As soon as I said I almost always start with fabric rather than a pattern, I remembered all the times this isn’t true. Like the second dress in my last blog post.
And this dress.
Felicity saw McCalls 8252 sewn up and on display at my local Spotlight. And said how good it would look in the blush pink gingham linen I had in the stash. Matching patterns to fabric like a pro. Of course I bought the pattern for her!
I made View C, initially, although we both thought we’d end up with View A’s skirt length. And we did!
It actually looked great in this length on Felicity too. But the shorter skirt was definitely more fun. So out came the dressmaking scissors and off went the length.
The other change I made was to add 2 cm to the base of the bodice from the side seams back to zero about three quarters the way from the side seam to where the bodice was gathered onto the ring at the front and to all of the bottom of the bodice back.
This is because I made a toile in calico of the straight size 16, and as I suspected, because I usually do an FBA for Felicity, the top was a little short and showed a bit of the bottom of her bra.
The shoulder fit seemed okay. The back was a bit too wide and blousy so I removed about 2 cm from the center back at the base angling back to zero at the slit.
I started with a size 16, because that was the smallest size in my local store and I thought I could make it work. Given the shoulder fit, looks like it did! Looking at where the skirt is sitting, perhaps not – the pattern pieces could have been narrowed here because it is sitting a bit low. But Felicity was happy with the toile, so I left it as it was.
I reinforced the top of the skirt with iron-on interfacing strips before binding with premade bias binding. Quite a bit of the skirt ‘waist’ is on the bias, and there’s only one bit attaching it to the top. It seemed like a bit more structure might be useful!
You can also see some basting on the right in the image above. This was a guide for the part that was gathered onto the ring.
The ring feature is fun. I was super surprised that the pattern does not refer to the diameter of the ring anywhere or at least I could not find any reference. And diameter is sort of important!
Luckily I am not the first person to make this dress – Erica Bunker says in her review of this pattern that she used a 3 inch ring. I had one almost that size in the stash. For what reason or where it was from I have no idea, but I do love it when my stash comes good like that!
Construction was a bit clunky for this bit – I folded the fabric over the ring, aligning the basting line with the inner side of the ring, pinned and then stitched close to the other edge of the ring. Mostly but not completely without puckering – there’s a lot of fabric gathered into a small awkward space.
And here she is, taking that dress out on for an evening of late summer fun!
I’ll leave you with my sewing room floor at the cutting out stage – love that I was wearing my yellow bold gingham linen dress whilst cutting out the corresponding blush pink bold gingham linen fabric! Both lovely linens from The Fabric Store