I actually love this dress. A Fielder pattern from UK firm Merchant & Mills, its super comfy , quick to sew, I think looks fab and the pattern also contains a sweat-shirt style sweater version, nice! So why do I look so miserable?
Yes, that face. In a moment of inspiration I thought I’d recreate the pose of the girl on the Fielder pattern envelope*. I feel like a bit of a plonker standing in my front garden while my husband takes 400 photos of his wife as quickly as possible (including on this occasion a selection with a branch in front of her face…?) complaining the whole time…..so I figure as I’m using exactly the same fabric as the version on the website I’d go full model. No, I hadn’t been drinking…
Anyway, about the pattern. I had the grade it up, but as the fit is pretty easy I figured it only really mattered for the sleeves. Now I wont pretend I have much experience grading patterns. Actually I have none, so it was a You Tube/Bodge it special, which turned out pretty well I think?
I have previously made a Merchant & Mills Trapeze dress, which has a good amount of ease, so I calculated my size as best I could, and hoped for the best. If you’re a sewing professional please look away now. I literally traced the largest size pattern pieces onto tracing paper, then added the additional cm’s required (divided by two) , grading as I went, and cut out. I told you it wasn’t scientific.
For the sleeves, always my Waterloo, I turned to the Curvy Sewing Collective, and their excellent sleeve fitting tutorial. I added the extra width nessesary to my traced off sleeve piece , then actually sewed my sleeve seam together, to make sure it fitted. This is the beauty of Swedish tracing paper !
There are many far more correct ways to do this, but until I learn them, I figure I will do what seems most logical (I’m an Accountant remember) and see if it works. The sleeves on the top version of the pattern, which I made first, are to long, and the ribbing too loose. Ditto both versions around the neckline. I have not used ribbing before, and I cut it far to long. Naturally I only realized this when I had sewed it in….and serged. Sigh…
Its still perfectly wearable, and so comfortable, made from a delicious soft double cotton, from my most favorite sewing store here in New Zealand Miss Maude There is a nifty little dart in the shoulder, which works well for rather sloping shoulders like mine, and the ribbing gives shape. I have visions of the pink Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt I had in the 80’s….ok, maybe not.
The dress version is made using a delicious Merchant & Mills laundered linen. I love linen, yes it creases, but I think that just adds to the appeal, especially in a casual dress like this.I love the swish & feel , and the fact it just gets better with age. I hanker after gorgeous linen sheets.One day Grasshopper, one day……..
The instructions are simple, and clearly written. To be honest , while I love the industrial, utilitarian style of this brand so much, as a beginner I do prefer clearer , less “hand drawn” illustrations, but they were actually ok for a simple garment like this.
So, while the size range isn’t as big as it could be, this is a relatively easy dress to grade , and the results, a cool casual top/dress that works for so many situations, is worth the effort.
What do you think? What’s your go to dress?