Emery Dress, Why has it taken me so long?

1:57 pm

emery13, originally uploaded by Lazy Seamstress.
I am yet again late to the party on this one. I have loved this pattern since it was first released, but kept finding excuses not to make it. I really shouldn't have. This was a total delight to sew from start to finish and I love the end result.

I was initially unsure which size to cut out. a problem I always have with dresses because of my ample bosom. My chest measurement is 42", waist 32" and hips 39". So, if using those measurements I fit across from the size 12-16.
My high bust measurement is 36", so knowing a full bust adjustment would be necessary, I cautiously cut out a size 14 bodice in my toile fabric (which was also my lining fabric ) expecting to have to do a fair bit of adjusting.

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This is the rather blurry photo I posted on instagram of the completed toile. To my surprise the only adjustment needed was the positioning of the darts, which you can see here are too long for me.
I unpicked the darts and re positioned them, keeping my toile to use as my lining.
Here is another blurry instagram photo of the bodice with new dart positioning.

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From here, the dress went together easily, in fact so easily I began to worry something catastrophic was going to go wrong before I finished...I'm such an optimist!

I decided to make the collared version this time, (Oh yes there will definitely be a next time! ) and I decided on short sleeves, in honour of my first Spring dress this year.
I didn't make the fabric bow because I remembered I had this cute bow belt that would be perfect for this dress.


The fabric was an impulse buy in Abakhan .I was waiting in the queue to pay for some other fabric, when I spotted this peeking out from one of the huge baskets. I pulled it out and knew immediately it would make a fab Emery dress. The piece was rather large, I still have enough left for another dress, so I'm guessing I must've bought about 8 metres. (For those that don't know Abakhan sell much of their fabric from enormous baskets by weight, it's a real rummage sometimes, but great fun!)


The lining is a cotton blend also from Abakhan.



I think the Emery dress might just be one of my favourite patterns yet. I love the retro style, the flattering fit and it has pockets too! I love a dress with pockets.
If you haven't made this dress yet, do! I'm already planning my next one!


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  1. I love using your toile as a lining- brilliant!

    1. I was very lucky just having to move the darts, usually my toiles get hacked up. :)

  2. I think this too is one if my favourites! The colour looks beautiful on you. One of my difficulties is imagining an article made up in said piece of fabric. I've lost count the number of times I have made something that looks good on a hanger and terrible on me! Any suggestions overcoming this?

    Also is it necessary to do a toile if you measure as a standard size? I fit between a size 10 - 12.

    Thanks San x

    1. Oh San, it is hard to work out what you like and what suits you, and it changes too. I think sewing has taught me what works, but I don't always get it right.
      As for a toile, no, if you fit a standard size lucky you! Thing is, every pattern company is different. Mostly though if you are a standard size with cup size B or lower you shouldn't have too many fit issues. I think the more you sew, the fussier you get, always striving for that perfect fit.
      I tend to only make bodice toiles because that is where most of my fit issues are; boobs, tummy, round shoulders...If I'm making a skirt I almost never make a toile first.

  3. Its lovely Jeanette, a great colour on you and perfect fit! Its always nice when a garment comes together do well first time. Hope you get to make lots more!

    1. I do think I will be making more! Thanks Liz. X

  4. Yours is one of my favourites so far, the fabric makes it less girls and I like that. It also makes it really versatile, could be smart for work or more casual. Lovely fit. I've got my fabric and pattern (but making my madmen dress at the mo) which is completely twee ..... Clouds and tiny birds.

    1. Mags your madmen dress sounds amazing, I'll look forward to seeing that.

  5. This is gorgeous. I too am a regular mover of bust darts owing to the bounty that was bestowed upon me. This looks smashing. I might have to be really late to this party :)

  6. Fabulous dress, perfect fit and the colour looks lovely. The skirt is suitably twirly too, I am far too lazy to make up a practice but almost feel inspired if I could use it as lining (brilliant idea) xx

  7. I've been reading up on the Emery dress, anda quick google brought me to your blog entry. I'm still a newbie sewer, but having made a few garments now, I really want to try a dress- is the pattern simple enough for me to understand as a newbie and are there any special sewing techniques I would need to know to make it?

  8. This dress looks lovely on you, I particularly like the drape. What material did you use? Liz


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