Aside from that the instructions are compact but great and I particularly liked the tip for stitching along the princess seam lines and curved neckline before assembly with a long stitch. Not only does it prevent these curved areas stretching out, it gives you a great guidelines to match up when pinning the pieces together and easing them in. I also really loved the inclusion of a facing as well as a lining for the bodice (for which separate pattern pieces are provided which is awesome). I think it makes a project just that bit more special inside and makes the neckline nice and tidy with no chance of lining peeking out. Aside from fitting which we'll get onto in a minute the only change I made to the pattern was to add a lining to the skirt to make it fully lined.
|Inside Front Bodice|
What I'm most excited to share with you about this make is the fabric! It's extra special to me for two reasons. Firstly I bought it in Paron Fabrics in New York's Garment District when I visited with my sister last April. Secondly it's Christian Dior!! It's a stunning silk and rayon blend which I found in the 50% off section at the back. It has the appearance of linen but none of the wrinkling and also has a really exquisite sheen which seems to come from within the fabric rather than on the surface if that makes any sense! I knew as soon as I handed over the cash that the first thing I wanted to make with it was a sundress; the mint green and the luscious drape were screaming for it. I also picked up some coordinating lightweight rayon lining in the same shop.
Completing this project now, a year after starting it, has made me realise how much my sewing, and especially fitting skills have improved in that short space of time. I was very lax with fitting, never made a muslin, always just ploughed on in and hoped for the best which is exactly what I did with this. Kind of a silly thing to do as every previous experience with a Salme pattern had resulted in a too large garment. I used to put this down to my lack of sewing knowledge but after making this one I'm thinking there must be a large amount of ease built into Salme patterns as standard. There are no finished garment measures included so it's hard to tell if that's intended but I cut a UK 10 which should only be very slightly bigger than my measurements so there's something funny to do with ease going on!
Aside from my dodgy dart fitting I made a couple of changes to the pattern as I went along to account for my height. I took 2" off the length of each strap but I actually wish I'd taken a little more as they feel like they want to slip down. The clean finish of the bodice of this dress is gorgeous but it does mean it's pretty much impossible to make little changes like adjusting strap length once you have moved past a certain point! I took a whopping 5.5" off the length (and using 1.5" for the hem) which was probably more to do with how short I wanted it than the length of the pattern as it it. With the shape of the skirt I felt a little overwhelmed by it when it was knee length and I fancied having some shorter dresses in my wardrobe.
I am however incredibly pleased with the invisible zip. It was my first time inserting a side seam zip which doesn't extend all the way to the top of the dress. The dress is sewn closed both above and below the zip. I was a bit nervous about this as invisible zips can be a little tricky anyway, particularly when it comes to keeping both sides even and waistband seams e.t.c matched up. I took it slow and made use of all the little tips and tricks I've picked up from different projects and was really happy when it came out like this first time! I used my regular zip foot to attach the lining to the zip after inserting it, keeping everything sleek and tidy inside.
|The close up also gives you an idea of the texture of this beautiful fabric.|
All in all not a roaring success of a project but I learnt a lot from it. I actually even wore this dress on my birthday last week as there is still so much I love about it! I really like how the dress comes together in such a neat and clean way as well as the general style of it. As with all of Eliza's designs it's really simple, classic and chic with beautiful lines. Despite my fitting issues I'm still really pleased I chose to use some of my special fabric for this dress as I think the chic luxuriousness of it is a perfect match! Luckily I still have over a metre and a half of this gorgeous fabric left as this pattern only used less than a metre. Those little princess seamed bodice panels don't take much fabric! Now to plan what you use the remainder for...