Dress . 47
Posted in Projects on Monday the 14th September 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
The Pattern: Cali Faye Collection -Dress . 47
I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while, procrastinating over the fit and whether or not it would work for me. Having a ‘triangle’ figure with a petite top half I was nervous about the fit. I loved the style of the dress and how pretty it looked on the pattern. I did some research, checking out #dress47 so I could get an idea of what types of figures this pattern did suit. As it turns out, it suited them all. Inspired and reassured, I decided to go for it. I went ahead and purchased the pattern and had it printed A0, saving me a heap of time piecing pages together.
The Fabric: Robert Kaufman Union Chambray Denim Fabric
I’ve not had a lot of experience of sewing with denim fabric so it was something on my ‘Have a go’ list. I admire denim dresses but more often that not, the ones I see on the high street are quite heavy and stiff. Neither trait you’d want in a dress.
The chambray denim I chose to work with is a 100% cotton, lightweight fabric with a Herringbone pattern. Colour: Indigo.
When it arrived, I couldn’t quite believe how beautifully soft and drapey it was. Super soft and smooth to the touch. It went straight into the washing machine so I could get going the very next day.
The herringbone detail is so dainty that from afar, its almost absorbed into the weave. It’s only up close that you really appreciated the delicate aesthetic.
Are you ready…?
My goodness, what a success! I am in love with the elegant style and although the midriff is on show, I don’t feel as overly exposed as I expected I would. The fabric turned out to be the star of the show as it lent itself beautifully to the drape and gathers.
The size chart for this pattern was invaluable. It stated that the waist measurement was the key measurement to determine your size. The top, tied together at the midriff is easily adjustable and the hip area had a lot of give thanks to the gathers. So having the waistband sit, snug but comfortable was the key element.
Here’s where the lovely Sarah Blaho, the designer of Cali Faye collection helped me out. I contacted her as the size bracket I fell into with my waist measurement was one size but on the 'Finished measurement’ chart my waist fit into a different size category. Sarah kindly advised me to go with the size best suited to my waist so I ended up going down a size. The deviation comes in the elastic element of the back skirt panel. Because I’d gone down a size, I didn’t have too much excess so my elastic tugs only slightly to the waist.
I read a blog post by a lady who had made 2 of these dresses, 1 with elastic in the back and 1 without. I found this really helpful as I didn’t think I’d need to add the elastic. However, she wrote that when she moves in the dress without elastic, the waistband starts shifting around, moving up the body and side to side. The dress she made with elastic stayed put and aesthetically looked so much better. I was sold, elastic it was. As I had less fabric to work with I did not use the amount of elastic recommended in the chart. I went the long way around, safety pinning the elastic in place, trying the dress on and checking for a comfortably, snug fit. This paid off and I am so glad I took this extra step.
As you can see, I did not manage an invisible zipper. I don’t know, I just can’t seem to crack that technique. Luckily it didn’t bother me for very long. Thrilled that I had actually inserted a functioning zipper, I busily set about hemming the sleeves and hemming the skirt.
The pattern offered pockets too. As I knew the pockets would be right there, near the zipper tape; I made the decision to leave them out. I didn’t want any excess stress in the zipper department!
The dress pattern is designed so that the skirt hem falls around the knee of a 5’7” form. A mere 5’3”, I thought I’d not deviate the pattern just yet and that I’d adjust the hem at the end, once it’s on and I can get a clear view.
I tried it on and I loved the extra length. With the additional skin on show on the top half, I felt the extra length in the skirt helped balance out the skin/cloth ratio.
This dress is a winner in my eyes and I can’t wait to wear it. The fabric worked amazingly. I never had a fabric gather so easily! The light weave of the denim did result in fraying throughout construction, so something to bare in mind when cutting your own fabric pieces out. Maybe think about serging edges before constructing your garment?
The dress pattern is classified as Intermediate/Advanced level. I didn’t think there was anything too tricky, other than the zipper for me! I’m so glad I gave it a go. It’s just stunning. I feel so proud.
Amazing pattern, amazing dress. Happy gal.
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