This week's new dress.

advance 9440
From the moment I laid eyes on it, I wanted this pattern SO badly. So, about a month ago I gave in to the longing and I ordered it from The Blue Gardenia. I was going to make this for the conference I went to a couple weeks ago, but I was a little hesitant to spend sewing time on it, as it's so different from the necklines I usually wear. I started the red view, but I didn't do the final slog that would have been necessary to get it completed for that trip.

However, I finished it up last weekend and was so happy with it that I brought it on *this* trip. I was going to wear it today, but the weather here has not cooperated and I had to redeploy dresses to alternate days. So I'll wear it tomorrow, when it should be in the 50s. (With a little white cardigan and ankle-strap heels.) Here it is, in a very busy "aerial view of fields and houses" print.

green dress 1

And a closeup of the bodice:

green dress 2

It's really cute on and very comfortable — fits like a dream. I didn't do anything to the pattern other than narrow the waistline side seams a little for more wearing ease. I think (looking at the picture) that I cut the front skirt on the fold to eliminate the center front seam, but I can't remember. I wish I'd had time to make a matching belt (belts are very "directional" now, as my fashion magazine friends say) but I was happy just to be able to do the sleeve hems by hand.

I'm definitely going to make this again, maybe in a solid with a contrasting neck band. It would also be fun in polka dots, with the neck band (and maybe a band around the bottom of the skirt) in different polka dots (different-sized, or reversed in color) from the body of the dress. This would be a great pattern for someone who's a little smaller on top, as the gathers definitely add bulk for a very hourglassy effect. It constructed very easily — even the sleeves were easy to set in, and this was the first set of sleeves I put in after switching to a sewing machine without a free arm, so that's really saying something.

So: Dress A Day pattern grade: A+!

0 thoughts on “This week's new dress.

  1. A+++, Erin. I love the print. This will be a great day dress to wear when it’s muggy and you still want to look glamourous. It’s going to look so much more cool than all those gals who will be wearing short-shorts this summer. Where did you get this retro-style print? It looks vintage….


  2. Oh, Erin, excellent! It’s gorgeous. You did such an amazing job on the gathers at the neckline. Yummy all around!–Lydia


  3. Beautiful! What does “directional” mean? As in, “We should all be heading in a beltward direction, fashionably speaking”?


  4. Beautiful! And I love the fabric: it reminds me of a map from the early 60’s.Explain to me what a machine “without a free arm” means…(?)


  5. Thanks so much, y’all!I bought the fabric as three 2-yard remnant pieces at Vogue in Evanston. I may still have about a yard and a half left, I’m not sure. A machine without a free arm is set into a cabinet or table, so that the surface with the feed dogs is flush with the rest of the table. Portable machines usually sit on top of the table, and their sewing surface often has a removable “leaf” that you can take off, leaving a little isthmus sewing surface. That way you can sew around narrower tubes (like sleeves) easier.Does that make sense?


  6. Erin, you have opened broad, new vistas for me, bumping me out of my sartorial middle-aged-music-teacher rut. The true me loves your joyful prints and beautiful dresses. This latest is a winner.


  7. Yep, that makes perfect sense. For some reason I was picturing this moving, rotating arm on the machine and thinking, “Man, I’m really out of the loop!” I’m not sure that I could do the “without a free arm” thing. I’m always sewing cuffs to themselves as it is!…


  8. No crinolines. I make enough noise when I walk, what with a clicking hip joint and so forth. Don’t need rustling, too.”Directional” as far as I can tell, means “on-trend.”


  9. Oh… that dress is beautiful. I wish that I had one on the trip I just got back from.. it would have been perfect.. I Love the pattern and the fabric.. Adorable!!! Thank you so much for sharing.


  10. To echo everyone else’s comments, that dress is gorgeous. I think you should get brave and post a pic (make it headless if you must!) of you wearing some of your creations. Dress forms just aren’t doing them justice! 🙂


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