Green Emery Dress

Sewing is not a mindless activity for me by any means, in fact, every step of the process requires careful focus. Even tracing the pattern. I say this because that very fact makes it incredibly difficult to find the time to sit down and sew, it’s so rare that I have a moment of zero distraction let alone several (which is probably the reason I’ve been cranking out knits that are on the simpler side of life, they’re so easy to pick up and put down again!). So when I tell you I took on the Emery Dress again, I’m really telling you that I recognized that the pattern was hard the first time I worked it and was determined not to be beaten by it again.

The first time I worked the Emery Dress, I had help from Mary Margaret of Notion Fabrics. Between thoughtful tutorials and Mary Margaret’s weekly zoom meetings, everything was aligned to set me up for success. It’s not that the pattern instructions were poor or that the dress itself was particularly difficult, it was that my skills set did not include modifing the pattern to fit my body and the process of classic dress making seemed cumbersome. When I trimmed my final thred, I swore that I would never again make another.

Fast forward a year later and I found myself staring at fabric that screamed to be turned into an Emery dress. Though I had purchased the fabric for a different intention, I found myself grateful that I hadn’t given away my Emery pattern and ready to take on the challenge of modifying the fit.

Since I knew going into this dress that the back bodice pieces created a large pocket, I spent a lot of time trying out different depth adjustments to the existing darts and rewatching dart construction videos. In the end, I needed to take in about an inch of fabric across both pieces.

All in all, I’m happy with the way my dress came out. There are a few things that are wonky (the left side of the dress looks a tad more handmade than the right, but does that really matter?), but it fits! I also discovered that my invisible zipper skills have dramatically improved, which was a pleasent surpise. I have loose plans to make another with some blue egg fabric that I aquired, but I’m also flirting with merging the Emery skirt with the bodice from the Rosie Dress because I can’t stop thinking about the collar detail.

A young woman standing in front for a floor mirror wearing a green short sleeve dress with white outlined potted plants.

Plant Lady Beatrix

A young woman walking across a grass field wearing blue shorts and a yellow shirt with a white design featuring topless women and monstera leaves.

I’ve been sitting on what I will call my plant lady yellow fabric and Beatrix pattern for a little over a year now, patiently waiting to learn what size I would need to work up when my pregnancy was over. With this in mind, you cannot begin to understand the satisfaction and excitement that came with ironing and cutting the fabric. To say I’ve been looking forward to wearing the finished shirt is an understatement.

Other than the general fit and style of Beatrix, I was particularly interested in sewing this one because Made by Rae usually has fantastic directions and I had never sewn a button placket before. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, there were pictures in all the right places and I found myself working through what I thought would be the “icky” part before I knew it.

Due to not paying enough attention, I accidentally sewed a sleeve inside out and had to seam rip to fix it. Not a fault of the pattern, just the fault of not taking a break when I should have.

This is also the first time I’ve ever sewn with rayon and was thrilled to learn that it was not as slippery as I anticipated. Definitely see myself snagging a few more yards in the future. The only complaint I have is that it wrinkles very easily. Despite running it through the dryer and wearing the shirt all day, I have a crease down the middle from the shirt being folded.

All in all, super happy with the fit of my Beatrix (I don’t have to unbutton the back buttons to get it on and off) and love wearing it. I have enough fabric in my stash to work up a second one in a plaid wool and am thinking of attempting to make a dress version using a gathered skirt using some quilting cotton (not much drape in that though). Not sure how that will logistically work out yet though as I think I need to take a look and see if anyone has done so without also adding a lining (call me lazy but I don’t want to add a lining).

A young woman looking out across a grass field wearing blue shorts and a yellow shirt with a white design featuring topless women and monstera leaves.