Pattern Testing – The Emery Dress

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.
Emery Dress

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.
Emery Dress Muslin

I added both the collar and the bow, to test out as many elements as possible.  Both went together easily.  I’m not a big collar-wearer, but I do like the way this one meets at the center front.

So after the muslin, I was on to my final version.
Emery Dress
Emery Dress

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.
Emery Dress
Emery Dress
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.  🙂
Emery Dress

I also really like how the back neck darts help the dress hug my neck and shoulders.  No gaping here, yay!
Emery Dress

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.)
Emery Dress

Obviously, I also omitted the sleeves.
Emery Dress

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.)

Emery Dress

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.
Emery Dress

Here are some more general pics:
Emery Dress
Emery Dress
Emery Dress
Emery Dress
Emery Dress

Emery Dress

A fairly invisible, invisible zipper! I think I’m getting the hang of these things, finally.

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!  🙂

Emery Dress

In sum, I really love this pattern.  Definitely repeat-worthy in my book!  I’m already dreaming of my next version. . . .

*ETA – for full disclosure: I was provided a draft copy of the pattern for purposes of testing, and a complimentary final pattern after testing was complete.  My opinion of the pattern is entirely my own, and I was not asked to blog or review the pattern as part of the testing process.*



23 thoughts on “Pattern Testing – The Emery Dress

  1. Yours is the first I’ve seen, even if it was just your muslin, with the bow and collar. I like it fine without, but with… O.M.G.! It’s adorable with. Thanks for the test-run!

  2. A sleeveless gingham version! Love it! In my comments to Christine, I mentioned how I would like to try doing a sleeveless version, which I think would suit me better than the cap sleeves. There are so many different ways I want to make this dress…

  3. Lovely Marrie!! The back neck darts look great( I’m going to give these a try) and of course every great dress has pockets! I am a fan of sleeveless and love the gingham!!

  4. I’m still fairly new to your blog, but you always seem to do such a beautiful job on your projects! Reminds me that I should try to do the same more often, lol. Those pockets really are a little stroke of genius, and the back neck darts are just the thing for perfect fit, I get gaping back there a lot myself. Fabulous dress! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your other versions!

  5. Love this! I was thinking of making a sleeveless version (I was a pettern tester too) with some decent fabric since my tester was ugly remnant. I also will also have to take some out of the upper back. I may go down a size. Both your versions look super cute on you..

  6. Pingback: Completed: Emery #2 | Purls and Pleats

  7. Pingback: Completed: Emery Dress #3 | Purls and Pleats

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