The sun is out. THE SUN IS OUT!! A hot 32ºC today which basically leaves me melting. I’m not great in the heat if I don’t have my own shady place by the pool to keep me cool and relaxed… Which reminded me that I have two summer dresses as yet unblogged. A fact that I mean to rectify today. I mentioned in my post about my Orla dress hack that I made 3 dresses before our holiday and I thought today I would share with you my McCalls 6887 – my palm tree dress!
I discovered this particular pattern when I found Nina’s version and lurved the cut out detail on the back. I decided it was a must have for my holiday and I was excited to get started as it was set of new challenges to tackle. In the short time that I have been sewing I have not made a lined, fitted dress. Neither have I inserted an invisible zip -simple things maybe, but its great to try something new!
Once I had decided on the pattern I started looking about for the right fabric. I wanted cotton with some body so that the skirt would hold it’s shape but be nice and cool to wear in the heat. Back in March (yes I know…this one’s taken me a while to blog!) I went to the ‘Sewing for Pleasure’ show at the NEC as I won tickets from Amy over at Sewn in the Attic. I’ve never been to anything like it before and I had a fab time – especially as I got to take my mum and we talked sewing all day! Bliss! Anyway I found a few contenders but in the end I fell in love with a palm tree print from Higgs and Higgs. Sadly the stall only had fat quarters available in that print but I was so smitten I decided to order it online. I’m so glad I had seen it in the flesh as I don’t think I’d have spotted it on the website, goes to show that nothing beats seeing it for real!
This dress took me a while to complete as I really didn’t enjoy the toile stage so kept putting it on hold while I did something else. I still often feel lost in fitting things on myself. There are certain things I know about my body and can compensate for (like being short waisted) however quite often I can see that something doesn’t work but am left unaware of why! It is too hot to do a full recounting of my fittings for this dress (plus it would bore everyone to tears). Suffice to say I ended up using the finished garment measurements (always ALWAYS on the big 4 pattern companies as they draft about 4 inches of ease on most patterns). But the bust was too loose when I used their C cup size and too tight when I used their normal a-b cup pattern pieces. Because of the back closure being a button band I managed to make it work, but this area of sewing definitely needs some attention for future garments.
I used Lauren’s excellent sewalong which literally covers all you could possibly need to know about making up this pattern! it was on her advice that I checked the depth of the scoop on the back of the bodice as she found it came up above her bra band. When I made my first toile I added an inch here which only just had it covered. Worth bearing in mind.
With the bodice done I moved onto the skirt, which I decided not to line. Again Lauren’s numerous posts on this dress had me covered as she used bias binding to finish the raw edges of the skirt around the cut out. She also has an excellent tutorial on inserting an invisible zip. I found the zip went in easily enough and I even manged to pattern match down the back centre seam (complete fluke as I didn’t have enough fabric to consider any pattern matching for this make!)
Oh and I added pockets! Because I love pockets.
I loved wearing this on holiday – especially with my floppy sun hat of amazingness. I know it shouted TOURIST to all around – I embraced the fact and flounced about anyway!
I haven’t had the guts to wear this back at home yet. Maybe a bit too fancy for the school run? I may try it out tomorrow if it remains this hot…