This dress was made way back in December, and photographed… maybe a month ago? So it’s been hanging around for a while, but because I’m not that excited about the dress itself, I haven’t got around to writing a post about it. Finally, here it is.
It’s modelled after a dress I’ve had a long time (like, about five years – it’s my oldest item of clothing I still wear regularly) and still get compliments on every time I wear it (random stranger compliments, too). Unfortunately, it didn’t end up as a particularly good copy, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s too low at the neck for me to feel entirely comfortable in it. In these photos it looks ok, but they show it when I’ve just put it on, and it tends to sink/gape more through the day.
Secondly, the skirt ended up a bit weird. I traced it off the original dress, but didn’t take into account that the waistband on this hits slightly lower (aka actually under my bust – this was deliberate) and also is wider than the original, therefore the skirt starts quite a bit lower, and therefore was not wide enough for my hips. I added emergency side panels (I’ve forgotten the word for them – gores?) on both sides, and that made it fit my hips, but did some fun things to the silhouette of the skirt. So it’s wearable, but not awesome.
On the other hand, I love the bias binding/flat piping details. I’ve seen a couple of people recently say they think bias binding makes something look home-made, and I am squarely not in that camp. I love it. I love how clean it can be, and the even lines (I also love visible seam lines, for how clean they look, so… not sure what that says about me). I tend to hand-stitch my bias bindings down, instead of top-stitching, and I actually enjoy that process too. Honestly, I’d always pick a bias binding over a facing unless my single goal was speed. I hate wearing things with facings, so even if I don’t want a visible binding I’ll turn it to the inside and stitch there (this is how I finished the armholes on this dress).
The back is not my finest piece of work. Aside from the pulling (I actually did muslin the bodice! You just can’t tell. And I really need a sway back adjustment), the zip is not very well inserted, and I bodged the bias binding at the top so there’s a raw edge visible (ok, it does make it look homemade). I do like having the contrast zip though. Even if I mostly only did it because that was the zip I had on hand.
Because the fabric is not very opaque, the skirt is made with french seams, and the bodice underlined. This is probably the only construction thing that I’m proud of. So here’s a photo..
And one of the skirt insert.
You can also see the print in these – a very pale dandelion-ish print. It is a little more obvious in real life, but not that much. It’s also, obviously, blue, as is almost every other summer dress I have – currently, I’m not allowed to buy any more blue fabric because it was getting so ridiculous. Since I’ve recently fallen in love with red, this isn’t a hardship at the moment, but in January it was difficult.
This is very much not my finest work, but it did get some wear over the summer – it’s light and empire-waisted, which are my big hot-weather requirements – and it will now be retired in favour of the clothes I haven’t worn since October. I am quite happy with this exchange.
And I’ll leave you guys. Happy sewing!