A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday (31!) and I decided to make a Darling Ranges Dress as a present to myself. I also got myself some new shoes :)
The pattern is pricey, but it is so cute that I couldn’t resist! It is really pretty simple in terms of construction. It’s got a v-neck and full button closure down the front, long sleeves and deep pockets in a gathered skirt. I used black and white chambray (though it totally looks blue) that I got using my winnings from the PR&P sew-along 2 seasons ago (yay for free fabric)!
I made the dress in size large and it fits well. The main adjustment I had to make was the bust darts. The original pattern was waaaaay off for me. Of course, everyone’s body is very different, so you can’t expect it to fit you perfectly, but I was hopeful since my bust measurement is the same as what they listed on the pattern and my cup size is the same as the one they use to make the pattern (according to Megan Nielsen’s blog). So I did not make a muslin and went ahead and cut and sewed the pattern only to realize that it was way off. I had to make it work because I didn’t have any extra fabric. And since I don’t know anything about bust adjustments, I just fudged my way through it. Though it looks OK, it certainly is not great. The bust darts are super long and still a little off. Moral of the story? MUSLIN. Make one. Don’t ever skip this step. I gave the same advice when I made the Washi in Blue, but of course, didn’t bother following it! :(
Besides that adjustment, I used bias on the sleeve cuffs instead of elastic and also added pintucks to the bottom hem.
The pattern is high quality – well written, great diagrams, easy to follow. The only thing I thought was strange was that one of the directions said to sew up to the marks on the pattern but I could not find the marks anywhere! Maybe they were left off? Maybe I’m totally blind/crazy?
And these are my new fall/birthday shoes! I love them. They are by Madden Girl and called Dontee. I think they’d be cute with some skinny pants folded at the ankle, but I don’t know if I can pull that look off :)
Sewing for myself is getting to be pretty fun, though I obviously still have a lot to learn. I’ve been dying to make myself a Washi tunic FOREVER, but it keeps getting pushed back on my to do list. I’m starting to look at women’s clothes and think, “I can make that” the same way I used to look at children’s clothes. Justine over at Sew Country Chick is hosting a pattern making draft-along for women’s clothing in November. So if you’re interested in learning more about sewing for women, you should check that out!
In other news, fall is in full swing and some days are starting to feel an awful lot like winter. Where does the time go??