A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

My Festive Frock

I finally now have a dress to match the festivities! Hooray!

This dress is made from the fabric that was sent out in last months boxes. I don’t think you can get much more Christmassy than red with white stars.

I used the Simple Sew Grace dress that came with issue 30 of Love Sewing Magazine as I liked the simple style of it. I decided to make sleeveless top version with the pleated skirt.

I always seem to struggle with fit around the neckline, according to the interwebs I have a ‘hollow chest’. Yep. Sounds lovely doesn’t it?! It just means that I get a lot of gaping along the neckline and it hasn’t been something that a full bust adjustment has ever fixed.

Instead I made a toile of the bodice, pinched out the gaping to work out how much needed to be taken out on each side. It was only a couple of centimetres. I made the change to the paper pattern piece, transferring the amount into a side bust dart which gave it a better shape on me. I used method 2 in this tutorial.

It did an ok job, although I’m still not entirely happy with it. I also needed to take out some of the neckline on the back pieces as there is a lot of gaping there. I think I figured that if I can’t see it it’s not really there right?

The other thing I should have done was to take in the darts below the bust a bit more as the waist band doesn’t sit snug against my body, which makes it look like I have no waist. However by the time I realised that I had already attached the waistband to both the shell and the lining (twice because I had to lengthen the bodice) inserted the zip (again – twice due to having to lengthen the bodice) and slipstitched the lining down. So there was no way I was going to go back and make adjustments by that point.

But I finished it all off and I think with the jacket it doesn’t look too bad. I mentioned above about lengthening the bodice – it was sitting way too high to start off with, so I unpicked and re-sewed this time with a more narrow seam allowance.

As I think you can probably tell, this dress wasn’t as simple for me as the packaging suggested. What can I say, I got curves. The whole point of sewing your own garments is to make clothes that fit and for every mistake made a lesson is learnt.

I do love the pleated skirt and am making it up in my dressmaking class. Did I tell you I’ve been doing a course? Most of my dressmaking knowledge has come from family and the internet so when I started SewHayleyJane I wanted to take a class to make sure I was doing everything right. I’ve already learnt that I make life hard on myself with some of my techniques… including making pleats!

I think this pattern has potential to work really well if I keep going with it, making more adjustments. The nipped in waist style works really well for me when I want to look a little more dressed up, but for everyday wear I’m leaning towards much more relaxed, easy fitting styles.

Now that the dress is done and the December boxes are out for delivery, I’m heading up the loft to dig out all the Christmas decorations… expect lots of pictures on Instagram!