Hey Minerva Makers!

I hope you are enjoying the festive season, I’ve made a dress that is sparkly and festive but versatile enough to wear all year round. I chose to make the Grainline Farrow dress which has been on my radar for aaaages! I have seen so many lovely versions and I have seen it dubbed on social media as the dress that suits everyone – I hope Grainline updates the size range on this one soon so that everyone can indeed try it!

I chose to colourblock it as I didn’t want those fabulous seam lines to be lost in the fabric. I went for this super sparkly gold/black metallic linen for the bottom and this gorgeous black linen-rayon blend for the top. This was also a good way to keep costs down as I only needed 1m of the metallic linen and if I was making the sleeveless version I would have only needed 1m of the linen/rayon blend.

The lurex threads in the metallic linen can feel a tiny bit rough occasionally so I chose to use that for the skirt, the linen/rayon is much softer and has lots of fluid drape – I can definitely see me returning to this fabric and using some of the other colours as it has a really lovely hand. It definitely looks like a linen as it has that linen-look weave but the rayon gives it a bit more fluidity. They both do crease like linen though so bear that in mind, I don’t mind the creases and love that it means both fabrics behave well around an iron!

The pattern was a joy to put together, no buttonholes, zips or other tricky bits. There are some funny shaped pattern pieces and folding wizardry to make those pockets hidden in the seam lines but they weren’t difficult to construct, I actually enjoyed doing them! There is a LOT of ease in the hips as it is a sort of trapeze shape so I just went off my bust measurement and made the size 10 even though my hips put me in a much bigger size I didn’t grade or make any adjustments – I would say this is the perfect pattern for all my pear-shaped friends out there!

I tried to be really precise with all of the triangular ‘points’ in the pattern as I knew that they would be super visible as I chose to colourblock it. It wasn’t hard to do though as the pattern is so well drafted they just seemed to line up, the only one that is slightly (like a millimetre) off is the front one – GAH – the one that is most visible! It is only the tiniest amount so I didn’t unpick as I thought I might do more harm than good.

I love the length of the sleeves, they are deliberately bracelet-length and are finished inside nicely with facings as is the neckline. I am a bias-binding resister so I love a pattern with facings!

The hem has a lovely high-low dip and I think that is a really nice touch.

This definitely won’t be my last Farrow Dress as I am so pleased with the flattering fit and the comfort level – I am definitely going to be able to fit a lot of Christmas dinner in there! It feels fun to twirl around in but looks a bit more sophisticated than what I usually make. I am really happy with it and plan to wear it many times over the festive period and beyond!

Until next time, I wish you a very merry Christmas and happy sewing!