Hurray! Finished just in time for Martha's wedding. Thanks to Sarah for coming up with the perfect name for this dress - it's green, it's a tea dress, the print looks a bit like jasmine flowers, and it chimes with Colette Patterns' project names, this one being Ceylon.
This isn't the simplest pattern in the world to fit - it has multiple parts with gathers, so if you don't get it right first time it takes a while to unpick stitches and readjust. I've made it up once before in red gabardine, for which I made a muslin and then adjusted the pattern pieces for next time - I'm so glad I did that! The rest of the fitting was easy to do, although the notches on the bodice back and midriff back didn't match up. Has anyone else found this problem with this pattern? It was no big deal though, everything came together relatively easily.
For my first attempt at piping (one thing to tick off my contentious sewing techniques list!), I chose what must be the most difficult place to put it. The yoke involves multiple layers that don't come together particularly intuitively. I messed it up about three times, but it was worth the bother in the end to add some definition and show off the shaping.
Apart from the piping, sewing this dress was stress free. I followed Laura's productivity tip of breaking down the mammoth project of making a dress into small, manageable chunks, then writing these tasks down in a list (eg. "make gathers", "serge seams"...). It makes the project seem less daunting, and it's easy to pick up where you left off when you find yourself with some free sewing time. Oh and I just love ticking things off a list!
I have to say, I'm really pleased with how this dress turned out. The fabric is lovely and drapey, the fitting is perfect, and it's the kind of thing you could dress up or down depending on the occasion. As this outfit demonstrates, I think - flower and lipstick for a wedding, sensible shoes for camping!
[Soundtrack: 'Nobody Does It Better' by Carly Simon - the first dance at the wedding... aww...!]