Whilst it is evidenced by the fact that I have made 7 versions of the Montana dress by Style Arc, I would like to have something similar but with sleeves. I noted the Demeter dress by Anna Allen was very similar to the style I wanted to achieve but was loathe to purchase yet another pattern with all the pdf construction and fitting time required for a new pattern. ‘Impatience’ is my middle name!
Demeter has several features that I wanted to reproduce so using the line drawing as inspiration, I decided to try and draft something on those lines using a ‘Montana’ and a ‘Hannah’ by By Hand London designs combination.
Drafting the new ‘Moira’ pattern:- Using the Montana Front bodice to establish the neckline, empire waistline and bust dart, I overlaid with the Hannah using the centre front line as the match point. This gave me the amended shoulder line and armscye. I then laid down the Montana Back bodice, again overlaid with the Hannah to obtain the matching shoulder line and back armscye. I used the sleeve from the Hannah, the skirt panels from the Montana with self-drafted hem frill and my own drafted pocket and ties. So this dress is a real ‘Heinz’ pattern.
Using some lightweight calico I quickly made a toile of the bodice to check for fit. Not bad. I needed to make a forward shoulder adjustment and add a little to the side seam for the front bodice but other than that it was fine so I went ahead and cut out the dress. I used this Navy background Viscose, 3m bought at £13.47 from Rainbow Fabrics.
I like this fabric very much although I have to say that cutting out and construction was rather like herding cats! The fabric was very fluid and mobile – it shifted about so had to be controlled with lots of pins.
Other than that, construction was fairly straightforward. After stitching the shoulder seams of both outer and lining, I basted the side seams before re-shaping the neckline to mirror the curve of my new White Gold necklace bought by my LSH for my birthday in July.
I trimmed the seam allowance of the bodice with pinking shears and pressed them open and flat. The neckline was under stitched and the self-fabric ties were inserted into the side seams. The armscyes and Empire waistlines were stitched together within the seam allowances. Once the sleeves had been inserted, the seam allowances were then neatened with the overlocker.
The front and back skirt panels were each cut 40 ins wide and I used my standard side seam pocket bag pattern. The skirt panels were gathered at the top using a stitch length of 5.00. The hem frills were cut 12 ins deep by 3 x the width of the fabric of 60 ins. Again I used the ruffler foot to pleat up the frill using a stitch length of 4.00 and pleats every 6 stitches.
Once the dress had been completed I dressed the mannequin for photographs and noticed a very happy accident. Where the front bodice is joined to the skirt there is a floral motif that has been pattern-matched!
This dress will be a delight to wear with my Baked Pink Western Jacket or Blue Denim Western Jacket.
By coincidence the dress also goes very well with my Pink Ponte Jenna cardigan made back in March at the Purple Stitches Sewing Retreat.
Project #54 completed 18th September 2020