I bought the pattern some time ago and spent my time cogitating and ruminating over which fabric to use. I eventually went with this border print which I bought last year some time. Strangely enough, it’s the second lot of fabric which I’ve bought which my WSBN firend Mel has also bought. We must be twinsies in another life!
This fabric is actually a border print, which for some reason I didn’t realise until I laid it out to cut out! Not sure what planet I was on, but…
I found the instructions really clear and easy to follow. As I’ve probably mentioned before I’m very much a follower of images and then read the words if it doesn’t make sense, and this pattern didn’t disappoint. The images in the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
I made up a muslin of the bodice first, simply so I could check where the underbust seam lie. As you can see it was just a bit high and so I had to extend the bodice pieces. I extended these by about an inch. To match with this, I took the corresponding amount off the fitted lower bodice pieces. I also found when making up the muslin that I could use a normal 5/8″ seam allowance. I used this for the muslin without checking the pattern and found it fit perfectly and I could still get the bodice over my head.
The length of the bodice itself was perfect for me. Quite a change from many patterns which I find I have to lengthen the bodice.
I got quite geeky about the pattern placement. With the shape of the bodice I had to be careful that I didn’t end up with the fabric patterns in odd places, so I took a lot of time and great care to ensure that the back was centred, the front pieces were exactly the same and even the sleeves and ties have the same placement! I did toy with the idea of using a continuous piece for the lower bodice as in the sleeveless version, but in the end I stuck with the pattern as it was.
I also put the sleeves in as the pattern states. I learned to inset a sleeve before ever putting a sleeve in flat and so I’ve never been afraid of insetting sleeves in this way.
I didn’t actually use the pattern pieces or even the measurements for the skirt. I prefer to cut skirts to my fave length (about knee length) and also I wanted to ensure the pattern matched. Just check this out…
All the seams are finished using French seams. The fabric is very fine and frays easily, so this seemed the best option. I used my new overlocker to finish seams on the waist and around the armholes.
As I’ve mentioned above, this fabric is very fine and see through. Consequently I decided to line the dress. I’ve lined mine in a very different way to which my fellow WSBN and TMS editor, Juliet, is lining hers. I knew from the muslin that I’d need to either wear a slip underneath or a cami top, so I decided to use some fine plain cotton to make a lining. The lining is completely self-drafted. The bodice is cut on the bias and the skirt lining is a considerably less full version of the main skirt (very useful for modesty in the Wellington wind!) I then cut the straps and the edging on the bias and made bias binding strips. The straps are attached to the dress using bar tacks and the lining is also attached to the dress at the waist. The lining is also finished using French seams!