Yes, autumn seems to be with us a little early this year but I'm still holding out hope that I might get to wear my new dress before it is packed away for next year.

I see this dress as a success for me, mainly because 'I TOOK MY TIME' and 'REMEMBERED TO INCORPORATE WHAT I HAD LEARNT BEFORE'!!!!!!!

This is a 70's vintage pattern, Burda 7113.

Minerva had kindly provided me with the pattern and some other fabric for this dress earlier on in the summer. I had chosen this printed cotton poplin fabric.

But unfortunately the fabric didn't have as much body as I wanted for this 70's shift so I made this out of it instead, which I love.

I was more careful in my fabric choice this time and knew this heavier weight slightly stretchy canvas fabric was going to be perfect. (I've just noticed that Minerva have it in brown too).

From experience I knew I was going to have to make a toile to check my fit.

I went for a size 14, as this was the middle of my measurements and thought I would adjust it from there.

However it was huge and I re-cut a size 12, which is this one below.

The dart isn't supposed to be there but I thought I might need a couple in the final dress.

This particular pattern appealed to me because of its construction around the chest. I'd not attempted anything like this before.

I constructed the dress a little out of sequence, putting in the zip last to enable me to make any final alterations. I seem to have experienced many a gaping back and front in my recent dresses.

I also stay stitched around all the necklines as I've found this keeps stretchy fabrics from stretching out of shape during construction.

True to form, I had to take it in another inch down the back.

And put in two darts to stop the fabric pooling in my lower back as in the shot below.

Next the zip. I think I've mastered the invisible zip now; ever since I read that if your zip wasn't quite invisible the first time, don't unpick it but go back and give it a second, closer pass with the machine.

The pattern asks for a lining, but it was heavy enough so I just used a facing around the neckline and bias binding around the arm holes. I serged all the seams and hand finished the hem.

So this dress is 'almost' perfect. I say 'almost' because there is still a little gaping around the front neck. It is so much better than when I last had this problem, so I am getting there.

You'll have to ignore my legs. I've been through the wars this summer though gardening in shorts, mozzie bites from holiday and walking into the dishwasher whilst loading it. My skin doesn't seem to recover like it used too!

When I make this up again, and I will because I love the fit of the back and the shape it gives my waist and the looser fit over the tummy, I will down size again and open up the bust seam. This will hopefully solve the gaping neckline.

The canvas is so easy to wear and it keeps its shape beautifully.

Would you believe I had my daughter outside in her pj's at 7am to take these photos this morning? Cruel mother!

I think time has come for a tripod.

Love, Lucie.