Wednesday, 5 August 2015

An Emery for Emily

Long time readers of this blog will know that unselfish sewing is not normal behaviour for me. I find fitting and sewing for others far more stressful than sewing for myself and avoid it like the plague. But I couldn't say no to my latest project - a dress for my friend's daughter Emily. I first met Emily's mum Sophie when our children were just a few weeks old and she's since become one of my closest friends. Because of this I have a real soft spot for Em and when Sophie asked if I could make her a dress, I agreed at once.


Emily was inspired by the dress below, worn by Clara from Dr Who. She wanted to keep the fitted bodice and full skirt, but preferred plain, short sleeves rather than the gathered ones in the photo. She also decided against the collar. After a consultation with my Twitter pals regarding pattern choice, the general consensus seemed to be the Christine Haynes Emery dress. Emily liked the look of the pattern too, so we got to work.


For fabric, Emily chose this unusual navy and red firework print from Island Batik. We found it after researching 'firework prints' online and she fell for it immediately, preferring the navy and red colourway to Clara's original red. I couldn't find any UK stockists, so had to order from Fabric.com in the US. They've since sold out, but there's still some available here, if anybody's interested. The fabric is a medium weight quilting cotton and quite crisp to to the touch, even after a pre-wash. This actually worked in our favour and was a good match for a structured pattern like the Emery dress. The bodice is lined with a navy cotton muslin. 




The biggest challenge on this project was the fit. Emily is only 13 and very slender, so I knew I'd have to make a few adjustments. I cut a size 0 bodice and size 2 skirt and we had two fittings in all. After making an initial muslin I made the following changes:

- Increased the back shoulder darts 
- Made a ½" front neck adjustment 
- Made a 1" tuck right across the upper chest, together with a small bust adjustment



There's still a fair bit of wiggle room built in, to allow for growth spurts! I also left a generous three inch hem on the skirt for the same reason.


I'm absolutely delighted with the finished dress and, more importantly, so is Emily! The dress has a very simple shape but I think the unusual fabric really elevates it into something special. She looks so pretty and elegant in it and so grown up! It doesn't seem that long ago that Sophie and I were taking her and Louis on their first walk - they were so SLOW, nearly an hour to walk from one end of the road and back! 

Beautiful Emily, I hope you enjoy wearing your dress, I certainly enjoyed making it for you. x


52 comments:

  1. This is lovely, what an elegant dress and great that it's got built in room for growth as I'm sure it'll be a firm favourite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Kerry! I think it will be, it was love at first sight! x

      Delete
  2. Beautiful dress! Love the fabric. Great job!
    See me @ www.sewplus.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aaaw Jane, you sweetheart!!! Emily looks so lovely in her new dress, which is a masterpiece by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks darling! She looks gorgeous doesn't she?! x

      Delete
  4. That's absolutely beautiful, love the fabric. I'm sure she's really chuffed with it and, of course, it's unique too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw she is chuffed with it! And I think she really likes the fact that it's unique too, she has a great sense of style for one so young! x

      Delete
  5. beautiful! and I'm sure it will be treasured.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shivani, I hope it will be! x

      Delete
  6. What a terrific dress, Jane! I do love a girl who makes fashion choices based on Dr. Who!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I know, I love that about Emily too! x

      Delete
  7. What a lovely dress, and suits her so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does doesn't it?! Thank you! x

      Delete
  8. Wonderful---a young lady gets a new dress and an old friend the lovely feeling of having made it for her. A win-win situation. Just beautiful! Em looks great in it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would have never picked that firework print, but it works so well for this dress. That's the best part about seeing other people's creations - you get so inspired.

    She's adorable and so is the dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would never have picked it either, but she fell for it as soon as she clapped eyes on it! It's totally right for Emily and is perfect for the pattern, she has great taste! x

      Delete
  10. So cute! This is the youngest person I've seen in an Emery and it's just adorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Christine, that means a lot. Just wait until I show Emily this comment! x

      Delete
  11. Love the dress and the fabric! My eldest daughter's a huge Dr Who fan (yeah, and I might just be a bit of one too), so I'll have to keep my eye out for something similar! Emily looks fab in it!! Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm pleased it turned out so well. I love the fact that Dr Who is a source of fashion inspiration for young girls! x

      Delete
  12. Emily and the dress are both beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you on the first point and thank you re the second! x

      Delete
  13. Wonderful dress! And even more so that's it's a Dr Who knock-off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I love that about it too! Thanks! x

      Delete
  14. I love it. I think it looks very grown-up but still simple and fun, with room to move around. I like the new shapes in dresses, with the normal waistlines and such, I think they have a very classic look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great, classic pattern - I've made it myself too and was v pleased with it. I like the fact that it looks grown up but still girlish! x

      Delete
  15. Ah that's so great! Such a nice fabric choice, she looks lovely. I hope my nearly 4 yr old will still be wanting me to make her dresses at Emily's age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, it's a lovely age to sew for, they really have a strong idea about what they like! x

      Delete
  16. Fab fabric, she looks lovely in it. I bet you were really pleased with the finished look of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I really was! I kept worrying it would be too small, I'm not used to sewing size 0 and everything looked tiny, especially the sleeves! I was relieved it fitted so well in the end. x

      Delete
  17. The girl's got taste ;) it's a very lovely dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The girl HAS got taste! x

      Delete
  18. I agree that it is nerve-racking to sew for anyone else, especially for a young person as you so desperately want to fulfill their expectations, which you have done in spades. Such a lovely dress and it looks fabulous on Emily. Maybe she should start a blog on her style inspirations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS nerve racking isn't it?! Emily was very easy to sew for though, which helped a lot. I'll tell her about the style blog, what a great idea! x

      Delete
  19. She looks lovely! I think we've all got someone we don't mind sewing for! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, she definitely fits into that category, I loved seeing this for her!

      Delete
  20. I love, love, love the fabric. I'd never have picked it out either, but it looks amazing. I'm off to look for some for me :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fabulous. My girls would wear that too. They are slender and it is hard to make things fit them well. Jo x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you should definitely try the pattern for them, it worked out so well for Emily, X

      Delete
  22. This is so sweet, and a beautiful dress!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Totally gorgeous both model and dress. You've done a really good job.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I too avoid sewing for others like the plague, but I can never deny the babies and children lol
    She looks so sweet :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, my thoughts exactly! x

      Delete
  25. What a beautiful dress - I'm glad you relaxed your rule on making for others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I generally relax my rule about once a year (if I'm feeling generous!) x

      Delete
  26. That fabric is awesome, love what you've done with it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh my gosh, what a lovely dress! This looks so cute on Emily!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...