I think there are strong similarities between the Emery dress and the Colette Patterns Peony dress. I've made the Peony dress five times and wear all five versions regularly, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an absolute bugger to get the bodice to fit. In comparison, the fit on the Emery dress is spectacularly good, and it's not just me who thinks that - everybody who's made it seems to think so too.
Before I started work on the pattern, I pored over the reviews by other bloggers and decided to make two changes. I lengthened the bodice by an inch, influenced by the perfect fit on The Sew Convert's version, who made the same adjustment. A quick muslin (yes, you read that correctly - muslin) confirmed my instinct was right, it was a little short in its original state. I also changed the skirt from a gathered rectangle to a half circle skirt. This was after seeing The Nerdy Seamstress's version. I was impressed by how flattering the fit was on Kathy, especially as her body type is quite similar to mine. I used the By Hand London Circle Skirt App, which does all the maths for you - hoorah. They're the only changes I made though, I nearly cried when I saw what a perfect fit the bodice was!
This is the first Christine Haynes pattern I've used and I was mightily impressed. I faithfully followed the instructions for the invisible zip and it went in first time, without the slightest hint of a fight. There are also instructions for self lining the bodice to give a clean finish around the zip line. I've often struggled to work out how to finish lining around an invisible zip without resorting to hand sewing. Well this pattern shows you how in a beautifully simple way. The sleeves also set in perfectly FIRST TIME. Just look at them?! Not a pucker or ripple in sight - these might be the best sleeves I've ever sewn, which is a massive confidence boost after the debacle of my raincoat sleeves.
My fabric is linen - an unusual choice for a dress made in February you might think, but I couldn't resist it. I saw it on a recent Spoolettes visit to the Goldhawk Road but didn't buy it. I kept thinking about it though, (how sad am I?!), and had to make a second emergency visit to claim it as my own. It's a biscuit coloured background with red and pink roses, probably not the best choice with my pale colouring but do I care? No. I did plan to self line the bodice but the rose print was clearly visible from the front, so settled for plain white cotton instead. I underlined the sleeves in the same fabric but left the skirt as it was. I added a waist stay to keep that lovely waistline anchored into place and I think this helps give the dress the neat, fitted look I like. Adding the waist stay was easy peasy by the way - look out for a tutorial soon!
Even though this dress is linen, it can be worn in colder months with tights and a cardigan and I can't wait to wear it in summer with wedges. It's a wonderful pattern and I'll definitely be making more versions, probably using a plain fabric and adding one of the embellishments next time. I don't think I've ever enjoyed making a dress as much as I enjoyed making this one!
Thank you Backstitch for sending me this wonderful pattern and thank you Christine Haynes, the Emery dress is a definite YES from me! x
The Emery pattern was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own.