Hey Minerva Makers!

Now where do I start with this make?! It was not smooth sailing to get to this beautiful creation you see here! I ordered this beautiful Lady McElroy Lawn Fabric and some sweet little Buttons with the intention of making the Ready to Sew Justine Skirt, it’s a free skirt pattern with a button front, gathers and large patch pockets. But when the fabric arrived I realised that the print is HUGE. This isn’t a problem, but I thought that the print was so beautiful I didn’t want to obscure the print with a two-piece front, gathers and huge patch pockets – with that combination I didn’t think you would see the large scale print AT ALL.

So… I decided to have a browse of my pattern wishlist and see if I could find anything with a pretty basic silhouette to show off the print, I particularly wanted to avoid gathers and patch pockets. I settled on the Named Helmi Dress as I have been wanting to try that pattern for ages and it seemed like a great canvas for showing off this beautiful fabric.

This is where my problems really began! I took my measurements and cut out the second-to-largest size for the skirt. I took one look at the pattern piece and thought “That doesn’t look big enough”, I checked and double checked my measurements, the measurement chart, and the print square. All said it should fit. I wasn’t convinced, so I did a full bust adjustment to the pattern pieces (adding 4 inches) and also added another two inches to the side seams. Happy that I had added some extra ease, I cut the skirt pieces out of the fabric and YES you guessed it! It didn’t fit. I have no idea why, the printing and measurements were all fine but NOPE, even with the extra I added there was no way this was going to fit.

So now I have two skirt pieces cut out and what’s left of 2m of fabric and no idea what I am going to make again! I have a bit more of a think about what might work better for me and I settle on the Chalk and Notch Fringe dress. It was a toss up between this and the Helmi in the first place so I decided to give the Fringe a go.

The Chalk and Notch Orchid I made with the Atelier Brunette fabric in December is my all time favourite dress so I was happy to be returning to Chalk and Notch. I am so glad I did! The pattern printed and taped together with ease – there are loads of guidelines on how to just print the pages you need for your size and it saved loads of paper as well as unnecessary taping.

I laid out all of the pieces and managed to get the skirt and back bodice pieces out of the fabric I had left, I then got the front bodice pieces and sleeves out of the Helmi skirt pieces I had already cut out. Crisis averted! The only thing I was disappointed about was that I wanted to pattern match the front bodice and because I was working with already-cut-out pieces I wasn’t able to do that. Ah well, I was just relieved I hadn’t ruined the fabric!

In the end, the pattern was a dream to work with and the dress came together with no problems, I managed to get the pocket pieces out of scraps so it even has pockets! YAY! I enjoyed the construction and love all the little details like the high-low hem, the pockets, the lovely button placket and the sleeves. I decided to sew the buttonholes in yellow thread for a little design element and I think those tortoiseshell buttons look so cute!

After all that, I actually love this finished dress and wonder if it was meant to be all along. I feel great wearing it and hope I managed to do that beautiful print justice in the end!

Until next time, happy sewing!