MBM - Maria Denmark Edith Dress
Let's kick off the blog for 2014 with a happy sewing experience, shall we?
Maria Denmark Edith
So why this one?
I had this fabric lined up first in the queue to make into a shirtdress, but was prevaricating over the pattern. I wasn't sold on any particular one. Then some idle blog surfing brought this pattern to my attention, and my mind was made up in minutes. It's a classic design. Would look good in a variety of fabrics. You can dress it up or dress it down. It has darts, but lacks a waist seam, which I've decided is not my ideal.
Cotton lawn (I think) I bought at the Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City.
This was my first Maria Denmark pattern, so this was a bit of unknown territory fit-wise.
- I cut the pattern according to my high bust measurement, and did a 2cm FBA, but could have done a little more.
- I dropped the side bust dart about 3cm, and shortened the top of the front contour dart. I also moved the front contour dart about 2cm closer to centre front.
- The back contour darts stayed exactly where they were. I did a 2cm swayback adjustment, then cut two back pieces, to give me a centre back seam.
- There are shoulder darts in this pattern. When I basted this pattern together, the back piece ended up a lot shorter than the front piece, but there is no mention of easing the front piece to the back, so I just didn't bother with the shoulder darts, and it didn't seem to make any difference to the fit.
- The armhole was cut high for me. I scooped out 2cm from under the armhole.
- I lengthened my standard 5cm to bring the skirt to my knee.
The only thing I did differently was to bind the armhole edges. The pattern asks you to turn and stitch, clipping into the seam allowance to allow you to turn the curve.
New-to-me aspects of this pattern
This is the first time I have made a kimono/cut-on sleeve, and I was a bit perplexed about the folds that started from mid shoulder, ending at the armpit. I asked for some guidance on the blog and Valerie gave me some ideas as to deal with this. Her suggestions were very helpful, and the folds are a lot less noticeable. I can live with them. Thanks, Valerie!
I also put the question up on the Pattern Review Message Boards, and the consensus was that these sorts of folds were typical of the kimono sleeve.
High fives to me for..
Getting that curved collar and lapel to even. The secret is to get the foot off the pedal and hand turn the wheel, and adjust the collar ever-so-slightly after every stitch. Slow and steady wins the race. Who would have thought?
"What was I thinking" moments
No howlers but for some reason, the top points of the front contour darts aren't as smooth as I would like, even after I have padded out the dart points with bias cut squares of material. The busy print hides this problem a bit. Maybe they need to be lengthened?
Will there be a next time?
Absolutely. This pattern has the whiff of TNT for me. My daughter took the photos this morning, and haven't taken it off yet. It has done some housework, watched cricket on the couch, and gone to the shops, all on a hot day, and I feel great in it. In a plain fabric, it is definitely work appropriate for me, and the design is made to be worn with cardis, which gets a tick from me. The blouse version of this pattern is also definitely on the cards.
What would I do differently next time?
Pockets! This dress is screaming out for pockets. I'll make some next time.
As mentioned, I bought this fabric from the Ben Thanh Market, in the fixed price section. It cost me about $10US. My husband mocked me (mildly, I admit) for not fronting up to the bargaining section of the Market to buy fabric.
I think you can divide the world into people who will bargain until the cows come home (ie. my husband) and those who can't be bothered, so long as they reckon they are getting a reasonable price (ie. me). I honestly can't be bothered with the bargaining palaver, when in the end in a lot of cases (like fabric) you are haggling over a dollar or two either way. I just want to pay my money and go on my way. Thank you so much.
Back to the pattern, some more photos