Sunday, May 27, 2012

FO: Bluebirds and Pansies Darling Ranges Dress


Pattern:  Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen, size XS
Fabric:  Viscose filament twill with bluebirds and pansies print, £13.50 for 2.5 metres, but I only used 1.7m (found on eebaay)
Other: 12 red buttons from the 1940's, from Clover Crafts and Curios (eebaay seller) £3.20 for 16.

What I did differently:

Last time I used this pattern, I wasn't completely happy with the fit of the bodice.

This time I made the following alterations:

To the darts:
  • Lowered them by 1.2cm
  • Narrowed them to measure 3cm either side of the central line (instead of 4cm)
  • Lengthened them by 3cm along the central line

To the back bodice
Darling Ranges Two
  • Lengthened it by 2.5cm to fit the fronts at the side seams
To the shoulders:
  • Took 2.5cm seams and cut away the excess fabric
To the waist:
  • Added a length of cotton tape to the edge of the bodice as I stitched the waist seam, to support the weight of the skirt
To the skirt:
  • Cut it in one piece to omit side seams
To the sleeves:
  • Lengthened them by 4.5cm
Darling Ranges Two
To the neck:
  • Stay-stitched the edge before I added the bias binding (top tip - thanks Dixie!)
To the front facings:
  • Stitched a length of 1-inch wide cotton tape inside the facings to reinforce the buttons and buttonholes
To the hem:
  • Used the same satin bias binding I used for the neck facing to finish the hem.


Darling Ranges Two, 27 May 2012
I fell for this fabric the moment I laid eyes on it, and knew it would make a lovely swishy dress.

However, it was very slippery to work with, and I added reinforcing lines of cotton tape wherever I could, to help support the weight evenly as it felt like it would stretch out otherwise.  That's why I cut the skirt in one piece, to avoid saggy side seams.

I may have cut the back bodice slightly too wide due to the fabric slippage issue, but it is drapey enough for me to get away with it. Back darts might have been a good idea, but it's OK.

When I read the list of alterations I made, it sounds a bit intimidating, but I still reckon this pattern has a lot to offer a non-expert sewist.  The instruction booklet and Megan's sewalong blog posts cover all the construction and fit details you could ever need.
Personally, I learned an awful lot from re-drafting the bodice to personalise the fit.  I feel ready to tackle a more complicated dress now, instead of sticking to separates out of fear of the unknown world of bodices!

The only thing I would do differently next time is to stitch up most of that buttoned front instead of working 12 blinking buttonholes which I will never need to open or close!  There is half a day's needless work right there!


theperfectnose said...

It's beautiful but gads the list of alterations! XP This is why I stick with brands that I know fit straight out of the box (or have only 1 alteration that I always make without even checking-back height) i.e. Burda, Knipmode, Kwik Sew.. Good on you though for plugging away at it-the end result is very pretty.

House of Pinheiro said...

Love it. Its so much better when if tailor to fit instead of made out of the packet. x

Scruffybadger said...

Wow that is a lot of modifications, but worth it. I think it looks perfectly darling on you, shows the fabric off in its swishiy coolness & is classy & casual. Nice one ... I bought some viscose from Brum that is destined for my own version of this style ....but when? Who knows!!!

Franca said...

I love it, it's beautiful! The modificatiosn do sound quite intimidating, I'm glad they were worth it!

kbenco said...

It looks like a Yippee dress to me too. What a list of alterations and modifications! The next one will seem incredibly quick after having all that work on the pattern done already.

Marie said...

My gosh, that list of alterations does sound pretty daunting, but well done for perservering as your dress looks great. Can't wait to see more photos of it though ;o) When I eventually get round to sewing this pattern up, I know that I'll be referring to both your posts on the subject, so thanks very much in advance!

Felicity from Down Under said...

the design on that fabric is lovely and what a pretty dress. I join the chorus to say it all sounds like a lot of work; but maybe it wasn't quite as much in the doing as it is in the retelling. [now to see if I can decipher the dreaded non-robot type]

Katy47p said...

I love the fabric you used and fit looks perfect now.

Big Alice said...

I too am intimidated by your list of modifications, but wow, very nice dress! I do like the red buttons :)

Lynne said...

It's gorgeous! And the red buttons are beautiful, glad you found them. :)

Melizza said...

Another gorgeous Darling Rnages dress! Your contrast buttons are a perfect choice.

With this dress it's worth adjusting and working for that fit. The dress is *so* comfortable and complimentary. I really love the ones I have and want to make at least a couple of more.

Sigrid said...

That's a lot of alterations, but it looks like its worth it if it. The print is fabulous and the dress looks os wearable!

Ali said...

I've been meaning to tell you for days how much I adore this! Gorgeous (and fun!) fabric with great drape -- I'd never think to use the Darling Ranges, but it's pitch perfect and so flattering on you.

There must be something in the air with rayon/viscose. I'm sewing with it now and my little fabric book suggests a narrow zigzag (length 2.5 and width .5) on long seams. I'm not sure if it's made a difference, but it doesn't hurt to try!