Happy New Year everyone! 

I realise that it’s February, but this is my first Minerva Blogger Network post of 2017, and I’m happy to share this one with you. 

For my projects this year I decided I wanted to try and focus on items of clothing that would become real staples in my wardrobe. It’s very easy to get distracted by pretty prints or the Latest Sewing Patterns – and I’ve done plenty of that in the past – but it does often mean that what you make ends up being so unique that it doesn’t match anything else you own. So this year, I’m trying to be more mindful about what I choose to sew.

For my first project of the year I chose to make the Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress Sewing Pattern

I’ve never made a Megan Nielsen Sewing Pattern before, but I really liked the ‘casual’ style and shape of this dress (version 3 on the pattern cover). The dress has a very loose fit around the waist, a gathered skirt and ¾ length sleeves. It looks like a lovely loose dress for spring/early summer holidays and I hoped that it’d be one I’ll wear often.

The other versions of the Sudley are a loose fit blouse, and a blouse with a Peter Pan collar. I do love a good collar so I decided to steal this detail for my dress! I quite like how it blends in with the fabric of the main dress, so it’s only obvious up close (to add the collar, I simply switched between pattern instructions when I got to the neckline of the dress, and continued as if I was making the collared blouse).

The fabric I used to make my Sudley dress is this monochrome floral Viscose Fabric. It’s only £4.99 a metre which is incredible! I needed 2.5m to make the dress, but if you choose to make the blouse version of the Sudley you’d need much less. I picked this fabric because of the neutral colours, and because viscose is such a soft, drapey fabric that I thought it’d be perfect for this project. It really is a lovely feeling fabric.

Now, here comes my problem! I absolutely LOVED sewing this dress – it has so many great details and I really enjoyed doing each part of it. However, the fit of this dress was an absolute disaster for me. I made the smallest size (I’m usually a UK size 8), but the ‘loose’ waist made me feel like I was wearing a size 22. This dress was enormous on me. I didn’t really measure it for ‘fit’ as I was sewing because, as the pattern says, it’s meant to be loose fit… but I didn’t realise quite how much!

So, how to solve this problem? Well, I cut the dress all the way up the back (removing the back keyhole detail in the process, sob sob), removed a good 6 inches of width from both the bodice and the skirt (luckily this didn’t affect the collar, it just brought the back edges closer together), and then inserted a black invisible zipper in its place. And even with that alteration there’s still LOADS of room in this dress… so I’ve paired it with a belt, and might add some belt loops so that my belt stays int he right place, and I think it now looks pretty good! How about you?