Sew… I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone and make a dress that isn’t the French Navy Orla. Since making the Orla dress and it fitting me so well I haven’t really been sewing other dresses as I’m worried they won’t fit as well and will have spent hours altering patterns and sewing up toiles all for nothing! The FBA is now definitely my friend and I wished I had been brave enough at the beginning of my sewing journey to figure it out. I’ve definitely realised that waist darts fit my shape better than bust darts. Due to the large FBA adjustment I’m then left with a large dart which does sit well so I now make this dart into a cluster of three darts and I find this gives a really good shape. It’s sounds scary but it really isn’t and I would definitely recommend it.
The Simple Sew pattern collection has a few dresses with just waist darts so this month I decided to give the Grace dress a go. I know you can move darts but I’m going to work my way up to that! I went straight in and altered the pattern rather than toiling it with no alterations as I know an FBA is always needed. Before cutting into the amazing Lady McElroy fabric from Doughtys I made a wearable toile using some fabric from my stash and was so surprised that it fit! No further adjustments needed, yay! By no further adjustments I meant fit adjustments. I decided to move the zip from the centre back to the side seam. I’ve recently done a little blog about this over on my own blog.
Let’s start with the construction. The bodice is lined and I really like this as it makes it all super neat. I do love neat insides! However as I moved the zip I wasn’t able to line the bodice as per the instructions. Instead I joined around the neck and then joined the sides for the bodice and lining separately. This means that it’s all neat apart from the arm holes. To finish these edges I used bias tape and finished by hand.
I really wanted to add the capped sleeves but couldn’t get my head around where to position them. Unfortunately there are no markings on the sleeve or on the armhole. I have been told that these will be added on the next printing run. I’m hoping that I can get the sleeves added to this dress as I feel more comfortable with sleeves and I have enough fabric left over to add them in.
I went for the knee length version of the dress and its slightly longer than I would usually go for but I actually really like it. I decided to use bias tape for the hem as well as I didn’t want there to be a visible row of stitching. It’s also the perfect excuse to use up some of the bias binding I have in my stash.
There’s a lot of hand sewing but it’s definitely worth it to have a really neat finish. Oh and yes it has pockets!
The fabric I used is the Lady McElroy Charcoal Dreams in blue. It’s a cotton lawn and has a lovely drape and is going to be perfect for this summer dress. Although it’s a darker background I will definitely wear it lots throughout the summer and it will also work as a transitional piece into autumn, not that I’m wishing autumn to turn up anytime soon.
This is a great dress and if I can get the sleeves sorted there will definitely be more of these appearing in my wardrobe.