I already have plans to make another one!
Thanks for reading.