Finito! The Peony dress made it’s appropriately flowery debut on a day trip out to indulge one of my favourite weekend activities – visiting Open Gardens. For those that aren’t in the know, Australia’s Open Garden Scheme sees the countries finest green thumbs open their private gardens for a day or two for flora enthusiasts like myself and Mr poppykettle to walk through and admire.
I’m super pleased at how it turned out. The bodice is nicely fitted yet comfy enough to be worn all day. I took inspiration from the Colette Dress ‘Pastille’ in the pleats and lace – although I’d recommend if trying this to do it on a straight skirt and not an a-line one! Thankfully, being stretch fabric, I could ease in the differences without too much fuss.
Made from a 97% cotton and 3% spandex blend in a colour way called ‘Barbados Oregano’ from Tessuti, and a white cotton batiste for the bodice lining bought from Clegs. I used white rayon seam binding on all the fabric edges, which was a labour intensive process but which gives such a lovely result! I’m still head over heels in love with the cotton batiste lace I bought from dishyvintage used at the hem and sleeves.
This garment marks a bit of a turning point for my sewing skills – the first thing I’ve made where I’m equally pleased with the inside details as I am the parts that the rest of the world sees.
I’ve nicknamed it the Green Peon. Is it wrong to refer to such a pretty thing by the name of a craven Warcraft character? Funny thing is, since I’ve taken up sewing there’s been significantly less squabbling over who gets to use the xbox… nowadays he plays and I sit at the dining table sewing and offering advice on his lack of technique…
I ended up making this dress a size 12 at the shoulders, down to an 8 at the bust point, a 6 at the waist then back to an 8 for the skirt. Talk about a lot of sizes. Even still, I had truckloads of fabric left over, and still downgraded the waist slightly.
The back of the pattern booklet says for a size 8 version 2 dress you’ll need 3 1/8 yards of 45″ wide fabric (or on my case, 2.85m of 115cm wide fabric). I bought 2.8m of fabric that was 118cm wide, and only used 1.8m of this. Mind you, I lined the bodice instead of facing it (and from a different fabric not included in the 1.8m mentioned), but even including the facing pieces, I would have used just under 2m. So now I have a remnant that’s a little too big to justify throwing away!
Besides having rather a few frustrations with the fit of the bodice (see here if you care to read more), and taking a horizontal dart out of the back to get rid on some bunching, my other quandary was with the sleeves. Mine kept having a bit of pointing actions going on, as opposed to Sarai’s, which seem to be delightfully fitted:
So I pinned a dart out of the sleeve, adjusted my pattern and I ended with a result I was slightly happier with:
If I make this again, I’ll probably substitute a different skirt. The gathers at the front aren’t the best if you’re wanting to downplay your stomach area. Also, a-line skirts are more difficult to hem than a simple gathered rectangular skirt! All in all, I’m loving my dress, so hopefully if summer hangs around a little longer, I’ll get to wear it some more :)