Saturday, 15 December 2012

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby....



When Eliza M contacted me recently asking if I wanted to try out one of her vintage inspired patterns, I was intrigued.  As the name suggests, the patterns all take their influences from vintage designs and, like vintage patterns, you choose them according to your size rather than having one multi-sized pattern. Ooh, yes please! There were a lot of gorgeous patterns to choose from, but I was looking for something a little bit different (for me) that was also dressy. 
The Ruby wiggle dress seemed to fit the bill on both counts. For fabric, I used a navy polka dot stretch cotton from The Fabric Godmother. A fabric with a bit of stretch is recommended for the Ruby dress, so this was perfect. It also comes in black and, wait for it, red, hmmm.  Yet again, the quality of the fabric was excellent and it behaved itself perfectly during the whole process.

To give an indication of size, I went with a size 12 and the fit was fine, no adjustments needed, apart from the length - the Ruby dress is below the knee which is authentically fifties but too long for me. The design of the dress is very clever. To give shape, it has quite large contour darts at the front and back and a waist dart. 

Waist dart, coming in from the left


The waist dart looks just like a bust dart but it's at waist level. It nips you in, and the top of the contour dart gives some shape to the bust. I've never seen this kind of dart before and I must admit, I quite like it. 

Because the stretch cotton tends to cling and I was in no mood for facings, I decided to add a full lining.  Adding a lining gives a much neater finish and you get an extra slinky layer. There are no instructions for adding a lining in the Ruby pattern, so I used the instructions for lining the Truffle dress in the Colette Sewing Handbook instead. 


Talking of pattern instructions, they were a bit sketchy for my liking. But that's probably because I've come to rely on the comprehensive instructions that a lot of pattern companies tend to supply these days. The pattern is classed as suitable for a beginner, but I think if you've had very little sewing experience then some of the instructions may be a bit brief. The cut and sizing were spot on though and it came together very quickly.

So, what did I think of the Ruby dress once it was sewn? Well, first of all, I need to reveal a shocking confession. Remember my wiggle shirt dress that I made for the Mad Men Challenge back in March? I'm afraid it's never been worn. I know, what a waste! I loved making it too, but it was just too tight and clingy for everyday life and too officey for wearing in the evening. As that's the only other wiggle dress I've made, my practical experience of wearing them is zero. Let me tell you, the Ruby dress is a proper wiggle dress, it's so tight, you can't help but feel like Jessica Rabbit in it (this is where the stretch fabric really comes into its own) and you really can't walk in the normal fashion, you have to wiggle!!

Trying to wiggle....

...and from the back....

It's a classic, simple design, so I think it will stand a better chance of being worn than my poor old Mad Men dress. Plus, the fabric is lovely, the lining makes it easy to wear AND it's got polka dots. It looks great with a tiny little cardigan...


... and I've even taken the precaution of testing it with my favourite red wedges to see if it's suitable for summer wear. It passed the test, but couldn't be modelled for you today as I wanted to spare you the sight of my English winter-blue legs.  Thank you Eliza M, I think we've got a winner here!

Right, that's it for now. I'm almost erupting with excitement at the thought of the Strictly Come Dancing semi final tonight!! Anybody else watching it? Go Louis and Flavia!! x

The Ruby pattern was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.

54 comments:

  1. Oh that's a beauty Jane! Love how neat that lining is too. Yes I shall be watching the semi final but am rooting for wee Dani or Kimberley

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    1. Thanks Joanne! Oh yes, I have a soft spot for Kimberley and Pasha too, I nearly wept when they got 40 last week! x

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  2. Wowzers, you are one foxy lady in this number Jane! I absolutely love this dress on you and I certainly hope you get lots of wear out of it! It's one of those dresses that can be worn throughout the year, what a winner! And thanks for drawing my attention to a new-to-me pattern company...I'm off to explore now ;o)

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    1. Yes, I'm thinking I can wear it most of the year too. And foxy lady?!! Made me guffaw, but thank you! x

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  3. Wow wow wow! Hot babe! Your execution is perfect! Will totally check out that new pattern company.

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    1. Aw thank you Adrienne! And coming from such a Beyonce babe that's praise indeed! x

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  4. YOU HAVE SOLD ME THIS PATTERN. And your hotness is outstanding! Love this, Jane. Your husband is a lucky man! x

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    1. Roisin you could totally rock this dress!!! And a description of outstanding hotness has made my day!! Funnily enough, this is one of the few things I've made that's caused my husband to offer an unsolicited "nice dress"!! x

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  5. What an amazing fit! What a wiggle! Fantastic Jane! :D

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    1. Why thank you! The fabric helps, it's pretty magical, it yanks you right in! x

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  6. Hot momma. This dress is so gorgeous .. My type of dress... What a shame you don't use your made men as its my favourite ... Yes I'm watching and Iove Lisa joyfull dances and Vincent .. Ps did I mention James parents are local and we saw him and Olla a few times inc sitting next to us in a few restaurants

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    1. Yes it definitely is your sort of dress Rachel! Oh wow, what a great claim to fame having James and Ola in your local restaurant! I've changed allegiance and now want Kimberley to win! x

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  7. Undoubtedly a winner Jane, you look stunning ...what a flattering dress, gorgeous!! I've been looking at these patterns, there's some really cute dresses and the most sweet bow blouse! I nearly caught myself buying, but had to reign in as its an expensive time of the year. Will have to put on my wish list! Your choice of fabric and lining though, are so delightful, I'm in love!

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    1. Aw thanks Winnie! Yes there are some lovely patterns in the range but I'm also trying to rein in my pattern plurges. We'll see how long I last... x

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  8. Oh! I'm in love with this dress! Wonderful work.

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  9. This dress is AMAZING, you look fantastic, love it, love it, love it! Such a classic, I am now going to go drool all over this pattern line. x

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  10. It's so pretty! And you look just fantastic in this type of dress!

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    1. Thank you! This style is a bit of a departure for me so I appreciate your kind comments! x

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  11. This dress looks beautiful on you!

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  12. Beautiful simple dress that looks gorgeous on you!

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  13. That's a real va va voom dress! I hope you wear it lots, it's much too good to waste.

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    1. Thanks, Catherine, I'm determined to get some wear out of it. Unlike the Mad Men dress the fabric is lovely which I'm sure will help! x

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  14. Very nice.Ploka dot very good. And you beatiful.

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  15. Such a beautiful dress Jane! I always think you can't go wrong with polkadots- they're so easy to dress up or down for most occasions and add a little fun element. The fit looks spot on too, very flattering.

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    1. Thanks Ginny, I couldn't agree more about polka dots, they're fab aren't they?! x

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  16. Great looking dress and love the cardi with it. It gives it yet another look.

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    1. Thanks Linda, I'm always keen to add a craft to an outfit! x

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  17. It's fabulous! And now very much on my 'must make' list. Great notes - thank you - I love reading your dress making posts, I just keep holding off whilst I try to shift my final I-had-my-last-baby-nearly-SIX-years-ago-and-have-never-lost-the-weight pounds before I make too many more clothes (ha ha!). Hope all your Christmas plans are going well. Bethx (thelinencat)

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    1. Thanks Beth! I'm quite glad I made this at a time when I need to (ahem) lose a few pounds, it just means I'll still be able to fit into it when I lose them!! Xmas is coming along nicely thanks, in fact I thought of you today - we were dressing the tree and your little birds are now part of our annual decorations! x

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  18. The dress came out so well, and looks terrific on you! I love the polka dots, too...

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    1. Thank you! Yes I love polka dots! x

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  19. Your dress is lovely. I wish I could see the waist dart you're describing -- it doesn't appear in the technical drawing that comes with the pattern!

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    1. The waist dart is in the second of my photos in this post. It's a bit difficult to see because of the navy and the polka dots, but it's there! Are you able to zoom in at all? Yes, one of the reasons I mentioned the waist dart was because the instructions were a bit vague about it and it didn't appear in the instruction diagram. it was only when I zoomed in on the photo on the Ruby dress details page that I realised where it was supposed to go! It's a lovely detail though. x

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  20. Looks fabulous! Thanks for introducing me to Eliza M.'s patterns. :)

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  21. Va va voom! This is a spectacular dress! Well played on the creating your own lining- it always feels so lovely in fitted frocks. This looks ridiculously cute with the cardigan and I must admit to being tempted to style stalk this look. Every lady needs more polka dot frocks... :)

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  22. I am swooning over this dress...just too fabulous for words. Very chic. Very wearable. And just adorable with the cardie.

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  23. You have such a tiny waist! I really like this teamed with the cardigan. Polka dots and ruffles ... swoon.

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  24. Oh la! Great dress. Just as I'm finishing off my own dotty number you and Tilly and the Buttons beat me to the punch.

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  25. I haven't heard of this pattern company before! And I love how you matched the dots at the back of the bodice. This thing looks awesome on you!

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  26. Lovely dress!! I love the shape of the skirt, it's so flattering - and the length is perfect :) The fabric is perfect too! ^_^

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  27. Ooh la la, you look gorgeous! Plus you have great taste in fabric :) xx

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  28. Beautiful dress! I'm hosting an International Rainbow Charm Square Swap which could provide some handy fabrics for future projects. More details here: http://lixiemakesit.blogspot.co.uk/p/charm-swap.html

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  29. This dress turned out great! I have nominated you for an Inspiring Blogger Award.

    http://lacouturieredimanche.blogspot.com/2012/12/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

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  30. Absolutely wonderful dress! I love it.

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