I’ve only made one other Emery dress which I wasn’t keen on once I’d finished making it but I keep seeing lots of lovely ones floating around the Internet and it’s an excellent basic bodice block (trying saying that five times after a few drinks).
I recently went to London and had a bit of a shopping spree for fabric.
The top two are from Shaukat, who have the most fabric I’ve ever seen in one place all mostly Liberty which is slightly cheaper than the department store at £18 a metre. The last three fabrics are from the Cabbages and Roses sample sale, the plaid is the same as a shirt dress I bought myself as a well done present for having a baby (honestly any excuse to drop £££ on a dress is great in my book). The gingham I was especially pleased with as I’ve wanted to make a circle skirt dress in black and white gingham since I started dressmaking, so around 2 years.
I’m running low on outfits that 1) fit my (now ginormous) bosom in and 2) have easy boob access for nursing so I decided to hack the emery to be suitable.
To do this I added a button placket to the front. I originally just added two inches to the front and folded it over and topstitched it down as my usual size 4 should have fit according to the finished measurements. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
Queue lots of unpicking and adding a button placket separately. Whilst trying the bodice on I also noticed one of the darts needed bringing back slightly. Queue more unpicking.
I drafted my own circle skirt using the power of the Internet which was surprisingly easy and used the emery pockets (which I use in every project that needs pockets). My fabric wasn’t wide enough so I had to cut 4 quarter circle skirts and stitch them together. I tried to match the plaid as best I could and used the best match for the front.
I eliminated the lining as I didn’t want to try figuring out how to line the placket and just went with a bias finish. The sleeves are cut really short to give a cap sleeve effect. I also hemmed them before stitching to the bodice as I hate hemming sleeves – they’re so fiddly!
One thing I loved most about this project was that I didn’t follow any instructions so I just sewed whatever appealed to me. Dont want to sew darts? Okay I’ll sew the skirt together instead.
The other thing I love is how well it fits, I usually avoid woven fitted dresses because I can’t be bothered to toile and fit but basting and trying on as I went worked really well. The only problem is I scooped a little too much of the neck out and it slips off my shoulders slightly.
This blogpost was written 3 months ago and it’s taken me that long to hem it with a rolled hem (took 10 mins on overlocker) and fix the shoulder slippage. One reason I’ve waited so long is because I wasn’t sure how to adjust it, this quick and dirty fix just took two triangles out of the shoulder seam. Not pretty but it will do!