View all the latest fabrics to arrive at Minerva Crafts... Click here »

Need help? Contact us on 01254 708068 from 9am til 5pm Monday to Friday

Orchid Midi Dress Long Sleeve


I usually tend to use the patterns and instructions without changing much but, as I start to feel more confident, I start making small changes. At first were the sewing techniques, as I knew which ones worked better for me or allowed me to obtain a better finishing. Only recently, I started to venture in actually changing a pattern in order to obtain a garment that I believe, will suit me better.

The same thing happens with fabrics and I usually only use the recommended type. However, this time, the fabric looked so lovely that I decided to take the risk and used a non-recommended fabric. So, instead of using a light weight, with good drape kind of fabric as recommended, I used the Lady McElroy Stretch Corduroy Fabric in colour grey, to make the Orchid Midi Dress by Chalk and Notch and do not regret it.

To be honest, I had previously made a version of this dress and for that reason, I knew the pattern and believed it could work with some minor adjustments.

I took the opportunity to try the new version of this pattern but, in my case, the difference wasn’t much. I made View B in size 0, A/B cup without changes to the bodice. To the skirt however, and similarly to what I did in my previous version, I made a few modifications.

The most obvious alteration, was reducing the skirt length by 22 centimetres, using the two shorten/lengthen lines in the pattern, although probably would have been wiser to create a third shorten/lengthen line due to the big amount I wanted to reduce.

I’ve also eliminated the pockets and front slit by cutting the front part on the fold, after eliminating the seam allowance. As much as I like the versions I’ve seen, I am not sure it would work well with this fabric weight and my body type. I don’t believe it would look very nice on me and I want a garment that makes me feel good and comfortable while wearing it. Don’t we all?

During the bodice construction and despite having a few layers of heavier fabric than suggested, everything went smoothly although I did handstitch the armhole seam to the bodice. The pattern instructions suggest to press the armhole seams to the bodice side but, due to the fabric thickness, it wasn’t working well, making the seams a bit bulky and uncomfortable while wearing. After handstitching the seams, everything was kept in place, looking much better and more comfortable to wear.

About the fabric and how it worked for this project, during the construction, I would like to add that due to the fabric nature, I did not interface the back yoke facing, as I believe the fabric is stable enough and I recommend being careful not to stretch the fabric. In fact, just like knit fabrics, using a walking foot might be helpful. Other than that, it was a pleasure to work with!

I am really happy I took the chance and made the dress with this fabric, as it is absolutely beautiful and the print goes really well with this pattern. The colours are so pretty in real life! I adore how the beiges and blues stand out against the grey. The composition is mainly cotton, however the small percentage of viscose (30%) does make a difference. It also has a bit of stretch so, it is really comfortable to wear.

Many thanks Minerva for the lovely fabric for this project and to you for reading.

Happy sewing,

Maria x

A Pinch Of Sewing

Comments (0)

Please signin to leave a comment