Within the past two or three years, the options for home sewists wanting to make well-fitting, stylish clothing have exploded. Gone are the days when I flipped through a Simplicity catalog, picked out the least horrible item and then made it about halfway through the pattern before giving up. (Ok, that was in middle school, but I doubt patterns in those giant books are much improved). I have at least 6 sources I can turn to for excellent, accurate patterns and more things I want to sew than I realistically have time to complete. My collection of hand-sewn garments that I wear on a regular basis is starting to look substantial in my closet:
The latest is from the Deer and Doe collection -- a pattern company based in Paris that has fabulous frocks and a nicely curvaceous model. I think that part of the reason that my dress came out so well is that my body proportions are actually the same as those the pattern was drafted for. The pattern itself is the Aubepine, which translates to Hawthorne in English. It has a pleated bodice and sleeves and I opted for the short sleeve version. I was very intimidated by the pleats, but think they came out nicely and add some personality to the finished dress.
The waist is empire style, gathered with a casing for a ribbon. A lovely detail that also makes the dress quite comfortable. It is fully lined as well. I used Cotton + Steel lawn for the main fabric and a blue cotton voile for the lining.
The Cotton + Steel fabric was amazing to sew with and I just bought some more for my next project, along with an eggplant colored double gauze and a fun batik in tomato red.
I bought the fabric from one of my favorite fabric shops/sewing studios in Seattle, Dry Good Designs. Its an airy location to spend an afternoon sewing or to browse around in a nicely curated collection of fabrics. I hope to have a few more garments hanging in my closet by the end of summer!