It’s no secret that I love me a fit and flare dress; I’d say the vast majority of my makes fall into that category. There’s something – for me at least – that’s very flattering about this classic shape, and once I discovered the Grace dress I knew that it had all the potential of becoming a dress I can wear and make again and again.
Grace comes with two neck options, two skirt options (four if you include the different lengths!), and a capped sleeve option as well, so there’s a whole host of possibilities for making the dress my own. Did I mention that there’s pockets as well?
For my first Grace I went with a pleated skirt and scooped neck bodice. Length wise, I ended up falling between knee- and tea-length as although I wanted the longer length, I didn’t have quite enough fabric.
I used a gorgeous ditsy floral print that was kindly supplied by White Tree Fabrics and lined the bodice with a fab bright purple viscose I got from the Birmingham Rag Market (there’s a guy who does a whole rainbow of colours for £1/m. They’re not the most elegant of fabrics, but they’re great for linings).
Grace was a delight to sew, very quickly going from a flat piece of fabric into a dress I could wear out; indeed, I started sewing at lunchtime and wore my finished Grace out for drinks that evening.
A couple of hints and tricks I found along the way as I sewed:
- Checking how much fabric you have before you start is a good idea! I was playing pretty tightly to get my skirt pieces on the fabric I had to get the full tea length. I didn’t have quite enough. Which I discovered after cutting out one of the skirt pieces….
- Understitching the lining – where you sew the seam allowance to the lining on the inside – really helped to stop the fabric from rolling
- Clip as many times into the curve as you can, especially on the neckline, if you want the finished neckline to sit smoothly
- I had to take a few centimetres off the back bodice at the neckline to get it to match the front straps. This was easy to do; just lie the front piece on the back piece, align them at the side seams and mark on the neckline where any excess needs to be removed
Now I’ve worn the dress out and about, I’ve noticed a few minor tweaks to the straps that I’d like to change, but they’re not enough that, if I didn’t, the dress wouldn’t work.
All in all, Grace is a winner for me!
Rhiannon blogs at http://www.morebluefabric.co.uk