Aloha! I’m really happy to finally share my first Simple Sew Blogger Team make with you: the Sienna Dress. Being a lover of full skirts and fitted waists, I chose this pattern as this dress was right up my sewing street!
I used some raspberry viscose languishing in my fabric stash from a trip to the Birmingham rag market a few years ago. I’d bought 4m for about £12 and it served me well: I’d already made a full length By Hand London Anna dress and a short pair of By Hand London Holly shorts.
There’s a little bit of unintentional ‘ruching’ happening along the centre back seam of the skirt. This is just the fabric not quite playing ball here. Tut tut.
My favourite parts of the dress are the neckline: both the rounded back neckline and the sweetheart front neckline. I also tend to have to bring the shoulders in or adjust necklines for gaping but I didn’t need to do that for Sienna.
In terms of sizing, I cut a size 8 based on my bust and waist measurements. With a twirly skirt like this, I don’t pay attention to the hip measurement. I made one adjustment before cutting out, which was to cut the bodice front (main and lining) on the fold to eliminate the fold line down the centre front. Otherwise, I didn’t make any changes. I made a quick toile of the bodice to check fit and all was fine.
The instructions cover the main points. I would make sure, when you’re sewing the ‘V’ neck that you trim the seam and clip right into the centre of the V (taking care not to cut into the stitching) to ensure you get a nice and sharp V there. One of the skirt pieces was laid it in a way I was unfamiliar with — having the size grading not on the side seam, but the centre front — that definitely confused me to begin with. but it all works out!
I had a lot of fun twirling in this!
For finishing touches, I overlocked all of the seams and, as I had a day off last week where I binge-watched quite a good proportion of The Good Place (I did also go and give blood though!), I curled up on the sofa and hand-stitched both the super-long hem and the lining to the bodice.
I really like Sienna! It took me a little while to get going with her, mainly because life got in the way and the winter weather just completely zapped my sewjo for all projects, not just the summery ones. But it’s slowly coming back! Despite the weather at the moment, this dress would be ideal for layering with perhaps a high-neck knit top or with a cardigan over the top. Otherwise, I look forward to wearing her to a summer party!