I made a dress last Thursday. It is out of a beautiful cotton fabric that is an undefinable shade of greenish, blueish, but not quite teal or turquoise or aqua.
I started with the By Hand London Anna dress pattern. It ended up too tight and the neckline was puckering weirdly at the front neckline. To fix this, I originally planned to unpick the front pleats and sew them slightly narrower to make it a smidge looser.
But the more I thought about it the more I realized how much I disliked the neckline appearance and I was pretty certain I wouldn’t be able to easily fix it. Something was wrong with how I had adjusted the Anna dress bodice last time I used it. Or maybe it was the self-drafted facings. I’m really not sure.
Anyhow, I decided it called for completely re-doing the bodice.
I have made several variations of McCall’s 7116 which is a beautiful dress pattern. I made the original dress out of a gorgeous piece of viscose of something like that and you can see some pictures of it on the Minerva website here. But since then I have hacked and re-hacked the pattern.
The top/blouse portion of the dress is simply marvelous It is reminisce of the vintage style peasant blouse look I have loved my entire life. I’ve whacked off the top portion of the skirt to turn into a more fitted midriff portion so I could add a flared, full skirt. I turned that midriff piece into a shirred elastic waistband for my first couple of hacked versions before fitting it even more and adding a back zipper to it.
Needless to say, the portion of the pattern I use now scarcely resembles the original design. But it has become an incredibly simple and flattering dress pattern that I want to make again and again. Definitely a tried-and-true pattern.
I only had scraps leftover from cutting out the dress originally so this definitely required some dressmaker’s tetris. Look at how creative I had to be to get the bodice of McCall’s 7116 out of fabric leftovers and the original Anna dress bodice pieces! Grain-lines and directional prints were utterly ignored. Every bit of fabric large enough to squeeze a pattern piece onto it was used.
And what sort of sewing session would this be if there wasn’t a tasty snack? Heartily recommend frozen blueberries as a summery snack. Delicious and cold!