I made this dress as my entry for The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month “Dresses” competition. I decided to go with a dress from one of my very favourite indie pattern companies – Deer&Doe! I chose the Reglisse dress, which I’ve owned for some time, but only ever made one muslin of, about a year go. I love the cute, flirty feel of it and it always seemed slightly nautical to me with the tie collar. If you love my dress, there’s a link at the bottom of this post to vote for me 🙂
I’ve had it in my head for a while that while I liked the Reglisse dress, I wanted to make some changes to it. I toyed with a few different ideas, and ended up changing my mind a few times throughout the process. My main goal was to eliminate the elasticated waist, as when I made the muslin it wasn’t very flattering on me. That in and of itself was such a process. I made 3 muslins, and ended up sizing down to a size 38 (or thereabouts) from a 46! I also did a narrow shoulder adjustment and moved the bust darts down 4cm and shortened them by 2cm. Phew! Thank you to all the lovely people on Twitter who helped me with the bodice! I ended up not cutting the bodice pieces on the bias, because I didn’t want my little boats going sideways! I cut the front piece on the fold, and the back in two pieces, so I could add a zip down the back. I also raised the neckline a little, and made it less of a severe “v”.
Since I changed the bodice size a lot, I thought it would be easier to draft my own circle skirt, rather than try and adjust the Reglisse circle skirt pattern piece. Ha. I used the By Hand London Circle skirt app, which has worked fine for me in the past. However, the resulting skirt (which I had to cut in two halves, since my fabric was only 115cm wide rather than the recommended 150) fit my waist, but was too small for the bodice! I adjusted it gradually until it fit, but there was quite a bit of panicking in the process. The adjusting also made the skirt shorter, which I didn’t think about. Thankfully it’s not indecent, and I kind of like this length!
I doubled the waistband piece and cut it on the fold, so I had a seam at the back to match the back bodice. I messed up the math the first time, though, and ended up with a waistband that was 5cm too short! Math is not my strong point. I interfaced it, but I used my best interfacing on the failed waistband, and had to use stiffer stuff for the second attempt, which wasn’t ideal but seems to have worked out okay.
I used the Reglisse collar pattern piece, but I cut it in two pieces due to the back zip instead of on the fold, and “borrowed” the crossover back collar idea from the Colette Moneta. I just added a slant to back seam allowance, nothing fancy.
Finally, the sleeves. I knew I didn’t want it sleeveless – I have tuck shop arms, and never wear sleeveless things. I drafted my own 3/4 sleeve using a tutorial online, which didn’t fit at all! I ended up winging it, using the bodice as a guide and my arm measurements, and made a muslin just to be on the safe side to check it worked. I think it turned out quite well!
The fabric is an organic cotton from Cloud 9 fabrics, called “The Fleet”. I bought it in the US, and it’s delightfully soft and a dream to sew! I had 5 yards of it, so I made a whole heap of bias binding with it too, which I used to hem the skirt, encase the collar+neck seam and hem the sleeves. I used my favourite tutorial for the binding – it’s the only one that I can wrap my head around! Fun story – got my fabric all wrapped up like a burrito, ready to cut – and realised I don’t yet own a rotary cutter. I called Centrepoint, but they didn’t have any, however they suggested that the local art store might. One quick trip later and I now have a rotary cutter!
The waistband and collar are a white cotton poplin I got from Centrepoint Fabrics. I used a 20″ invisible zip for the back seam, and navy thread from my stash. Seams are either bound with my self-made bias binding or pinked. This dress is my new favourite, I think!