Friday, 4 March 2016

Jumping for joy in a new dress

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?

22 comments:

  1. That really suits you. Lovely fabric and not seasonal. That book sounds great it's on my Amazon wish list K xXx

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    1. Thank you! I really like the fact that this dress isn't seasonal too - good to have things to wear year round!

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  2. Warm weather is coming, so you will have lots of chances to wear this beautiful dress. It looks great. Was it hard doing a side zip. I often see them on RTW clothes but rarely on a sewing pattern.

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    1. Thank you Louise! No, I didn't find the side zip hard - probably much the seam as a centre back zip I'd say.

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  3. Another great dress, Ruth! It really suits you. I love how the circle skirt moves, it's so swishy. The jumping photo is fantastic as well. My face struggles with normal photos so moving ones are usually an absolute disaster, haha!

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    1. Thank you Jo! Whenever I try to take moving photos I seem to think facial expressions need to be exaggerated for some reason so I usually end up looking terrifying - I was pleasantly surprised with this jumping one!

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  4. Your dress is gorgeous! I love the polka dot fabric, and the fit looks great. Totally agree with the need for pockets, and the first photo is brilliant!

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    1. Thank you Lynne! I suspected I wasn't alone in needing pockets - I always miss them in dresses without them!

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  5. We need more jumping photos from you - it could be your signature shot!

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    1. I'll try to give you more jumping, but I can't promise anything - I've tried it before and the results haven't been pretty!

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  6. Looks great and love the fabric x

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  7. I love everything about your dress. The style really suits you and the fabric is gorgeous

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    1. Thank you! I do love this style of dress!

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  8. Love the colours in this fabric, I've been dreaming about a big full circle skirt dress for a vintage sheet (and I have this book too and haven't used it yet ;o)

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    1. They're a good selection of colours aren't they? Big circle skirts are always fun - I'd definitely recommend trying this!

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  9. Looks beautiful in you, lovely jumping photo!
    Pockets are the best thing about making your own clothes - you can add them in. I can't remember the last time I bought a dress or skirt that had pockets. There is a great kids book called "Bill's new frock" where the author points out how unfair to girls it is that our clothes don't always have pockets!

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    1. Thank you!
      That book makes a very good point - girls definitely need pockets just as much as boys!

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  10. Thanks for your review, I've just got my copy of that book and I'm preparing to make a muslin of the basic bodice and bacis straight skirt. i'M very curious about the measurements.

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    1. You're welcome! I hope your muslin went well - hopefully I just did something strange with my measurements and it'll all work out fine for you!

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  11. New to your blog but I have really enjoyed your writing style and of course I love the dress and the cardigan. You can never have too many dresses. Jo x

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    1. Thank you Jo - that's nice to hear! And yes, you can definitely never have too many dresses - I think that should probably be my motto in life!

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