Wednesday, 6 March 2019

End of summer Perth Dress

It was cooling off and feeling like summer was over in mid February and then a sudden, late heatwave just before the official first day of Autumn had me scurrying to make one last summer dress.


I'd planned this dress last summer and never got around to it. When the weather forecast predicted 38C on the day of a school fundraiser evening party, I had the perfect occasion and motivation to get it sewn.

The pattern is the Perth Dress by Carolyn & Cassie. I'd already traced off the size 40 last year and so I cut it out in one evening, sewed it almost entirely the following evening, and then added the collar and finished it off in the brief afternoon period between work and school function.


It's a fairly straight forward sew and the instructions were perfectly fine. I was going to use a new method of doing the pockets that I just learned from a Japanese sewing book, but I forgot and went ahead with a more regular way - and the way this pattern had it described as well. I should photograph and blog the Japanese technique as it results in a finished pocket seam allowance towards the back and an open finished side seam with no snipping seam allowances or weak spots. It's kinda magic.

I sewed the sleeves in flat as I find that quicker, but otherwise I followed the instructions.


Fitwise, I'm happy with it except that the collar sits a bit far back for me. I don't think it's the shoulder seam as that's sufficiently forward such that the sleeve head sits well. But I think I would need to do a considerable high, round neck adjustment to get that collar to sit closer to my back neck.

It's noticeable with this pattern as the way the pleat at the front is formed is by closing the collar - you really can't wear the dress unbuttoned. Buttoning up the collar makes it clear that it's sitting too low at the back as the front feels a bit too close. Not choking, but overly close.


I recall only doing a high, round neck adjustment once on a Vogue pattern and that was only by about 1cm. This one looks to need closer to an inch. I was thinking to go back to my Liesl + Co Recital Shirt and button it all the way up to see how that feels. I wonder if it's an adjustment I would often need to do and I just never notice it because I don't wear things buttoned up...

I suspect it may be both: That the pattern leans a little to the low side, and I am a little to the high side.


This photo gives the truest representation of the fabric colour (but there was way too much squinting into the light for it to be a good photo spot :) ). It's a super light linen from Phillips Shirts that I bought over a year ago.

I threw it on for the school party and was perfectly comfy and received a few compliments on the night. I volunteered to sell cold drinks on one of the stalls and was kept very busy. The length of the dress had me mindful of how I bent over to rummage in the bottom of the ice buckets - it's short, but I think it needs to be to balance the width and shape.

Two days later I threw it on again (hence the wrinkles) for these photos at a dinner party but given that it hailed today I suspect summer really is finally over. It can be hung up and will still seem new next spring!


It's feeling like time to start sewing outerwear and jeans. I'm not overly fond of cold weather, but I do love sewing cold weather clothes.

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