I ordered some linen look cotton that Kathryn used for this dress, and it's really lovely. It's lightweight but with a lovely textured linen finish (and it doesn't crease as much as linen does either!). I wore this on a pretty hot day and it was lovely and cool. For the £4.99 a metre price tag it's great and comes in a huge range of colours. I went for red, and it's just the colour of red I like - not too orangey.
As I was running out of time on this make, I tissue fitted the tracing and found that my usual adjustments were fine, so I did a small FBA and lengthened the bodice by 2".
Although there are a huge number of pattern pieces for the bodice - the front and back both have bodices, yokes, bodice facings and neck facings, this came together really quickly and easily. The construction method to get the lovely notches involved attaching a bodice facing piece to the bodice piece which is turned and pressed and then topstitched to the yoke piece. I couldn't quite understand it reading the instructions until I actually tried and it was pretty easy and gave a great finish.
I decided not to use the pleated skirt pieces that came with the pattern as the bottom hem would have measured 83" which seemed crazy! The skirt pattern had 3 pieces - 2 side pieces and a back piece. I went for a simpler gathered rectangle using the Emery pattern pieces as a guide to size and length, and positioned the seams at centre front and centre back to allow for the front opening. I used the same method of finishing the skirt edges as the patterns uses - the top edges under the notches (which I transferred from the vintage pattern pieces) are finished using bias tape and turned under, and then the gap is left open. I stitched on a couple of hooks and eyes in the hope of holding this closed but as this hasn't been all that successful, I think I will add another couple of buttons on to avoid knicker flashing (and contrast bias tape flashing - this cherry print bias is adorable but I probably would go for matching stuff with hindsight!).
The pattern calls for covered buttons, which I ordered as part of my kit from Minerva. However I had a total fail with these! The teeth didn't seem to want to grab the little circle of fabric and when I finally got it all tucked in, the back wouldn't stay on - anyone got any tips on how to use these? I went with some buttons from the stash instead. The front of these buttons felt a bit fancy for the style, so I flipped them over and used the other side.
The only other change I made was to move the button placement a bit as it was more flattering to have them starting lower down.
I'm really happy with this dress - it's lovely and cool and easy to wear, and it feels like a vintage dress on. Perfect for the warm weather we've been having (long may it continue!). And this is item number 2 for my Vintage Pledge!
Minerva are working on their website currently so rather than one link to my kit, here are the links to the individual components of it if you want to make a similar dress for yourself!
c5183-58-wide-linen-look- cotton-dress-fabric-full- range-of-colours.html
2vh200wht-vilene-iron-on- interlining-softline-light- 90cm-wide-white-per-metre.html