Emma makes a Sudley Dress

November 01, 2022
Emma makes a Sudley Dress
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Sudley Dress

This year I was so proud to make my first dress, the Peppermint Magazine Bardon Dress by Elbe Textiles. Which I love, but I was really dreaming of a dress with short sleeves (to disguise the tan lines on my arms)

It just so happened that Maaike gifted me a sample of the Mountain Collection Gum Leaves cotton poplin (Oh the perks of working in a fabric store!) and I couldn’t wait to sew it up, but as I am still relatively new to sewing my own clothes, I needed a little guidance in what to make. 

We started talking about the Sudley dress by Megan Nielsen as Maaike planned to make one. This is her version in the See You At Six Plants Viscose.

Sudley dress in plants viscose by see you at six

It seemed to tick most of my boxes and I saw lots of beautiful examples on Instagram (#mnsudley) which ignited an excitement to get started.

My measurements put me into a size 4 (however, I later learned there are many nuances to the art of measuring oneself).

I decided to make a few changes before I started as even though this pattern is reversible, I knew I would never wear the dress with the ties at the front (just not my style) and I also wanted to bring the waist in a little. 

I technically made a view C and made the following changes:

- Added a gathered skirt, without pockets

- Removed the ties from the keyhole closure 

- Replaced with button closure 

- Added waist ties

- Chose the short sleeve option

I originally planned to line the bodice but abandoned this idea later due to sizing. (See note below)

This was my first experience setting a sleeve, which was a little daunting. So luckily we had a work sewing night and Maaike and Lucy showed me how to do this, rather than scrolling through YouTube videos. 

Other than the sleeves, the biggest struggle I had was sewing the bias binding around the keyhole. I still find tight curves incredibly challenging. I didn’t get this perfect, but it’s all about practice! 

Sudley Dress
Sudley Dress

I persevered and decided to be ok with small imperfections and in the end, I was really pleased with the fit and style of the dress. The fabric was a dream to work with. Lovely and silky smooth while still being beginner friendly. 

I am not sure I would recommend this pattern to a beginner as some parts were a little tricky (those sleeves need a LOT of easing in) and I felt the instructions assumed a certain level of knowledge. 

Sudley Dress

Pattern: The Sudley Dress by Megan Nielsen

Fabric: Mountain Collection Gum Leaf Cotton Poplin (sold out, but you can find other prints in the range here

I also added a cute label from Kylie and the Machine, which really captures my excitement and relief to have finally finished! 

Sudley Dress

Note: I realised my sizing may have been incorrect as I only took my full bust measurement. I later realised as I am so petite, my upper bust is actually 1cm larger than my full bust. This meant that if I lined the bodice, it wouldn’t have fit my arms, or across my upper chest. 


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