Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I’d been working on a super secret project? Well, I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you!! Please, meet Emery, the latest dress pattern from Christine Haynes.
A couple months ago, Christine put out a call for pattern testers. I offered to help, not thinking I’d get picked. But, lucky for me, Christine gave me a chance to work on the pattern pre-release. And I’m so glad she did! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the testing experience and I found a new dress pattern to love!
I started by making a muslin. I thought it was important to sew the pattern without making any alterations. I think the muslin speaks for itself. The dress fit me really well right out of the envelope – even the darts! This never happens to me, so I was pretty excited.
The fabric is a 60/40 poly/cotton shirting fabric that I’ve had for at least a year. When I found this gingham in my stash, I wasn’t sure it was the right choice for this dress. But after sewing it up, I really like it. Then, yesterday I saw Christine’s inspiration dress, and I realized gingham was the perfect choice!
One my favorite elements of this dress is the pockets.
They are sewn a little differently than I’ve seen before, and the result is genius. They are attached at the waist, so they don’t flop around. So smart. :)
My fit alterations for the final version included: moving the front darts very slightly (I moved both dart points back about 1/4″ and the bust dart down just a smidge); removing 1/4″ from the center back; and increasing the width of the back neck darts by 1/8″. I also took 2″ out of the center front of the skirt, to make it a little less full. (Although looking at my muslin pics, I might add that back in next time.)
I wanted to add them, but since the fabric is 60% poly, it’s more comfortable (ie, less sweaty) to go sleeveless. I finished the armholes with some bias strips instead. I slipped stitched the bias tape to the lining, so it doesn’t show on the right side. (Lauren has a good tutorial on how to do this here.)
Since the skirt isn’t lined, I enclosed the end of the zipper with a scrap of fabric. I got the idea from Tasia, and I think it adds a nice finishing touch.
Let’s see, what else should I tell you about this pattern? Oh ya, the instructions. I have a confession. I’m not very good at following pattern instructions. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sewn something exactly as instructed. (Yikes, right?!) But, as a pattern tester, I felt like part of my job was to actually follow them and see how things turned out. So I did. I think it was good for me. I even learned a new way to insert a lining! The instructions are clear and easy to understand, and everything came together without a hitch. So, yay for good instructions! :)
In sum, I really love this pattern. Definitely repeat-worthy in my book! I’m already dreaming of my next version. . . .
If you want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern, Christine is taking pre-orders right now.