I don't know about you, but there are few things that make me happier than wearing a pretty new dress on a lovely sunny day out. Just to prove it, here I am on just such a day, jumping for joy in my new dress.
Can we just appreciate the fact that a) this photo actually captures me jumping, b) it was the first and only jumping photo we took and c) I don't look demonic in it (there's something about having my photo taken while moving which makes me pull the weirdest faces - please tell me I'm not the only one?!).
This is the first dress I've made from the book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time by Tanya Whelan, which my brother gave me (with a little prompting) for my birthday. The book gives you patterns for various bodices/necklines/skirts/sleeves that are all interchangeable and can be combined to make your own custom dress. I'll write a proper review at some point down the line once I've used it more, but my first impressions at least are definitely positive.
This is the basic bodice from the book, using the scoop neck variation, with a circle skirt and short sleeves. I did also add in pockets from the Emery dress - the one complaint I do have about the book so far is that I can't see any evidence of pockets. It's not a big issue because pockets are something that can easily be appropriated from another pattern, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes to have somewhere to keep a tissue, am I?
I chose to cut the back on the fold and use a side zip, if nothing else to remove the headache of trying to get the pattern to match down the centre back.
I initially made a toile using the size 6 at the bust and 7 at the waist based on the size chart, but I ended up going up a size and using a 7 at the bust and 8 at the waist. I wonder if the measurements given, which I took to be body measurements, are actually finished garment measurements because the 6/7 are the sizes that match my measurements (and I'm not trying to flatter myself), but when I made up the toile I'd have barely been able to get the zip done up, let alone been able to breath once I was in the dress. The mix of sizes 7 and 8 (with my standard addition of length in the bodice) fits nicely though so it's all good.
The fabric I used is an organic poplin from The Village Haberdashery - they don't seem to have it in stock anymore, but they do have it in a different colourway if you're interested. It's a really good quality, crisp fabric, but it did behave slightly differently to normal poplins. I found that pins left very definite marks in the fabrics, as did basting stitches. They're not too noticeable, and I'm pretty sure they'll disappear with wear/washing, so it's not a criticism of the fabric - more an observation.
I'm really happy with how this dress turned out - so much so that I've already made a second with a gathered skirt instead of a circle. As an added bonus, this is another dress that goes really nicely with my recently blogged cardigan. And if that wasn't enough, I actually wasn't cold when we were taking these photos even though it was still February and it's only a cotton dress. Admittedly, I was in a sheltered spot, but it's definitely a sign that warmer weather is on it's way which has got to be a good thing, right?