Pattern: By Hand London’s Elisalex dress for the bodice and Sewaholic’s Cambie dress for the skirt
Fabric: Cotton chambray from Merchant and Mills
This dress has been a long time in the making. 6 months too long; I started it last June (working on it in between degree show and final uni bits and bobs), tentatively finished it in July, and ripped the zip and back seam out in August. The back was gaping, it sat too loosely on my waist, the shoulders slipped…. I wore it once, out for dinner with Scott, and after having to pin the shoulders to my bra straps in an effort to keep them up – something you should never have to do – I decided that the dress was a complete and utter fitting failure. I threw an almighty tantrum at it and that was that, it was doomed to sit, crumpled and unloved, on my unfinished, maybe-I-can-do-something-else-with-the-fabric pile. Until, that is, a few weeks ago.
I unearthed the dress whilst looking for fabric to make a toile and, time and distance having restored my patience with it, I set about restoring what I’d ripped out. This dress would work! I returned the zip, this time taking care to attach it with my shape and measurements in mind, drawing in the waist and shoulders (around about two darts I’d previously put in in an attempt to tighten up the back and stop gaping). I do have dreadful problems with gaping at the back with a lot of patterns – although I have, by some miracle, somehow – and after many toiles – managed to tweak the Elisalex pattern to suit my narrow back. More on that in another post, with another – still being made – dress though.
Anyway, enough about my faffing; onto the dress itself. I used beautifully soft cotton chambray which, whilst lovely, needed a little bit something extra just to ‘lift’ the dress once completed. Enter a length of beautiful cotton lace trimming which has been stashed in a trimmings jar for goodness knows how long. It looks pretty great against the chambray and was the perfect round the waist, defining touch. A touch of vintage pretty to an otherwise practical day dress.
I’m in another National Trust garden for these photos – this time the walled garden at Castle Fraser. Scott and I had a wee gander out to Castle Fraser last Sunday (there are a LOT of castles to explore in Aberdeenshire and I do love a castle…) and, despite being a bit chilly, it was nice to have a potter round the gardens and a walk in the grounds. Although the landscape is still a bit wintery and brown the first hints of Spring were on show; snowdrops are beginning to pop up in the flowerbeds. Not too much time left for winter now!
Anyway, that’s more than enough of a ramble from me for now!