I've had the Garance fabric by Atelier Brunette on my 'Fabrics I Need In My Life' list for months – but was never able to find it in stock anywhere! Understandably, it's very popular – I mean, who wouldn't want to wear something made of such a beautiful fabric?! So when I saw it listed on the Sew Me Sunshine shop, I practically begged Harriet to let me use it for something and being as lovely as she is, she said yes.
I threw it in the washing machine as soon as it came through the letterbox (of course, I took it out of the very cute packaging first) and got my Doris dress pattern by Sew Over It ready so that I could get started nice and speedily! The fabric was really quick to dry – it's pretty lightweight so only needed about ten minutes of hanging in the October sun before it was ready to go. Being a cotton lawn, it was really easy to cut and pin in place, and despite its super luxurious-feeling nature, wasn't difficult to work with at all; making it the perfect fabric for beginners and seasoned sewists alike!
I'd used the Doris dress pattern by Sew Over It before, but the fabric I had used previously was a little bit difficult to press… which is something that you need to do a lot of for this pattern! The Garance fabric didn't even need steam when it was ironed, and went lovely and flat straight away, which is always a plus for a pattern with lots of different pattern pieces (ironability is something that I consider before I pick a fabric for any panel-heavy patterns).
On the whole, it came together speedily, and the bodice was finished within a couple of hours. The skirt was a bit of a different story! There are 8 panels altogether, and are quite tricky to tell apart once they've been separated from their pattern pieces, so make sure you keep them pinned until you really need them. I read the instructions wrong a couple of times, and ended up with panels in the wrong places at least once, which meant lots of unpicking! Just make sure you pay extra attention to the skirt construction, and have the seam ripper and some good telly on standby just in case you end up sewing something wrong!
I didn't include the tab at the back of the dress (the longer version has ties, the shorter one a button tab) because, for once, I fancied having a slightly looser-fitting dress. By no means is it now of the straight up and down variety, just not quite as waist hugging as it would be with the tab.
I was originally going to wait and use this as my 'Little Red Dress Project' for this year, but I just couldn't bring myself to keep it secret until next month! Even though it's a pretty light cotton lawn which needs a slip underneath so that you don't see your pants, it can easily be paired with thick tights and a cardigan to get you through winter, or on its own with bare legs in the summer. I'm so pleased with how the Doris Dress turned out with this fabric, and I hope that you like it too!
You can follow me on my instagram account @hobblinghandmades & read my blog on my website. I have also made a pair of Tilly & The Buttons Marigold Trousers using this fabric, you can check out photographs & read about it here.