You may recall that I showed you this fabric in April and stated my intention to make a spring maxi dress with it that I wasn't sure I was going to like. Well, now it's autumn and I have an autumn maxi dress I'm not sure if I like! OK, that's not fair. It's more that I have an autumn maxi dress that I like but I'm not sure if I'll wear. Let's talk about it!
As you see, this is a super romantic dress. I knew it would be - the pairing of this fabric and this kind of pattern was only going to end up in one place - and I knew it was going to be a bit of a risk to make. Unsurprisingly I'm not yet sure how comfortable I am in it, but I do think it's a very pretty dress that I would like to be comfortable in.
The pattern is the expanded version of the Cashmerette Upton dress. I don't love the trend towards paid pattern expansions, particularly since it usually seems to be "one extra sleeve type" or "a neckline change that could definitely just have been a blog post", but the Upton pack seemed to have a lot of different options that could make it worth it to me. In fact, when I came to print and cut out, I found that all I needed from the original pattern were the waistband and pocket pieces. I used the princess seam bodice, fitted sleeve with ready-made full bicep adjustment, and the maxi length gored skirt.
I knew I wanted to make a square neck, but I also thought the square neck on the pattern was too small and would look a bit frumpy on me. I was already concerned that a long-sleeved maxi amount of pale pink would be too much and I was keen to have less of it next to my face. Cutting it this much wider and lower presents a whole different set of challenges, but I had been watching a bunch of period dramas and wanted this look specifically. Since the whole thing was a bit of a punt anyway, I decided I might as well go for it and work out how to deal with the issues as I went.
Obviously, the main problem with this neckline in a woven fabric is that it doesn't especially want to stay on the shoulders. I attempted to get round this by attaching narrow lengths of elastic into the seam allowance around each shoulder and across the front. This mostly worked - it does create a tiny bit of a puff at the shoulders but fortunately I think that's quite pretty.
The fitted sleeve with the built-in full bicep adjustment works really nicely for me, which I'm pleased about because that was a decent chunk of my motivation to make this dress.
Cost: approx. £20
Pattern details: Fitted dress with cup sizes - darted and princess seam bodice options, multiple necklines, flutter and fitted sleeves (the latter with a choice of regular or full bicep), pleated and gored skirts in different lengths, and a waistband piece to make a standalone skirt
Size: 12 G/H in the bodice, blending out to 16 in the hips
Alterations: Change of neckline to be wider and deeper
Would make again/would recommend: Yes/Yes