I am a happy seamstress this evening.
See what I made today, well, partly made today.
See how horrid it was before, and how much my daughters despised it
(that is daughter the second reluctantly agreeing to wear this dress briefly)
Review of original pattern, White Linen, from Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue 23, which was the only pattern I have made from this magazine that was a complete and utter disaster.
I liked the smocking and embroidery, and the rather expensive white linen I used to make this dress orginally, which is why I have held on to it for the past 8 years.
The main problem with this dress was that it was way too big for an 8 year old, and also that the bottom of the smocking did not line up with the waistline.
First I unpicked the waistline, and re-sewed it to be level with the bottom of the smocking.
Next I chopped off the shoulders, and held the dress up to my daughter. Amazingly, I still had to chop off 5cm, front and back, from each side seam starting at the curve of the armholes. I think the original pattern was a tad oversized.
After doing this, I had plenty of fabric from the skirt to use to fill in the armhole.
I machine embroidered over the original armscye binding, and added a new bodice and armscye binding from a blue and white herringbone twill cotton that is about the same weight as the linen.
At this point, my daughter and I both felt that the dress looked more 6 year old than 16, but she wanted the dress to stay loose at the waist, for coolness.
I altered the front neckline to a sweetheart shape, and the back to a shallow v, and took the skirt up to just above the knee.
Somehow this transformed the dress to an instant favourite.
This sort of success could almost make me change my mind about alterations