Have you heard about the Sew Dolly Clackett contest that is going on over at Rhinestones and Telephones? I have only recently started reading Roisin’s blog and, oh my goodness, is it ever a treasure trove of amazing dresses! And her shoes! I just want to go hang out in her closet for a day.
I wanted to make a dress for the contest and I really love the Emery dress, which is one of Roisin’s favorites. I don’t have that pattern but then I remembered that the newest Lisette pattern, the Round Trip Dress, is somewhat similar. When Joann Fabrics had their Simplicity patterns on sale for $1.99 I scooped it up and got to work on my dress. I had this Heather Ross Briar Rose fabric in my stash and I thought it would be perfect.
I bought the pattern envelope that ranges from size 16-24 because according to my waist/hip measurements I was going to need a size 16. My bust measurement is more in line with the size 14 so I had to grade the bodice down. I made a muslin and had a lot of extra fabric in the upper bust/sleeve area. I did a small bust adjustment of about 3/8 inch hoping that would solve the problem and the fit was much better.
Once I finished the muslin stage and set to work with my actual fabric all sorts of things started going wrong. I sized the skirt up to the largest size I could fit on my fabric because I wanted as much fullness as possible. I had to cut the back pieces on a single layer of fabric instead of on the fold and somehow I cut both pieces facing the same direction. When it came time to attach the skirt one back panel was going to have the wrong side of the fabric facing out. There was really no way for me to fix it other than to order another yard of fabric.
While I waited for my fabric to come I managed to sew the neck facing wrong and it took me about 2 days to figure out what I had done. Thankfully that mistake was an easy fix. When I got my extra fabric I put everything together installed the zip, tried on the dress, and found that it was too big in the waist. (I think if I’d been thorough and installed an invisible zip in my muslin I would have discovered this earlier!) I knew there was no real way to fix it other than to unpick it all and take in the darts/seams. The adjustments I made took out about an inch from the waist but when I tried it on after that it didn’t seem to be any smaller. By this point I sort of just wanted to scrap it, but I knew I’d love the dress if only I could get the fit right. So I unpicked the front again, adjusted the bottom darts, and now it’s much better. If I can catch another Simplicity sale I think I should buy the pattern in the smaller size range and try to make a size 12 in the bodice next time.
I made two changes to the design of the dress. The pattern has a pleated skirt but I changed it to gathers. There is also a fabric loop and button at the neck which I eliminated. I tried it on before I had attached the button and thought it was cute with the neck open so I ended up removing the loop.
I love this bright, cheery fabric. The fitted bodice with the full skirt is such a classic, feminine style. I am so happy with my finished dress!