An Almost Disastrous Dress

In my last post I mentioned a disastrous WIP, which at the time of writing was in detention in the back of my cupboard. I wasn’t happy with the way it was fitting, I was fighting with the fabric, and then the final straw was when I realised that I had completely ignored my notches and sewed one of the sleeves on inside out. Yesterday I dug it out of the bag and unpicked my mistakes and took it in, and I’ve decided that I’m actually pretty happy with the final dress.

This is dress E from Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom by Yoshiko Tsukiori. This was the pattern I really wanted to make from this book  when I ordered it (I wanted it so badly that I bought two Stylish Dress Books – I didn’t realise there was more than one in the series, and got the wrong one in my first order!). It was my first foray into Japanese sewing books, and it was certainly an abrupt departure from the hand-holding instructions which come with indie patterns!

I know that this style is meant to be loose and boxy, but I found it was incredibly unflattering when I made it up exactly as instructed. It looks lovely on the petite model in the book, but I felt like I could smuggle a considerable amount of loot under it. I ended up taking 2″ off each side seam, and I much prefer how it looks now that its fitted through the back bodice and upper bust. I still think it makes me look a bit pregnant, especially from the side, but I’ve decided I don’t care…

I’ve got a bit of gaping at the back neckline, but not enough for me to bother unpicking the facing and putting in some darts. I think that would detract from the simple shape of this dress. 

I really like the box pleats at the bodice! They were a bit hard to photograph, but they were really easy to sew and press in this lovely smooth black linen. I’ve never really sewn with linen (my BHL Holly trousers are the only other time I’ve used it), and it took a bit of getting used to. I kept ironing creases into it that I couldn’t get back out again! It also frayed like crazy, so I overlocked the pieces before sewing them together. I think it’ll be lovely and breezy to wear when it gets hot!

Please excuse the dirty marks on my carpet, I can’t get them out! Normally I crop it out, but these are my favourite shoes at the moment so I thought I’d leave my feet in. They’re gold and glittery, what’s not to like?

So what do you think? Cute summer dress or art teacher maternity smock? I’m still a bit conflicted!

Also, as a random aside, I’ve got new glasses! I’d had my old ones for about 6 years, so I felt it was time for an update. And now I can see properly again, so thats always a bonus…

24 thoughts on “An Almost Disastrous Dress

  1. I really like this on you, the fabric is lovely and those pleats are super cute! It will look perfect in the summer and you could also team it up with a cardi and boots for a winter look.

  2. I love it! It’s so chic in that colour. I think that it looks totally cool on you and not at all art-teacher-maternity. I have the same book but haven’t made up that dress. I like the back gathers too. Might have to try this one!

  3. I like your new dress a lot! It’s really cute, it’s black and linen, so what’s not to like?! I don’t think you look pregnant but I wouldn’t care neither. It’s comfy and chic, win win!
    And I like your necklace. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Frederike! I’m always a bit concerned when I have an abrupt change of heart about a garment that I’m tricking myself into liking it, so its always nice to hear that I’m not fooling myself!

  4. It’s a super-stylish cut! I love it: the simplicity of the design, the pleats, the length. Well done for making your peace with it! It’s good to know that the Japanese designs include considerable ease for those of us who aren’t tiny!

  5. I love this dress on you! I don’t think it looks maternity or art teacher smock-ish at all. The front pleats are so pretty. I really like the basic black paired with your sparkly shoes! I think I have checked this book out of our library in the past but never got to making anything from it. I think I need to check it out again and actually do something with it!

  6. This is a delightful dress on you Kirsten – seriously cute. But I hate to break some news. You’ll never make it as a japanese model for Sew Stylish unless you channel your inner misery. Think buckets of dead puppies – that should get you in the mood for the nest Sew Stylish shoot. I’m a big fan of a free and easy summer dress. Heck I’ve been wearing a fave maternity dress for – let me see know – 17summers! Hot humid weather makes comfort a priority but this is sooo cute and just look at those GOLD shoes!!!

  7. I think it’s really cute and will be great for summer. So easy and breezy! I think this swingy shilouette is really on trend, so don’t even worry about it.

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