There has been a spate of yellow on sewing blogs recently. It’s not a colour I am usually drawn to. Maybe the lack of anything resembling Spring for more than a couple of days has made me crave sunshine because looking at these gorgeous creations just makes me feel happy. Check out Jane and Marie’s Miette skirts, Lauren’s pencil skirt with a twist, and I am absolutely in love with this skirt by A Charm of Magpies. Yellow, Dragonflies, stars, what more do you need?
I realised that I need yellow in my life. A yellow dress. Luckily I already had the fabric, a cotton polka dot, and the perfect pattern – Deer and Doe’s Reglisse. I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it on Ginger Makes . That Sonja is a bad influence, before I even realised what I was doing I was clicking ‘Buy’ on the Deer and Doe website. Then I saw these:- Alison’s version here, this on Les petites envies de Mag here, and especially this gorgeous dress on Jolies Bobines here. Oh to have half the style sense of these French ladies. (you have to look at the other stuff she’s done too, it’s fantastic) I then knew I would have to bump Reglisse to the top of my sewing queue. (Interesting fact – Reglisse is French for Liquorice.)
I was lucky I chose such a happy colour because I decided to attack this project while my oldest daughter was having her belated birthday sleepover. Her party was cancelled because her sister had chicken pox so I was guilt tripped into allowing her to have three friends over to stay. So four eight year olds. ‘They’ll be okay,’ I told myself. ‘A few games in the garden, DVD, popcorn. They’ll be so worn out they’ll be asleep by nine.’
I had already cut out the dress- 36 at the shoulders, then 38 everywhere else- so it was just a case of putting it together. I was always put off Deer and Doe patterns in the past because my French is a bit rusty, but the new English translations are fabulous. At no point did I have to sit back and wonder WTF was I doing, which is rare for me. Just as well.
Eight thirty rolls around. Two of them are not talking. One is crying. The DVD player has stopped working. I can handle this. I am in a state of zen-like calm. I have completed the bodice. It fits perfectly. I fix the DVD player. Give them popcorn. Job done, back to the sewing. And look at my yoke:
Nine O’clock. Another quick check as I can hear strange noises. There is popcorn trampled into the sitting room carpet. The cats are hiding outside in a state of trauma. I won’t get stressed. It’s her birthday party. DVD is finished so I herd them up to bed. We can clean up in the morning. And look, I bound my seams. Very relaxing. Why don’t I do that on everything I make.
Ten o’clock. Hysterical giggling and shrieking. One of them storms out and asks to go home. I can hear the three year old waking up. Keep calm. Deep breaths. Look, pressing every seam as I go. Bias binding on the hem. Look at my uncharacteristic attention to detail. Check out the finishing….
Eleven o’clock. Oh for F***’s sake please Everyone Shut The F*** Up Or I’m Calling Your Parents!!!*
*before anyone calls Social Services I love my children more than can be put into words and I don’t really swear at them or anyone else’s children. But we all think it sometimes, don’t we?
Anyway, I finished. The sun was shining the next morning when I was woken by the same hysterical giggling at six o’clock so I headed outside to take pictures in the garden:
Then headed back inside quickly when the wind picked up. My traumatised elderly neighbour will confirm that this is not the best dress to wear in a breeze. At least make sure you are wearing your best underwear if you do.
You can see the details better inside anyway:
Shoes off. Flamingo pose.
And shoes on again. I really love the way this dress looks at the back. I didn’t want a fully elasticated waistband all the way round so I just put elastic in the back waistband and left it out at the front. I think it works.
Some notes on the pattern. The instructions were great and there were absolutely no problems with the construction. I ended up using a really narrow seam allowance in the side seams. It fitted before but I felt it needed a little more ease so next time I may go up a size. As I said before I only used elastic in the back waistband and I finished all my seams with bias binding. I was in ‘the zone’ when I was doing this so I’m not sure how much extra time it added to the project but I think it was well worth it.
A word of warning if, like me, your knees are not your best asset. The skirt on this is way short. I am five two and I bias bound the hem to avoid losing any length, and it is still a bit shorter than I am used to. When I make it again (and I already have the perfect fabric lined up) I will add a couple of inches.
I was a bit worried that the bow at the front would make me look like I’d stolen the dress from a small Victorian child, but actually I like it. And the little cap sleeves have grown on me. I did consider taking them off again but now I like them. I absolutely love how there are no fastenings, this is a big plus in my book. And it really does make me feel happy when I’m wearing it. I think it’s a definite win. I just can’t wait until the wind dies down so I can risk it in public.