Hello everyone! I'm pretty happy to present to you all - my Minerva make for June. I've been wearing it all day today and I absolutely love it!

For a while now, I've been wanting to make the Melissa dress from Muse Patterns in a polka dotted fabric. When I was happily browsing the Minerva fabric selection, I stumbled upon a polka dotted chambray fabric. Perfect! Clearly, a match made in heaven!

I had a heck of a job deciding which colour of the chambray to use, though. Indigo blue? Sky blue? Both so gorgeous! In the end, I went with the sky blue, even though it's a far lighter colour than I'd usually go for. It's just so pretty though!

 

The Melissa has a v-shaped inset panel on the back, and subtly v-shaped cuffs on the sleeves. I felt like experimenting, so chose a crochet-look cotton lace fabric for these. The v-inset on the back is high enough that no bra straps will show through lace, and it's perfect for highlighting a fun fabric choice. I'm really happy with how the lace looks on the inset - it adds a fun surprise element to the dress (although I must admit it was also a bit of a surprise at times while getting these photos - it was a cold and very blustery day, and I kept getting gusts of wind hitting me between the shoulder blades through the lace, haha!).

 

I wanted to use the lace as contrast for the sleeve cuffs and the pocket edgings too. After a lot of thought, I cut the sleeve cuffs out in both the lace and the chambray, as well as a layer of lightweight woven interfacing. To make sure the seams didn't show through the lace, I layered the non-fusible side of the interfacing against the wrong side of the lace, and treated them as one layer when attaching to the chambray cuff facing. Then once I'd turned the cuff out the right way, I fused the interfacing onto the chambray, trapping the seam in between the interfacing and chambray layers. All nice and neatly enclosed, yay! And the interfacing gives the white lace a white background, which makes it stand out more.

Sadly though, I gave up my idea to use the lace on the pocket edgings. It's quite a wide woven lace, and the pocket edgings are pretty narrow, so I concluded it would add too much bulk. I used the chambray instead, to do a tone-on-tone edging. I'm actually rather glad I did it this way after all, as it's nice and subtle, and means the lace cuffs and back inset aren't at the risk of becoming too over-the-top through too much lace.

 

The dress came together nice and easily. This chambray fabric is a dream to work with! A lovely soft and light, finely woven fabric. It holds pressing well, hangs beautifully, and is lovely to the touch. It's so nice, I'm thinking I'll have to get some of the indigo colourway as well to make something else! It's a great weight for dresses - not too heavy, not too light.

 

The buttons are simple little white circles - I decided to go with white to tie in with the white polka dots and white lace. They've got a sweet little floral design embossed in the centre. And interestingly, they have some brightly coloured spots dotted in places on the back! Kind of like a hidden surprise. ;-) I went with small buttons (a bit smaller than what I'd usually use on a shirt dress) because I didn't want them to be too much of a feature and take the focus away from the fabric and the lace.

 

All in all, I'm rather happy with my new dress, and I anticipate it getting worn a lot, all year 'round. :-)