I bought the Emery dress pattern when Christine Haynes was having a sale in her webshop. I have been holding out on attempting to sew it in hopes that Sew LA offered another Emery dress class. Good thing I waited because Sew LA added one more Emery dress class to the calendar and as soon as they did I signed up. I mean how neat is it to be able to take a class taught by the designer of the pattern?!
I decided to use some quilting cotton from my stash, but I wasn’t sure which print. I wanted to use something fun, but I didn’t want to chance using a favorite fabric in case the dress didn’t fit right (hello small bust). I ended up deciding to just go for it and picked some Lecien toile print that I had been hoarding for a couple years. I was really hoping I didn’t screw this dress up.
Making this dress in a class setting really helped reinforce some sewing techniques that I had done before, but wasn’t really sure if I was doing correctly, including sewing all 16 darts, sewing the gathers, and installing the invisible zipper. After the third class the top and bottom of my dress was together and my zipper was installed so I figured why not try it on? Uh oh, the bust was too big. I wasn’t surprised, but I wasn’t thrilled either. I knew I should have done a muslin of the bodice first. I ended up scheduling a private lesson with Hayley from Sew LA (who does the SBA and FBA for the Emery sewalong on Christine’s blog) to help me adjust my pattern. I then started searching for more of this fabric online so I could remake the dress, but of course there was none available….ack! I actually had enough leftover fabric to make a new bodice, so I figured I could just take the dress apart and reuse the skirt.
The morning of my last class I had a private lesson with Hayley and she showed me how to do a SBA on my pattern. I then continued making my dress in class knowing that I was going to take it apart later. I figured it would be good practice to make it up anyways.
I later took out the zipper and took the top of the dress off, recut my bodice and lining (I had just enough left for this second top) and got back to sewing. I hand stitched the bodice lining and the hem and I think they look pretty nice. I am pretty happy with the way the dress came out and I really love my fabric choice. The bodice still has a little bit more ease than I would like, so I think next time I will take 1/4″ off each side of the bodice when sewing it. I think next time I am going to try to make a sleeveless version as I always feel really constricted in sleeves, even though I think they are cute in this dress.