Some dresses take a few hours, some dresses take a few days and then there’s this dress.
I first wrote about the StyleArc Emma dress in January 2014 in which I admitted to having procrastinated for some time already because of the fit. I see my second post was February, also 2014, at which time I managed to fix one of the fit issues. By December I was bemoaning the fact that it, and many other, projects had ground to a halt.
In order not to play with your patience too much I’ll just list the problems I had with it. I should stress that there is nothing wrong with the pattern itself, all the problems are of my own making
- Stylearc patterns only have 1cm seam allowances, this doesn’t give you much room for fit adjustments so I traced all the pieces out and increased to 1.5cm. There were a lot of pieces and all the symmetrical pieces were drawn out flat.
- I had to increase the bust which took a bit of working out, but I am quite pleased with the result. I should have done the same on the lining piece but I couldn’t work out how so I just used the shell pieces
- I was so pleased with having fixed the bust issue I completely ignored the fit around my hips and stomach and it was only when I made up the actual dress I found it was tight around my hips but had a bizarrely huge pouch of spare fabric around my stomach. I had to spend quite a bit of time playing around with the side panels and their fiddly right had cornered seams to get this resolved.
- My sewing skills were just not up to fitting in the pockets neatly and I decided to leave them out. A good decision as the fit issues would have meant I would have had to adjust them too.
- I decided the cap sleeves were just too unflattering on me so I removed them.
- Having put the dress together and getting the fit right, I then had to take it all apart so I could add the lining, aaaaagh!
The fabric I used is a wool from Misan fabrics in Berwick Street, it’s dark navy but with dark grey or black undertones. I bought the lining from Bernstein and Banleys who were recommended to me by a friend.
I find it odd that although lots of people have written about ordering this pattern, I couldn’t actually find any photos of any made up dresses. I’m actually very pleased with the result, it’s just as flattering as I expected from the line drawings and has a fabulous collar. Now I’ve got the fit right I can imagine making it again. Maybe in a less formal fabric with a bit of stretch.
Do you have any long term projects on the go? Am I the only one who takes the best part of 18 months to knock out a dress? Have you tried this pattern? What was the result?