Sunday, 3 September 2017

Polka Dot Emery Dress

I can't believe it has taken me so long to sew the classic Christine Haynes Emery Dress.


I used two metres of a cheap £2 p/m polka dot viscose that I bought from the Man Outside Iceland at Chapel Street market in Islington. I saw this as a wearable toile if things went well and if it was a disaster it was only £4 and a date with a seam-ripper. 

On a side note I am joining Jo at Stuff Jo Has Made blog who is encouraging us all to Sew Your Stash September! More details here. The three things I have made in September have all been from my stash and I have a pile of garments cut out from stash fabric ready to get sewn up when I get the chance. SYSS is going well so far.


I pretty much followed the instructions to the letter, the only changes I made were how I attached the lining. I used a method I learnt at Sew Over It from the lovely teacher Julie Johnston about hand-stitching the bodice lining to the arm hole for a neater finish. 

Self lined bodice hand-stitched at the armhole and waistline
I had to add a centre seam in the bodice lining due to shortage of fabric

The insides all look nice and neat here

Skirt seams were zig-zagged I haven't worked out how to do French Seams on skirts with internal side-seam pockets yet
Overall I am pretty happy with the dress. The skirt section is a great length for me, but I suspect the bodice is possibly a little big. It is quite loose at the waist. On a positive note it is very comfortable which is important feature if I wear it to work (secondary school art and technology teacher). I may look into slightly adjusting the bodice for version two.

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely dress! I wish I could sew my own dresses :).

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    1. Thanks Theodora. With your talents you could easily make a dress!

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  2. Lovely dress Caroline! I think a bit of room around the waist can be great for comfort, especially when indulging in some cake ;) On the French seam pockets front, I was very happy to discover this tutorial: http://fabrictragic.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/tutorial-add-easy-french-seamed-side.html?m=1

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    1. Alex - Thanks so much for the tip about French Seaming side pockets. It makes so much sense now I have seen it in action - I can't believe I didn't figure it out myself. My next Emery will be French Seamed throughout!

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  3. Your dress is lovely! I don't think an extra bit of room at the waist is a bad thing, especially for wearing to work.
    If you want to continue a stash busting challenge into October then The Monthly Stitch is running a challenge that month too, you get points based on how long fabric has been in stash, how many metres you use etc - it sounds like fun!
    I love your Frida Kahlo necklace!

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the Monthly Stitch I think it would be a great idea to get involved int hat too!

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  4. looking Awesome Dress alterations. I liked it. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the work.

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  5. Great dress Caroline! looks pretty perfect for teaching tech in. I may join you in the sew your stash September and possibly the monthly stitch one too. I have been trying not to buy more fabric, but got quite a lot in Paris. Nearly every piece has a plan, but I don't seem to be doing much about it at the moment!

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    1. Sounds like you have some clear plans for your fabric. It's always a good idea to sew from the stash whenever possible. Wow, would love to hear more about your Paris adventures!

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  6. Yay, that turned out to be a super duber wearable muslin! And it only cost 4£! I like that the dress sits a little loose and that necklace and the cardigan go perfect with it! I love it!

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    1. Thanks Kat. Yes, it is a super value dress that is really comfy!

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  7. This is lovely - I do love a polka dot! I see what you mean about the waist but it's a nice take on the dress. I've seen loads of versions around the internet and I think a looser fit makes it look a bit more edgy, if that makes sense? It can be a very cutesy, girly dress but the combination of the fabric and the fit mean it's a bit more modern. Love it! :-)

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean - the looser silhouette is a bit more modern. It wasn't intended to be a looser dress but now I've made it I love it and it s super comfortable!

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  8. I love the fabric and this does look like a great dress. Thank you for introducing us to Sew your Stash. I have signed up too. Looking forward to seeing what everyone makes.

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  9. Great - glad you have signed up to Sew your Stash!

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  10. It's great and for £4 you can't say fairer than that!
    I am another who likes the looser fit, I don't like clothes where I'm worried I could bend or twist and a seam might pop! Not than your seams would pop... I'm stop talking now. the dress is lovely!

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  11. That looks a fabulous dress - so comfortable for work and play. Jo x

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