I am back on my search for alternatives to my TNT shirt dresses. This one is Simplicity 8910 which I have seen on instagram and at the Pattern Review website. I like the idea of a raised ’empire’ line bodice and the pleats of this pattern which will, hopefully, camouflage my apple-shaped tummy.
I knew that I would need to make a toile of the bodice so out came my stash of lightweight calico. I copied off the bodice front and back, made a forward shoulder adjustment, a full bust adjustment, reduced the bust dart width and took the difference out at the side seam, increased the front bodice length by 1 inch and quickly made toile #1.
It took 4 toiles to perfect the bodice and then a couple more days to decide which fabric to use! By this time I was beginning to go off the whole idea of the dress. However, I finally cut out the dress from some pretty cotton by Lady McElroy bought from a seller on eBay.
Although the fabric was listed as cotton poplin, it is very fine and lightweight. I would say that it is nearer to a cotton lawn. I bought 4 metres at a cost of £23.86 which is very competitive pricing for this make of fabric. Cutting out View B with the short sleeves took around 3 metres meaning that I have sufficient left over to make a sleeveless blouse.
I used my final toile as a bodice lining as I disliked the idea of bias binding for the neckline. The darling little sleeves are sewn with French seams as are the pockets and side seams of the skirt panels. I increased the width of the skirt panels by 4 inches and this gave me sufficient to add extra pleating to the back skirt and a plain panel centre front. The bodice lining is hand stitched to the raised waistline seam allowances. The hem on the sleeves is a narrow machined one but the hem on the skirt is hand sewn.
With the raised ’empire line’ bodice and long length of the finished dress there is a look of ‘Jane Austen’ about it.
I find the dress flattering and it is so very comfortable to wear that I plan to make another. Having used a ‘ditsy’ print cotton this time, next time I plan on a larger floral print using a recent purchase of some viscose fabric.
project #39 completed 17th June 2020