As soon as the May 2015 issue of Seamwork came out, I new I wanted to make the Adelaide dress. Actually, I hesitated a bit between Adelaide and the Southport dress, which have some similarities, but in the end I decided to go with this one.
The fabric is from my stash. I originally had a different pattern in mind for it, but decided to use it for Adelaide instead. The fabric is a lightweight cotton, and it was a bit see-through, so I decided to underline it with white fabric of similar weight. Oddly enough, I couldn't find a 100% cotton fabric for the underlining, so I ended up buying a poly-cotton blend that had the appropriate weight. I think in the end it's ok, it still remains pretty breathable.
I didn't want to go through the trouble of making a muslin for this simple summer dress, so instead I tried comparing the pattern that of another summer dress I made last year, and make pattern alterations based on that. That seemed like a logical thing to do at the time, but it turned out to be a false good idea.
the alterations I made to the pattern were:
- Added 3cm to the bust length - this is pretty standard with every pattern I make, and it was needed
- Lowered bust dart 2cm - i did thise based on the comparison with the other pattern. It turned out to be a bad idea, and I ended up shifting the darts back to their original position after cutting the fabric.
- -Did a forward shoulder alteration: I do this pretty consistently on burda patterns, but in hindsight, it was not necessary on Adelaide. The shoulder seam ended up too much forward I think but with the busy print it's probably not that noticeable.
I've used the pattern comparing method before to figure out alterations, but I think that might only work for patterns from the same company? Not sure, or maybe these two dresses were too different to compare...
I also made a couple of design changes:
- Added pockets in side seams, because all good dresses should come with pockets :) I used this free pocket pattern from SeeKateSew
- Changed the hemline to be curved at the side seam (following this tutorial, but keeping the same length in front and back). I have been seeing this design feature quite a bit lately, and it seemed like Adelaide would be a good dress to add it to.
When I first tried on the dress, I had mixed feeling. The print felt a bit old and I wasn't sure about the shape of the neckline on me. But as I was finishing it, it actually grew on me, and I quite like it now.
I think I might like to make it again in a slightly heavier fabric, and I would probably make the following adjustments:
- Lower the armmholes at least 1.5 cm. They're a bit tight at the moment. I considered re-doing them but after wearing the dress for a whole day, it didn't bother me that much so i decided to leave as is.
- Try to get a better fit in the back: there's too much fabric I think below the darts. I'm not sure if the darts go down too low, or if I need to make a sway back alterations on the pattern, or just take in at the side seams. I was going to unstitch the back dart and try to re-adjust their size, but I had already clipped them, as suggested in the instructions, so I had to leave them. It's ok though, and when belted, it looks fine (you can't even tell in the photos).
- Try to get a more straight down shape in the skirt, rather than A-line. This probably has to do with the extra fabric, and i could easily take in at the side seam. I might try to accentuate the curved hem a bit more, and having a straighter silhouette would probably help make that feature more visible.
One quick note about the pattern: I think there might be a mistake or missing information about the belt piece. I sewed it with a 1.5cm seam allowance, since there were no other instructions, but it came out much thinner than the belt looks on the model photo. So either the allowances are actually missing from the pattern, or we're supposed to use smaller allowances, but this part had me a bit confused. I don't mind the thinner belt, although I probably should have interfaced it.
I didn't add the belt loops. I got super frustrated trying to turn the strip of fabric (it was late at night), so I put it away, thinking I would do it later. But then I tried on the dress with the belt tied up and it didn't slip down at all so I never added the loops. I might have to if I want to wear a different belt with this, but for now it's fine...
I bought the snap button from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy. I wanted the pearl-y kind to give a bit more interest to the dress..."dress it up" a bit if you will :). attaching the snaps was not as easy as I thought. the non-pearly side went in fine with pliers, but the pearl bits turned out to be a bit more finicky and I ended up using a hammer to set them in.
I'm quite pleased with the pattern matching in the front. It took a bit of playing around, I wanted the pattern to match at center front while keeping an eye on what kind of shape would end up on my boobs. In the end, I had to cut the back shoulder strap as a seperate piece as I didn't have enough length of fabric to fit the back piece after I'd cut the fronts. But I figured with the busy pattern, that extra seam would be barely noticeable...
Overall, a cute summer dress that I'm happy with in spite of the fitting flaws. I really wanted to make it on time for my trip to Montreal in August, so mission accomplished!
Next up on the list: shorts!