I have a really big thing for anything that’s on the mustard-spectrum of colour. I’m not sure why, but it is what it is. I’m a sucker for mustard, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. When I first laid my eyes on the classic stretch satin fabric in the shade named ‘ochre’, I knew immediately that it had to be mine. This shade of ochre is the perfect rich, golden mustard colour that my dreams are made of and could happily wear nothing but this colour for eternity. 

I must admit that I was pretty interested and intrigued to get this fabric in my hands so I could feel it. As we all know, satin can come in a pretty huge variety of weights and quality, and I had everything crossed that this would be what I thought it would be... It was. As soon as the fabric arrived and I ripped open the packaging to get my impatient little mitts on it, and I fell in love. The colour! Oh, the colour! So deliciously rich and full bodied. Just stunning, truly. This fabric is listed as a medium weight, and I would say that’s accurate. It’s not a light and fluid satin in any sense. It is much more stable and heavyweight than a liquid satin. Imagine a 4oz denim as a satin, and that’s roughly what you have here. I was so incredibly excited to work with this absolute gem of a fabric, and I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to use to make the most of it. 

I’ve had my eye on the Axis pattern by Papercut ever since it was released. Something about the higher neck with the pencil skirt and centre split - and let’s not even get started on the back wrap and tie details. Urgh. Perfection! The thing is though, this style is way out of my comfort zone, but I loved the mwah the mustardy-satin-dress-of-dreams looked in my head and so I just had to jump in with both feet.

When it came to picking a size, I was a little stumped. My hips fell between sizes 7 and 8, and as the fabric has some stretch to it, I debated going for the smaller size. However, I was very aware that I didn’t want the skirt to be skin tight. In the end, I went for a 6 at the bust and waist, grading to an 8 at the hips. 

The construction of the dress was actually pretty straight forward. Well, I did have to re-sew the invisible zipper three times because I somehow managed to keep sewing it on the wrong side of the fabric multiple times, but I got passed that in the end. Thank gods for seam rippers! I was a little dubious of the straps as they did seem rather short, but I had confidence and went with it, hoping for the best. The fabric was a pleasure to sew with, and the perfect weight for a dress with some structure. It did start to get a little confusing when attaching the bodice to the skirt, but that was purely because the wrap and tie pieces get in the way a little, but with patience and trust, it came together nicely. I tried the dress on before he,Ming and decided I needed to take it up quite a lot. In the end I think it was about 3”. Really, I should have thought about this before (I am only 5ft 4” after all) and shortened along the shorten/lengthen line as this would have kept the central split in proportion. By shortening the skirt after, it meant the split didn’t come up as high as it probably should, but I’m not so bothered by it to be honest.

I was also slightly alarmed at the amount of excess room in the dress. I’m aware that using a stretch fabric will of course change the fit of a woven dress, and allow excess room and ease, but there really was a lot of extra room to take in on the hips. I also found the waist and bust to also have a bit more room than what I would have liked and expected, but as the dress had already been constructed, there wasn’t much I could do to the fit of the waist and and bodice without butchering the dress. I did the best I could with taking in the hips and centre back seam from below the zip (as I found the dress kicked out a bit on the centre back seam towards the bottom). All in all, I removed around 3” of excess ease from the hips, and was much happier with the fit after that.

I really love this dress. The colour, the style, the cure little details such as the back wrap and side opening for the tie to pass through...I really love it and I think it looks so high end and expensive. I’m a little underwhelmed with the fit, and I wish I could remove some of the ease from the bust and waist, but that can wait for now and I’ll try and figure that out another time. Regardless, those issues won’t stop me from parading around in my new fancy frock, feeling like a Queen. I’ve already had so many compliments on this dress, it was worth the fitting tweaks and any more I will make in the future.