Summer Dresses – a quickie

I apologise for the slightly chunky gap between posts.  This is partly due to not having had internet access for the best part of a week, and partly due to a commission I’ll be able to share with you in November.  All I can say about that is that it involves fairisle…and no more!  Our current gorgeous weather is not right for colourwork and winter yarns, but never mind.

That said, the summer weather is perfect for sitting at the sewing machine, and over the past few weeks I have managed to carve out some time to make some dresses.  Of the three I have cut out, two are near completion, and here they are:

McCalls_TeaDressThis first one is a McCalls pattern (the pattern number escapes me, sorry about that), and due to the changes I’ve made, now looks noticeably different from the illustration on the envelope.  There’s meant to be a waistband, but I ended up removing it because the bodice was too long for me – and it just so happened that dispensing with the midriff panel was enough to make the dress the right length in the body.  Consequently, it looks a bit shapeless (the hanger and my haphazardness doesn’t help either!), but that’s nothing that a belt won’t fix.  I liked this pattern because there were sleeve options; does anyone else find that there aren’t enough dresses with sleeves?  All I need to do now is insert the invisible zip at the side seam and give it a really good press, and then I’m done.

Colette_ChantillyDressBack Colette_ChantillyDressFrontThis next dress is Chantilly, by Colette.  I’m very late to the party as far as Colette patterns are concerned, but my goodness – they are a revelation!!  I loved the design of this, but because I normally make alterations to bodices, held fire.  Making alterations to this pattern would’ve been a nightmare (I thought) because of the lovely details at the front.  However, I needn’t have worried: this was the very first time that I have been able to just zip through a pattern WITHOUT MAKING ANY CHANGES!!  It is amazing!  The fit is fantastic throughout; I have never known a dress pattern like it.  No wonder every other dressmaker I know has wondered where I’ve been all this time.  Needless to say, I have bought five other Colette patterns since starting Chantilly, so it looks as though my fabric stash will go down significantly.  It will be worth it for these patterns.  I’m not much of a hoarder, but I do like to wait until I find patterns worthy of my fabric that I *know* will serve me well for years and years to come.  Chantilly has been one of those, no question.  I lined the dress with a soft, extremely lightweight muslin to complement the cotton voile.  This dress is also waiting for an invisible side zip and a hem.

Finishing these dresses, and the third one I cut out, will be my treat once my commission deadline is under control and I get back on track with work after being without the internet.  I cannot wait to wear them!


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