If you’re a regular reader of the blog you might remember me starting work on the Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges dress. At first I was super excited and raring to get going. I picked some lovely leafy fabric I’d got from Walthamstow market for a few quid a metre and was happily working my way through the instructions and then disaster struck! The kind of idiotic error that saps all of the joy out of a project. I mistook my skirt pattern pieces for scrap fabric and cut into them for pockets! AHHHHHHHH. Then I proceeded to have a tantrum and call my Mum (I won’t pretend it was one of my most mature moments). Thankfully Mum came to rescue and got me going again but the joy went right out of the project for me. The project sat, looking rather unloved in the basket for some months. Every now and again I’d pick it up and do a tiny bit of work, a sleeve here and a bit of bodice there, but without any real momentum.
One of the reasons I carried on withe the dress rather than just starting again (like a sensible person) was the lovely fabric. It might be cheap (and probably very flammable!) but I love it! The pattern is so pretty and it hangs beautifully! It’s got a really autumnal feel to it and it’s unusual without being too insane. Plus the tiny pattern meant I didn’t need to bother with lots of pattern matching.
Sometimes a girl needs to be strict with herself and I decided that I was going to make myself finish the dress before I started on anything else. I have the pattern and some super pretty fabric for an Anna dress which I am desperate to get started on but first of all this one needed to get finished.
Once I got started again I really enjoyed the sewing. I’d last stopped at the plackets because they looked super confusing and I’d never done that sort of thing before. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing with the folds and even longer to work out that the bias tape would be on the inside not the outside! In the end I figured it out from the tutorial – I don’t know why I didn’t just google it in the first place!
Once I’d got the neckline sorted out everything else went quite quickly. I was a little bit worried about the button holes as my fabric pen wasn’t showing up and I didn’t want to ruin the whole thing right at the end. After a bit of fiddling about I used tape to mark my placements in the end. I just sewed right through the tape and then peeled off the bits that were showing. It’s not textbook technique (and probably isn’t very good for my needle or machine) but it actually worked pretty well! The fabric is a bit prone to fraying so I think it might be reinforcing the button holes a little bit!
The last step was to add the pockets. Pockets were essential to cover up the marks on the fabric where I accidentally cut through it. I didn’t have much choice about placement so I just measured the size I would need and went for it. I found this tutorial very helpful. Given that these were my first attempt at patch pockets I think they’ve come out pretty well!
As I’d left the dress laying around for such a long time I had a few problems with epic fraying. I had to reinforce a few of the edges before sewing them because it looked like it was going to fray right through. Even with the extra care in sewing I think I’ll need to be very careful with this dress or it might just fall apart!
I am super duper pleased with my efforts. I really like the style of the dress, it’s very flattering, and the fabric falls very nicely indeed! I’ve already worn it out and about a few times and had some compliments! It’s a slightly sheer fabric and the neckline is a little low so I had to buy a slip to go with it. I’ve never actually got around to buying a slip before but I am an instant convert. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was not to spend the whole day pulling down my skirt due to weird skirt/tight static making it ride up.
I love this dress and I think I’ll be making it again!