This weekend was devoted to making my first Dottie Angel frock.
It is not the one I planned to make, because I was so in awe of my beautiful Merchant and Mills block print khadi fabric I was afraid to cut it. Ha!
So this is the economy version.
Around 1.2m of fine seersuckerish cotton print from Croft Mill for the main part of the dress; perhaps 40cm of Merchant and Mills 5 oz denim (leftover from my Brumby skirt); and a repurposed linen camisole for the pockets.
Lots of black and white gingham bias binding – probably 5 metres of it. I used it inside and outside: on the seam between the upper and lower parts of the dress, to bind the hem, to make the apron string ties and to bind the pockets.
As noted above, I decided to mash together two patterns. Although I liked the photos of the dress on the pattern envelope, I realised that the neckline as designed was lower, and the sleeves were scantier than I prefer.
Look, it’s mostly cold here. I am not as young as I used to be. Um, yeah.
Also, reading reviews of the pattern by other bloggers set my alarm bells ringing. People commented that the neck binding did not sit properly, and that the finish of the sleeve / shoulder edges stuck out awkwardly.
So I did the sensible thing and used the upper section of my favourite pattern of 2015, the Maya dress, blending the two together at the underarm. As it happens, size XS Simplicity and size 2 Maya matched perfectly, and being a similar pull-over style, the two can be constructed using the same methods.
The other thing that I changed was that I lowered the front tucks to sit below my bust, as other bloggers noted that they were set too high, causing an unflattering matronly bosom shape.
In my case, I dropped the point where the apron strings are attached by 2cm.
Once I decided to use Maya for the upper section, my initial scepticism faded away. The soft drapey print was perfectly “Dottie Angel”-looking and the blue linen I scavenged for the pockets was a perfect colour match. The gingham bias binding was serendipitous – I just happened to have it in my stash, and it worked well.
|Dressed-up version with Lotta of Stockholm clogs|
It was quite a lot of work, as I chose to French seam everything except the join between upper and lower skirt, which is covered on the inside with bias binding. I am not complaining, but it was definitely a candidate for “slow sewing” rather than a quick project to rustle up in an afternoon. It took me two full days of dedicated stitching.
|Everyday version with wellies :)|
Will I make another?
I almost definitely will, using the khadi block print I bought with this in mind, but maybe not until next summer. The barley is almost ready for harvest. It is not the right time to sew summer frocks. I might wear this with a long-sleeved tee underneath and a warm cardigan on top, but my arms are unlikely to see the light of day again this year!