Now I won't go on about how much I love Wear Lemonade patterns, as I think that I laboured that point on my Falbala top post, but this is the story of the second amazing pattern that I have made, the Wear Lemonade Frida Dress.
First things first, I much prefer to work with PDF patterns. I know that it can be a pain printing, trimming and taping all the pages together, but I don't actually mind it that much, and I love to irritate the Hubby when I sit there trimming edges from the pages (36 pages to be exact for this pattern) and turn the sofa into a volcano of paper strips.
I like that I always have them available to re-print, and I love to view the instructions on my iPad. I save all my patterns in Dropbox as a back up, you know just incase my computer dies.
OK, back to the Wear Lemonade Frida Dress, I must say that although I loved the look of this pattern, I wasn't sure if it would be for me, not sure it would suit my shape. It is a very loose fitting dress that is clenched at the waist using a belt. It has no darts or closures, making it a simple project, but I am not very shapely, a bit boyish in body shape, and I wasn't sure if you needed a bigger bust than I have to pull this look off.
But I decided to just go for it.
Whats the worst that could happen?
I would have wasted time and fabric, well its my time and I love the process of sewing anyway, and the fabric, although it is absolutely amazing, was purchased from the remnant basket at Abakhans so cost less that £10 (can you believe it!!), if it didn't work out my sister would have had a new dress for free, unlucky for her that I like it.
Let's talk about that said fabric
I was immediately drawn to the beautiful colours, I'm not entirely sure what it is, some kind of cotton blend? It's not my usual style of print (being a floral type of gal) but I was quite intrigued to see how that geometric pattern would work on a dress.
Cutting out the pattern pieces was a bit of a challenge, I needed to ensure that the geometric shapes worked in the right direction, and that the skirt didn't end up wonky as it would have been so noticeable with those straight lines, so this definitely took longer than normal, but I quickly made up time as its quite a simple sew.
I also needed to ensure that the pocket showed the right shapes so that it didn't get lost, I thought that it worked best as 4 squares as it makes it really noticeable.
As this dress is a simple sew, I really wanted to work on the quality of the construction, isn't that what French patterns are all about?
So I decided to use bias binding to edge the facings, this was really easy to do and I don't know why I never thought about doing this before, its such a professional finish (she says with smug smile on face) :)
I don't know about you but I love a good pocket in a dress, so I was super pleased that the Wear Lemonade Frida also has in seam, super deep pockets, yayy to that!
I love a hand gathered skirt
On many occasion I have attempted to gather a skirt using the machine method, sewing my parallel lines of stitches, pulling them to gather, then "snap" (of course its normally right at the very end pulling through gritted teeth) grrrr, so frustrating. So I no longer even attempt it, instead I hand gather.
To hand gather I simply use 2 hand sewing needles, double up the thread on each needle to make it stronger, then sew 2 parallel lines of running stitches (I sew small sections at a time), then pull to gather, its so satisfying and I have never once experienced a broken thread.
Tah Dah! Skirt meet bodice.
So how's the pattern to work with I hear you ask?
Well, the pattern is great, it really is a good beginner level pattern, the instructions do have an English version, and there are step by step photos, however it does omit some of the basic instructions, I guess they assume you know some of the basics but being a "Teach my self how to sew sewer" I know that you "don't know what you don't know".
The kinds of things that are missing are stay stitching (vital to ensure that curved necklines don't get pulled out of shape) and finishing the seams e.g. you need to finish all around the pocket pieces before you attach them to the skirt as its very difficult once they are attached.
I must also admit that this is the first time that I have ever made a belt, I love it so I'm sure that I will make many more, the belt really is a must for this dress as its what gives it the shape, I guess that a sash would also work well.
So, do I love the Wear Lemonade Frida Dress?
Hell yeah! I love love love it. I was a little nervous until I added the belt (as it seemed huge) but I just love how it turned out.
It is super comfortable and is the perfect dress to wear out for a meal as you can expand the dress to comfort, perfect excuse to have that extra prosecco and a dessert!
I already have my next fabric lined up to make another (a lovely Liberty of London floral fabric).
Update: I have since made a second version of this lovely dress, this one was made using beautiful Liberty of London fabric, it feels so luxurious to wear and has become my most worn dress of the year!
Thanks for reading :)
I'd love to know what you think by using the comments below.