So I think I've found my favourite dress, although I'm pretty sure I say that about every new dress I make!
I tend to get scared about trying new patterns as they all need a large FBA adjustment but I'm trying to push myself as I know I can do it. As soon as I saw the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress pattern I knew I wanted to make it and decided this would be the dress to push me out of the FBA comfort zone.
I did have slight issues with my FBA adjustments on my toile so I just transferred the dart size and placement over from my French Navy Orla bodice as I know that fits really well. Adjustment done and the dress comes together really quickly. I made my first version out of the gorgeous Rudy's Wildflower Stretch Cotton, sold out but Harriet has the best selection of stretch cottons so go check them out. The pattern doesn't require stretch fabrics but as the stretch cottons are still structured I figured it would work and it did!
For my second version I used this amazing Robert Kaufman Black Denim Dot Chambray. As with all of Harriet's fabrics the quality is superb and it washes, irons, cuts and sews amazingly.
This is definitely a dress you can get sewn up in half a day/a day. I'm a slow sewer and get distracted so it took me nearly a day!
The fabric has a really smart feel so would be perfect as office wear or can also be dressed down to more casual wear. I'm thinking come autumn/winter it is going to look amazing with coloured tights and matching cardigans.
Buttons holes always scare me as the practice one works perfectly and then for the real ones disaster always strikes! Not this time though, they all worked first time. I added extra buttons to what's suggested in the pattern as I wanted to ensure there was no gaping around the bust. I don't tend to wear black so I brightened it up with rainbow buttons from my vintage button stash.
One thing to note is that after all the button holes and sewing on all the buttons the dress actually fits on over my head! I may consider "fake" buttons on my third one.
Excuse this waffling bit, I’m trying to work out how to describe the colour! Although the fabric is black is doesn’t come across as a harsh solid black colour. The light seems to reflect off of it in a really nice way so to me I feel it’s more of a dark grey with texture. Maybe it’s the polka dots. Who knows but it’s a really lovely dark shade and for someone who loves colourful patterns I’m really loving this fabric even though it’s my total opposite.
I'm super happy with this dress and the fit so from now on I'll be less scared about trying new patterns but will just have to allow extra sewing time to work on the toiles.
I made version 1 with short sleeves, no pockets (sorry Joy!) and no tie. I also used pre-made bias binding, the instructions are to make your own but I thought the fabric would be too thick. The bonus of using pre-made is that it's added a pop of colour and it's used up one of the random lengths I had in my stash. The things you keep and accumulate!
I’m eyeing up some of Harriers denim to make a final version. Final maybe too extreme but I need to step away before I become obsessed!
You can find me on instagram @sewinthegarden, and I have my own sewing blog too. I was provided this fabric free of charge in exchange I wrote this blog post. I chose the fabric, and chose what pattern to use.