I’m so excited to share this month’s Minerva make with you! It is the perfect combination of fabric and pattern and I’m ridiculously happy with it.

Like most people, I’ve had to accept that summer is behind us and move on to making for my autumn / winter wardrobe. I find that I actually wear dresses more in winter than I do in summer (happier with tights than without) and really enjoyed wearing pinafore dresses last year, so that was at the front of my mind.

I chose to use some incredible fabric. It is the Robert Kaufman Denim Fabric in a dark wash and it is absolutely beautiful! It’s quite light weight for a denim but it is incredibly smooth and is an absolute joy to use. It presses beautifully and actually, once made up into the dress, it feels just the right weight.

The pattern I combined this lovely fabric was is the Closet Case Patterns Fiona Dress. This was released towards the end of the summer and comes with two different backs; one is drafted with straight straps which allow you to wear a bra, and one is almost backless with cross over straps.

Guess which version appealed to me? Yep, the totally impractical backless version.

Initially, then, I wrote this pattern off. But then I realised that you could totally wear this as a pinafore dress and I snapped it up at speed.

I found myself between sizes so I ended up grading up a size between the bust and waist and up another size between the waist and hips. Both of these I did simply by drawing smooth lines between the relevant sizes on the pattern pieces. I also made an adjustment to ensure that the back hem was level (that size difference on me is all my bum rather than my hips so skirts often ride up at the back). I added 2 cm to the centre back seam by slashing the pattern piece across horizontally to the hip and the pivoting up. I trued up the resultant CB (the pattern piece is cut on the fold) and added the resultant extra bit at the waist into the back darts. Bingo; nicely level hem!

As with all Closet Case Patterns, this is a really satisfying sew. I found myself truly enjoying the process, rather than just dashing to get to wear the finished garment. There’s topstitching galore, which I used a grey topstitch thread for.

There are also 15 buttonholes. Thankfully I decided to experiment with the extra bit that adds onto my buttonhole foot and suddenly, my usually temperament machine behaved itself! 14 out of 15 buttonholes went in perfectly, which is definitely not what usually happens for me!

I love this dress. So much so that I couldn’t wait to wear it, which explains the creases in the photos; I’ve worn it 4 times this week! So yes, the fabric creases a little, but I actually think this is pretty good for that much wear.

Thanks so much for this fab addition to my wardrobe, Minerva!