a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

my new love, the emery dress

hi everyone!

i’m back, today with an emery dress!

i’ve been mithering about buying this and putting the PDF together for a little while, but my fabric purchases at the sewing show solidified my need to get my act together and get a wiggle on with my first emery!

as this is a fitted woven bodice, i decided that i would make a toile.   i have never ever made a toile for anything in my life before, so this is pretty big news!

the first toile (see above on the left) told me i needed to give myself a bit more fabric for under my arms, and that i needed to raise the bust dart too.  i also took a smidge of fabric off the shoulders as they weren’t quite flush with my shoulder edges.  (shoulder edges, are they a thing?  i’m sure you know what i mean, i’ve been talking in these vague non-sewing terms for a while now!)

with these in mind, i made a second toile of the bodice (see above on the right) and it fitted much better, so cracked on cutting out the super cute heart print cotton from the NEC sewing show.  i was a bit worried it was “too” cute, but the girls i was with at the show reassured me that it would be fine.  i don’t know who i was kidding, it’s my favourite ever haha.

sewing up the dress was no problem.  i really took my time over the darts (aka my enemies, does anyone really like sewing them?!) and it paid off.  my speedy sewing is not compatible with darts, especially so many of them so it was worth slowing down for them.  there’s two darts in the front AND two in the back!

 i finished my edges with the overlocker and merrily sewed away.

after i’d finished the dress, i tried it on and it was okay.  you can see from the picture above that the bodice is still a bit big.  what i haven’t got a picture of was the back waist seam; it was sitting really low.  turns out i remembered to take 1cm off the bottom of the front waist piece, but forgot the back pieces so when i cut my fabric, my back bodice was too long.  mah!  all fixable things.

i wanted to wear the dress out to dinner with my friends one night in the week, so i gave myself an hour and a half to make the adjustments before i had to get ready… it was all fine!

i took the zip out and unpicked the back skirt waistband to just past the side seams.  then i unpicked the side seams.

i graded out from under the arm and took the side seams in by about 1/2 inch around the waist each side.  then i re-gathered the skirt (it wasn’t the best at my seam joins anyway) and attached it back to the bodice.  overlocked around the inside again, re-attached my zip, and then the dress fitted much better!

i made a couple of changes to the construction of the dress – firstly i didn’t line the bodice.  secondly i finished the neckline with bias tape instead.  i’m sure if i was making a fancy version for a special occasion the lining would be nice, but i didn’t have any fabric suitable for a lining, and also (mainly) i couldn’t be bothered.

i also left out the pockets.  why!, i hear you cry!  pockets in a dress are the best things in the world!  i know internet, i know.  however, i didn’t want to add any bulk to the junk i’ve already got going on my hips.  side seam pockets just aren’t my pals.

could probably still look at taking a bit more fabric out the back looking at this picture!  i also definitely need to put a hook & eye at the top of that zip, haha.

it was a bit of a faff, but we got there in the end, dreamy emery!

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“my new love, the emery dress”

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