Today I have to show you a dress I made all the way back in January for my trip to Vienna. It came back out of the wardrobe for my trip to New Zealand, because it's pretty wintery there at the moment and I finally have some pictures to show you!
This tartan wool was donated to me by a friend and it had to be a shift dress due to the amount of fabric that I had. I chose to drape it on the stand because that would give me the maximum control over the placement of the checks. I decided to have the baby blue stripe at the centre front, with a darker stripe on either side. The shaping is achieved by fish eye darts hidden in the darker stripes and through the side seams. I pinned the side seams to fit the mannequin quite snugly but when I tried it on it was far too tight. I wanted a nicely curved silhouette but I didn't want it tight so I loosened the side seams considerably. The lovely thing about this wool is that it moulds to the body beautifully.
The back was slightly trickier to fit, and in the end I had to sacrifice the check matching to get the darts to draw in the fabric where it was needed. At least I could match it up horizontally and luckily I don't have to look at the back.
Once the fitting was all sorted it was pretty quick to put together. There's a zip in the side seam as to not disrupt the check in the centre back and the armholes and neckline are bias bound. I deliberately drafted the armholes quite low to allow for wearing thick jumpers underneath. The hem is turned up the minimum amount possible, but it's still a pretty short dress. I figure with thick tights I can just about get away with it. Looking at the zip now it's definitely not straight, and this was before I'd learned how to do them properly (thank you Closet Case Patterns for that tutorial) so that's something to really concentrate on in my next dress.
In terms of changes I'd make, the neckline is just slightly too high so I'd lower it just a tad. Other than that I'm absolutely in love with the fit of this dress. It skims my body just how I wanted it to, giving me some shape but not being super tight. I'm quite picky with tartans but I love the colours in this one, and it definitely does a good job of cheering me up on those cold winter days. Depending on how slippery my tights are the bottom half of the dress sometimes rides up when I walk so next time I would consider adding a lining.
Now I just need to figure out how to make a paper pattern from this dress so I can make some more!
Thank you so much for reading and to Edward for taking these photos at the beautiful botanical gardens in Wellington!