Wednesday, 4 October 2017

French Navy Orla Dress in Orla Kiely stems

I got sucked into the excitement of anorlaaffair, which was an Instagram sewing challenge, in July.  I mean, a simple woven dress!  Free pattern!  Yeah, it was easy to get sucked into.  It was just the middle of July when my sad departure from New Zealand didn't feel too impending and I was going wild with patterns and fabrics and random ideas.

So I cut this out in a size XS.
The size chart for the XS: 81-63-87
My actual measurements: 83-67-94
The size chart for the S: 85-67-91.

Can you note some foreshadowing?  I have been sewing a lot of knits...but I'm not sure that's any excuse.  I know I have wide shoulders after all so on a dress like this if anything I should size up.  Oops.

The fabric is another piece of Orla Kiely stems, from Saved Fabrics etsy shop.
I really adore this rainbow fabric and I was totally excited about this dress - enough to try a few things.  I french seamed the side seams, although I still held off from doing so on the sleeves.  I assume you can't french seam a gathered waist but I remain puzzled how to finish it in a nice way.

I moved the back zip to the left side so that I didn't mess up my stem pattern.
And I skipped gathering the sleeves and just made haphazard tucks as I came to the top of the sleeve.

Well I got to nearly done and popped the dress on and realised it was a solid 4" too small.  I mean I could not get this dress on.  No chance.  And so it wilted into a UFO on my floor until I realised it might fit my friend's daughter.  (His 8 year old daughter.)  But still it sat there because now I was galvanised by moving panic and too many projects in too little time. 

It ends up I sewed this literally in the last hour before I had to put my sewing machine into a box.  I do give things to op shops when I'm not satisfied with them, but having a project nearly done, and a potential - and potentially excited - wearer, I just couldn't box it up undone and leave it for 6 months.

So here's the failed Orla:

In the end it didn't fit the 8-year old, but another colleague at work had daughters who it does fit, and they love it!  The best bit is that this colleague is Irish so the Orla Kiely connection seems like a match made in heaven.

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