Another huge congrats to Jenny on the launch of her Upton dress pattern! I tested this pattern for her back in January and love my finished dress. When she mailed me the finalized pattern I decided to make a second version mainly because I love the first one, but also to compare the tester version to the final.
I used the scoop neck version this time and the straps are perfect as is. I made the same seam allowance adjustment that I had made to the tester version and I couldn’t fit my arms in! Enter my trusty seam ripper and a 1/2 inch seam allowance and all was well with the world again. I could actually stand to lower the arm hole a little bit so I made that adjustment to the pattern pieces for next time. In this picture you can see the fabric slightly wrinkling at the arm pit area. Not a huge deal and not a very ladylike pose!
I bought this fabric in February to make into an Upton, but waited for the final pattern to get started. This is from the Sarah Jane line for Michael Miller and it’s called Blueberry Gingham: I love it! I cut the waistband on the bias to add some interest to the dress and so I wouldn’t have to pull my hair out trying to pattern match. My side seams are pretty well matched up, but along my zipper didn’t come out very well. I was doing good until I realized that the waistband wasn’t lining up. I would choose unmatched gingham over unmatched seams any day!
I made a few changes from the original pattern. For one I cut the waistband on the bias. To make sure it didn’t stretch out I interfaced the pieces and so the interfacing wouldn’t be on my skin I underlined the pieces as well. I used a scrap of white that I had left over from an Arielle inspired dress I made for my best friend.
I opted not to line my bodice and I used bias binding on the arm holes and neckline. I love this way of finishing a bodice! For the other seams I just used my newly fixed serger with light gray thread. To get off topic for a moment, I thought that my serger needed a new plate and was going to order one and install it myself, but I actually needed a new knife! It just goes to show that although the internet is great for sewing tutorials, diagnostics on a serger are better left to the professionals.
Back to business! My last change to this dress was to use a gathered skirt instead of either of the supplied skirts. I thought the gingham print would make a cute gathered skirt so I went for it! My fabric was 45 inches wide so I just took what I had left after cutting the bodice, pockets and waist band and folded it in half lengthwise and cut to have two pieces. I trimmed them up a little to make sure each piece started and ended with the same color and that was it. I used the pockets from the Upton because they are the perfect size.
For making darts I usually put three pins in for the top and bottom and then use a ruler and chalk to mark the entire dart. I then fold it up and pin in place to make sure all of the chalk lines matchup. For this dress I went old school. And by old school I mean I used the method my grandmother taught me when I was first learning to sew. I marked the point and ends of my dart with embroidery floss and pulled the end pieces together and just eye-balled the line. I don’t think this method was any faster, but I actually feel like my darts are perfectly symmetrical. I’m curious how do you mark your darts?
And to close us out, my sister told me to twirl when she was taking my picture, here are the results!