Here is my entry for the “Dresses” competition as part of Indie Pattern Month! I was on the fence about whether or not to enter, but I thought, why not? I decided to go with a dress from one of my very favourite indie pattern companies – Deer&Doe! I chose the Reglisse dress, which I’ve owned for some time, but only ever made one muslin of, about a year go. I love the cute, flirty feel of it and it always seemed slightly nautical to me with the tie collar.
I’ve had it in my head for a while that while I liked the Reglisse dress, I wanted to make some changes to it. I toyed with a few different ideas, and ended up changing my mind a few times throughout the process. My main goal was to eliminate the elasticated waist, as when I made the muslin it wasn’t very flattering on me. That in and of itself was such a process. I made 3 muslins, and ended up sizing down to a size 38 (or thereabouts) from a 46! I also did a narrow shoulder adjustment and moved the bust darts down 4cm and shortened them by 2cm. Phew! I ended up not cutting the bodice pieces on the bias, because I didn’t want my little boats going sideways! I cut the front piece on the fold, and the back in two pieces, so I could add a zip down the back. I also raised the neckline a little, and made it less of a severe “v”.
I doubled the waistband piece and cut it on the fold, so I had a seam at the back to match the back bodice. I messed up the math the first time, though, and ended up with a waistband that was 5cm too short! Math is not my strong point. I interfaced it, but I used my best interfacing on the failed waistband, and had to use stiffer stuff for the second attempt, which wasn’t ideal but seems to have worked out okay.
Since I changed the bodice size a lot, I thought it would be easier to draft my own circle skirt, rather than try and adjust the Reglisse circle skirt pattern piece. Ha. I used the By Hand London Circle skirt app, which has worked fine for me in the past. However, the resulting skirt (which I had to cut in two halves, since my fabric was only 115cm wide rather than the recommended 150) fit my waist, but was too small for the bodice! I adjusted it gradually until it fit, but there was quite a bit of panicking in the process. The adjusting also made the skirt shorter, which I didn’t think about. Thankfully it’s not indecent, and I kind of like this length!
I used the Reglisse collar pattern piece, but I cut it in two pieces due to the back zip instead of on the fold, and “borrowed” the crossover back collar idea from the Colette Moneta. I just added a slant to back seam allowance, nothing fancy.
Finally, the sleeves. I knew I didn’t want it sleeveless – I have tuck shop arms, and never wear sleeveless things. I drafted my own 3/4 sleeve using a tutorial online, which didn’t fit at all! I ended up winging it, using the bodice as a guide and my arm measurements, and made a muslin just to be on the safe side to check it worked. I think it turned out quite well!
The fabric is an organic cotton from Cloud 9 fabrics, called “The Fleet”. I bought it in the US, and it’s delightfully soft and a dream to sew! I had 5 yards of it, so I made a whole heap of bias binding with it too, which I used to hem the skirt, encase the collar+neck seam and hem the sleeves. The waistband and collar are a white cotton poplin I got from Centrepoint Fabrics. I used a 20″ invisible zip for the back seam, and navy thread from my stash. Seams are either bound with my self-made bias binding or pinked.
This dress is my new favourite, I think!