Whilst lurking the creations of my fellow Minerva Makers, I discovered the range of Timeless Treasures panels that Minerva stock.  I felt immediately compelled to make a dress with one of these panels, and chose this beautiful tree design.  Who doesn’t love trees, right?  And really pretty colours to boot.  I knew that this design would make a really eye-catching dress.

Because of the high contrast design of the black silhouette of the tree with the bright, rainbow colours, I figured I could wear the dress to a Light Party I am organising at work.  I am a children’s and family worker at a church and this will be the second year I have organised this type of party.  Don’t get me wrong, I personally love Halloween, but the Light Party is an alternative way to celebrate.  It takes place on All Saints Day, November 1st, and instead of being focused on scary and evil things, it celebrates the positive power of light, the triumph of good over evil, etc.  This year the kids are coming dressed as superheros, but I will be my own sewing superhero wearing this dress!

The pattern I chose – B6332 – was in my stash, and must have been free with a magazine as I don’t think I’d have ever bought it otherwise.  However, I’m extremely glad it was there, because it is just perfect for panels (and would be great for colour blocked dresses too).

I was a bit unsure about how the dress would fit and whether or not it would be a) flattering and b) comfortable.  In the past I’ve not always like wearing this style of dress because I feel self-conscious about my tummy :( With these thoughts in my mind, I erred on the side of caution and graded the pattern to a size 18 (it only went up to a 16).  In the end this was the right fit for my lower half but not at all for my upper body.  I kept on basting, trying on and pinning until I arrived at this:

The result is still a loose fit, but this is exactly what I want as it doesn’t cling and it is comfy for what will be a busy day at work.  I gave it a road test by wearing it to work the week I finished making it, and my colleagues gave me many compliments and I felt like I looked nice all day, which is certainly a good way to feel!

I used one panel for the front of the dress, and one for the back.  The back has a centre back zip and I did wonder about changing it to a side zip so that I wouldn’t spoil the panel with a seam through the middle of it, but as comfort was one of my main objectives, I kept the centre back zip.  I find that side zips have a habit of rubbing under your arm because there is lots of movement there.

The side panels are plain black cotton poplin.  The dress is fully lined as well, so when I wear it with tights there will be no need to worry about it riding up, and it hangs nicely.  I’m really pleased with it considering I never thought I’d actually use this pattern!

Thank you Minerva for providing the lovely fabrics and zip!