The Shrinking Violet Emery

Word of Sew South London’s sewing exploits appears to have travelled far and wide. At least as far as my neighbour, Felicity’s house! Thanks to the serendipity of sewing in South London, I have been loaned a new assistant!  I’m no model, so I thought I’d put her to work to wearing my newest Emery dress.

Emery Dress

As you know if you’ve visited before, I was quite taken with my first Emery Dress. I literally couldn’t wait to get started on another, not least because I’d done the hard work getting a good fit. I was considering making up the bodice in a larger size to see if I could get a better fit with fewer alterations, but after wearing it to work for the day the consensus was that the fit was pretty good. So this is the same mix of alterations: a FBA, a waistline graded to the next size up, then 1cm pinched out of both side seams. To avoid the gaping neckline at the back, I increased the back neck darts by 0.5mm to take into account a mild case of round shoulders. Family legend has it that it’s an evolutionary result of living on the North Sea coastline, where one has to brace oneself against the North Sea breeze!

The dress form has definitely made my job easier. She’s a good size match, although I had to pimp her up with a padded bra and two pairs of bedsocks. It’s fantastic to be able to be able to see the garment on someone of the same size, to fiddle with details and see where the fit could be better. I’m just not sure I’m brave enough to sleep in the same room as her yet!

Emery Dress neckline

We need to talk about this fabric! It was another Simply Fabrics find, although this time I found that the print had a huge flaw through it when I got it home. I’ve placed it on the back skirt panel so it’s not really noticeable. However, it might be more of an issue when the remaining fabric becomes a pair of Ultimate Trousers! The fabric does feel like curtains, but it has a lycra stretch to it, so it must have been manufactured with clothing in mind. It’s rather stiff to wear – on the upside it holds its shape beautifully, however, such is the rustle, you can hear me coming from 100 metres away. Put it this way, I feel bullet-proof when I wear it!

Emery dress

With such a wild print, the fabric is quite forgiving. Rather than drafting facings, as I did for the last Emery, I thought I’d finish the neckline with bias binding along the lines of the Belcarra top. Whilst the binding went on fine, I don’t like the visible stitching. I prefer a cleaner finish on such a smart dress. I can live with it this time as you can’t really see it amongst the print, but I would definitely add facings next time. The weight of the fabric also caused problems with the invisible zip, which ended up towards the ‘visible’ end of the zip spectrum!

Emery Dress

I adore the print and colour. This dress is a lot of fun; not the demure number my first Emery turned out to be. I guess I’ll be mostly wearing it for work. It’s a bit loud for pushchair-pushing, even in South London, don’t ya think?!

Now, about my glamorous assistant: she needs a name. Any suggestions?





16 thoughts on “The Shrinking Violet Emery

  1. I am very impressed by your dress. I think that it is really worthwhile to use a particular pattern several times and to achieve very different results. It also gets easier with each item.
    I think that it is so useful to use a model to actually see what the dress looks like.
    Well done. It is inspiring to see what you have achieved.


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