Nancy Dress

Well, since I last posted, which really does not seem long ago, exciting things have happened! Chiefly that I am now engaged! My boyfriend tricked me into a walk outside of London and proposed at Petworth Park in West Sussex, before taking me to the most fabulous dinner and stay at Gravetye Manor. It was absolutely amazing and I would highly recommend the hotel and the restaurant. We stayed up till 1.30am drinking English sparkling wine in the drawing room…just the dream!

Afternoon tea in front of the fire with my sparkly ring!

And now, I am skiing with friends in the French Alps! We had a great first day – very sunny, and a more challenging but still fab, second day of powder.

Back to the sewing, I am currently wearing my Nancy Dress by Sew Over It while enjoying a g&t before supper and am delighted that I am on course for my one make a month…two months in…(and needing to post today before it turns into March!).

The finished product!

The Nancy Dress was an interesting one for me. I chose to sew it as I thought that it looked relatively easy, and I was sick of zips following my battle with the Tulip Skirt. I also bought some drapey fabric from the John Lewis Christmas sale at £5 per metre with no plans as to what to do with it, and it happened to be the perfect fabric for this dress.

The dress is very drapey in style. This is actually the first time I have made something with as much of a drape, and I can say that it is very tricky. Right from the beginning I struggled with the cutting out as it was sliding around, quite apart from the fact that I couldn’t draw on the fabric so was purely cutting around the pattern pieces that I had pinned on. When it came to sewing it, I ended with the hem being completely unaligned. It took ages to cut it even and this disappointed me, as I didn’t want to take too much off the length as I am fairly tall. An additional factor in this could have been that the two side panels are cut on the bias which could have stretched out slightly.

The construction of the dress is fairly straight forward and consists of sewing the bodice panels – the back is very nice as it has a slit in it and is joined by a hook and eye. The skirt panels are then joined before inserting the sleeves and finishing the hem. The neckline was finished using biased binding, which was the first time I had ever used this technique. It was easy enough to do but not how I thought it would be.

Pretty back slit

All the pieces in this dress required overlocking or zigzag stitching. This has now made me consider whether I should buy an overlocker, as zigzagging really annoys me – it is very inaccurate and generally eats up the edge of the fabric (maybe due to my terrible sewing!). I would be interested whether anyone would recommend an overlocker and if so, which to go for.

Seriously messy zigzag stitch

My thoughts on the dress and the pattern…not as good as other Sew Over It patterns, but I think that is because the pattern was a little hard for me. Coupled with the fact that my mother described it as a maternity dress…ideal when you are not preggers…I probably won’t make another but I am happy with this one nonetheless.

I’m unsure what my project for March will be at this point – potentially finishing off a summer dress that I started last year (Tilly and the Buttons Bettine) – hopefully the weather will improve soon… I have lots of fabrics and potential projects on the horizon, including an interesting / challenging looking shirt pattern from my Aussie mama, Denise. She thinks it will be good to push me and get a variety of different pattern instructions. However, I am currently struggling to find a fabric I want to use for this…I’ll get there!

Right…now to finish my drink and enjoy my week off in the Alps!



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