Almost as soon as I has finished making my Airelle blouse I envisioned making this dress- I planned it out and bought the material from Leicester Market before Christmas, and let it sit in my stash box until just the other week. After buying a little bit too much fabric in the new year, and working my way through my sundress pile, it's really only sensible that I made a dress more suited to the current climate. I finished this dress a couple of weeks ago now, but had to wait for a sunny day to get it photographed. I've worn it a few times, usually with tights, not the bare legs you see here!
It's super comfortable, and when I'm just hanging out about the house, I don't even ware the belt with it. It's certainly a break from the full skirted, or 'fit and flair' dresses I've made a few of recently. I do love the shape of those, but it's just nice to have a bit of variation in my wardrobe. I have just a couple of dresses in this shape, which I always wear with a belt to ensure I define my waist. I think they're really comfortable and give a smarter look than a gathered waist. Despite loving a full skirt, I worry that they make me look like a child, especially given my hight and my baby-face. People often think I'm in my late teens.
The fabric is a wool blend suiting I got for £8/m, and the lace is the same as I used for my velvet shift dress I made just before Christmas. No zip and using black stash thread meant this dress cost me just £16 to make.
I traced the Airelle pattern pieces and carried the side hem down an additional 10" to dress length. I took it out as it went down to ensure that the bottom would have enough ease for walking etc. And I chose to make a contrast yoke piece. To ensure enough ease to get it on and off I left off the back and front darts. This was exactly as I planned it when I first had the idea back in November, and I'm so pleased with how it has turned out.
I left off the collar this time- it didn't need it with the lace yoke, quite enough going on there all ready.The instructions suggest that you sew in a piece of elastic around the waist when making up the Dress Airelle, but I really hate elasticated waists, and knowing I'd wear a belt with it, I didn't include that. Other than those changes I sew'd it up following the instructions. The side seams are finished with French Seams, and the arms are finished with pinking shears.
A couple of things I need to work on came up in the construction of this dress, for one, I really struggle to get gathers even. Other than lots of practice and experience, any one got any tips for improving that?
It's a great dress, a perfect addition to my wardrobe and I don't feel silly wearing it in the colder weather- Win, Win, Win!