One more make under the belt.
This is my second project from the Colette Sewing Handbook after making myself two meringue skirts (which I wear loads it has to be said). I needed a dress for another wedding I'm going to in June and i thought this would be a great dress for just such an occasion!
I really like lines of this dress - it's very flattering when well fitted, although this version is maybe a little dressy to get a huge amount of wear, much like my Ceylon. I think the neckline is really pretty.
Anyway, on to the actual pattern. When tracing out the pattern, I graded from a size 6 across the bust, out to a size 8 at the waist on the bodice and then cut a straight size 8 for the skirt. Like Lauren, when I made the muslin, the back of the dress billowed out across the upper back. The bodice was also slightly too long for me and the skirt length definitely needed to be increased. Other than that though, the fit across the bust was fine, as was the fit across the waist and hips.
So, before cutting out my main fabric, I removed a total of 1 1/2 inches from the upper back, across the shoulders, tapering to nothing at the waist. I also removed an inch from the length of the bodice and added about 2 1/2 inches to the skirt length. That seemed to fix my fitting issues on the real thing.
It's not massively clear from these pictures, but the darts line up perfects at the front and the back! Basting the pleat lines as suggested in the instructions, definitely saved a huge headache when it came to lining up the pleats to sew, but boy were those stitches a nightmare to get out after the pleats were stitched in place - I have no idea how long it took me but I'd almost lost the will to live by the end of it! In fact you can still see some remnants of the basting in the picture of the hem below.
I lined the skirt, although to be honest I don't think my material really needed it. I also bound the neck facing with bias tape, catch-stitched the hem and catch-stitched the sleeve facings. The sleeve facings had a tendency to work themselves out from inside as you moved around so catch-stitching them has stopped that.
All in all, a pretty simple make. I'm generally pretty proud of how well I got it to fit and the finish isn't bad either, although I can't wait for my overlocker to arrive so I can finish things properly!
As Lauren's version proves, it looks great in a pretty print, but I also think it will make a great LBD, so maybe that's something to add to the Autumn sewing list.