A long story….

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?


8 thoughts on “A long story….

  1. Well its certainly a very lovely and flattering dress. I’ve not yet taken 8 months to complete something, but I’ll go close to that with my laminated tweed coat project…I’m not even close to cutting out the fabric.

  2. The dress looks nice and I would love to see the fabric close up – it does look a bit black from here. In terms of slow – I have a jacket for my son that has been waiting for me to line for over a year. I just can’t find the energy and enthusiasm – it’s not for me, he isn’t pressing me for it, and its a dull job.

  3. What about the jacket I started making while on my tailoring course at Morley (June 2013)?! The idea was to complete a stage each week based on what we were learning that week on the course. Well, it’s halfway done and folded up in pieces in a drawer: I can’t remember what’s what but I will finish it one day….

    It may not look like it going by today’s weather but summer’s on the way which means quick-make summer dresses from TNT patterns will be called for. Then you’ll be able to laugh at your 18 month dress project (I’m sure you’ve been busy doing more fun stuff too!).

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