Ta da! My finished Darling Ranges dress! This is the first dress I've sewn in at least 10 years, maybe longer, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I was dying to wear it out on Friday for art crawl, so despite the fact that I was three buttons short, I quickly sewed on some mismatched, plain black ones and away I went. Mike was kind enough to put down his beer and snap some pics.
It is more comfortable than most of the dresses I wear, which shouldn't surprise me at all since it was fitted perfectly to me, but it still does. I guess I figured I would have to make concessions along the way and just put up with things I couldn't figure out how to alter, but I'm happy that wasn't the case at all. It did take some tailoring, but once I figured out what needed to be done, it was pretty easy to accomplish.
So what were those adjustments, you ask? Well, obviously I made it sleeveless. I also shortened both the front and back shoulders by an inch and shortened the length by two inches. If you do the math there, that's a total of 4 inches. Yep, I'm short. Finally, I adjusted the darts by about a half-inch. I tried researching the proper way to tailor darts for ages, but all I could find were tutorials on altering the darts on a paper pattern. What the heck? Surely this can't be an uncommon problem. Someone get on that. I ended up just turning my dress inside out, putting it on my dress form, and pinning any excess fabric. It worked like a charm. This was the first time I had used my dress form for her prescribed purpose, so that was fun for me. Thanks, Judy!
The back has two little ties, which I noticed other sewers have opted to leave out, but in my case they were absolutely needed if I wanted the option to not wear it belted. I wear a lot of dresses with belts, so I did want that option here. Did you notice that this dress has pockets, too? I love when dresses have pockets!
Such cute sparkly buttons. I bought them from Fabricland, which is also where I bought this pretty cotton print. I attached a hook and eye at the waist, which wasn't in the instructions, but I felt it was needed to keep the placket nice and flat.
Finally, I can't go before I mention that one of the things I loved most about this pattern was the instruction booklet. If you've never used a commercial sewing pattern before, the instructions are usually written on humongous pieces of paper that fold out to almost the size of a newspaper. It's awkward to say the least, so I really appreciated this compact size. The instructions were really clear and easy to follow too. There were even a few pages at the back for notes, which is pretty genius in my opinion.
All in all, it was a great project to jump back into garment sewing with and I can't wait to start my next piece! Any recommendations?