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.
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!
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.
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!
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.