Harriet's Sew Over It Doris Dress

​This month's box marked the years anniversary of the SewHayleyJane boxes – go Hayley!

The theme was the Sewing Bee, following the Great British Sewing Bee Live at the ExCel centre last month. The super adorable fat quarters in this box (designed by Stuart Hillard from series one of the Sewing Bee, no less!) were in lovely muted colours to add a touch of sophistication to the gorgeous prints. I'm going to keep the crafty theme going and use them to make myself a brand new pincushion for my sewing room – maybe even like the pig one that was on the show!

The main fabric was a gorgeous silky viscose with little flowers on a black background. Being a viscose, it was lovely and soft and is one of those fabrics so luxurious that you almost feel like you're not wearing anything when you have it on! As the floral print was quite little, I thought that it would work really well with the Doris Dress by Sew Over It – the fluted skirt has seven panels, so a smaller print is perfect to avoid the need for pattern matching!

I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but I really don't think that I could be any happier with my pattern choice; the beautiful drape of the fabric paired with the swingy skirt of the pattern (I chose the shorter length so that it could be more of an everyday garment) makes me feel like I should be skipping along a sunny beach somewhere, but can also be paired with some tights – potentially even snazzy coral ones to match the fabric – for the cooler months that we're definitely in in the UK now.

This was my first time making the Doris dress, and I found that the instructions were really clear and went, for the most part, without a hitch. To be honest with you, I was fully expecting to have a panel-related catastrophe and need a bit of a moment at least once to figure out which panel was which, but that didn't happen! My only tip would be to label on the wrong side of the fabric which pattern piece it is, and then you're away.

The only minor hiccup that occurred was when I was attaching the bodice to the skirt and ended up needing to unpick a whole lot because I'd gotten a little confused about the zip placement, but that didn't take too much time and wasn't really much of a problem at all. The zip that came in the box ended up being the perfect size for the dress – obviously, I took that as another sign that I'd made the right choice with the pattern.

Attaching sleeves has never really been my favourite part of dressmaking, so when I saw that the sleeves on this pattern were grown on, I did a little squeak of joy. Another reason to love this pattern – who would've thought it?! I used the time that would've been spent crying over sleeve insertion to instead attach some lace trim that I had in my stash while I watched the Last Leg on telly (one of my personal favourites).

I'm really pleased that I added this lace; initially, I was a bit worried that it might look a bit too old fashioned, but I think that it really adds to the fifties vibe and gives it a little something-something. I was thinking of adding it to the hem too, but I'm not sure – would that be a bit too much? I still have plenty of the scalloped lace trim left, and I think that I could even dye some of it to match the fabric for future projects.

All in all, I'm really, really pleased with this month's make and have already worn it four or so times! I'm so glad that I still have some of the fabric left for another make, and can't wait to use the fat quarters for my pincushion project. Yay for a year of Hayley! I can't wait to tackle the postman in excitement for the next box!

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