Sunday, 10 September 2017

wardrobe essentials 2017 - the Upton dress


Attempting to twirl for Annie but it was a bit slippery. We should do something about the mess in the garden. 





Apologies for the drab photos! I didn't even bother with brushing my hair... The bottom photo is most true to colour. I have made this dress so long ago that I somewhat lost all enthusiasm to write about it but it deservers a mention.

The Upton dress is the first wearable dress I made for myself. I had a go at making a dress two years ago but it was a bit of a disappointment. I was far less experienced and had only sewn little girl dresses up to then. I don't wear dresses much and on the whole, I prefer making tops. It is less costly, too. However, summer holidays without a dress are no fun and I fancied a bit of a sewing challenge.

I chose the Upton dress because of it is designed for woman with generous curves. I like that. The dress has two basic skirt versions and two basic bodice versions, which can be interchanged. The choice is between scoop neck or V-neck combined with a high back or a V-back. The skirt options are gored or pleated. I chose the bodice with the V-neck, which is mirrored in the back. Pleats don't suit me I don't think and I opted for the gored skirt. Both skirt versions have pockets. Every woman needs pockets in her dresses!

I spent a while tweaking the bodice. The dress bodice is designed with very little ease but I do like to breathe and went a size up from my normal size.

There are quite a few pattern pieces and cutting took a while. I didn't pattern match because I didn't have enough fabric. I found a really beautiful beige fabric with delicate birds printed on. Beige is not my colour but the birds won me over. Aren't they pretty? It is cotton lawn, soft and light.

The bodice is fully lined. Initially I used the main fabric for the lining but the birds were showing through so I went out to get a short length of plain beige cotton.

The dress has a long zip in the back. I sewed this in outside in so had to unpick it all again. That was the only hiccup I had with the sewing and was the result of sewing in a trance late into the night. The pattern instructions are clear and every step is well explained. There is a sew-along on the Cashmerette webpages but to be honest, the written instructions are better. I forgot to mention that I ordered the paper pattern for this dress. I usually prefer pdf patterns and I remembered why when I traced the pattern pieces onto pattern paper. Paper patterns are so thin and the sheets are so big, I find tracing a pain. I always forget a notch or something, which is another disadvantage in my view. It takes as long as sticking printed pages together.

As I don't often wear dresses I am a little uncomfortable wearing the Upton. I had to wear leggings to cycle to work, no reason to scare drivers by exposing my memorable thighs... I love the fabric and I like the cut. I think both suit me. I would probably prefer the scoop neck and the high back but can't be sure. Cashmerette has just today released a pattern expansion pack for three kinds of sleeves, making the Upton dress even more versatile. I think I like the idea of sleeves. I am not that keen on sleeveless  anything.

Unfortunately I got to wear the dress twice only. That's right, twice. That's how bad the Scottish summer has been. I decided to take some photos today, before the onset of winter (yuck). It was miserably cold and rained for most of the day, hence the cardigan.

My next dress project will be a shirt dress. I have pattern and fabric but will hold off until I have lost a little weight. Fancy that, loosing weight. Sounds easy, like loosing keys, eh?

I hope you are all tucked up warmly. Thanks for stopping by. xx


20 comments:

  1. Christina, this dress is beautiful! It looks terrific on you and the fabric is gorgeous. You're becoming a real expert on making clothes to fit you just right. I really love this dress, you did a fabulous job!

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  2. Love the style of the dress and the gorgeous fabric. Love the neckline too. Definitely not been a dress wearing summer, glad you got to wear it! With the present weather I've give up making light weight trousers. Not sure what my next project will be. Looking forward to seeing your shirt dress. B x

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  3. It is a beautiful fabric and looks lovely on you. I wear my summer dresses with thick tights, boots and cardigans when it gets cold.

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  4. Beautiful dress, lovely fabric. You made a fantastic job of it and it looks lovely on you. Cx

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  5. I think your dress is really lovely, and the fabric to die for. I so wish I could sew at this level and make beautiful dresses.

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  6. Hey Christina,
    Well I love it. It suits and flatters your figure, and the pattern is lovely. I wish I could dressmake. I would never have the patience or the skill set. I think it's quite hard to find an all purpose summer dress that you can dress up or down. And one that will last a few years and still look current. You've got that here.
    Leanne xx

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  7. You have shoes and everything! I think it is really lovely and I always wear my dresses with leggings to get more use out of them in fact I have just put myself a dress out for tomorrow and thought mmmm navy leggings are needed. The fabric and the fit are fantastic - You need to go out for a meal to get another go in it! Jo xxx

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  8. I love it, it's exactly the sort of dress I would choose, and it looks lovely on you. Gorgeous fabric, and I agree about pockets, always need pockets. Shame about the lack of summer weather for the wearing of. How quickly the sunny days have gone. Always next year though. CJ xx

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  9. I love that fabric, I remember when you first showed it. Nice e style it really suits you. Since I retired I have exactly 2 dresses and I haven't worn one in almost 2 years.

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  10. Looks great Christina and I love your cardigan too. My mother once made me a dress when I was a teenager with a sweetheart neckline - I loved it. I wish I had your skill. I'm quite fond of dresses as it's good just to have one item of clothing to think about in the morning. My favourite one is denim and has big pockets.

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  11. That fabric is beautiful! I'd love to be able to make me own clothes (I can't even sew a button back on properly!). It looks really good and I love the yellow cardigan with it.

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  12. It looks lovely on you, beautifully made and beautiful fabric. Autumn is upon us I fear. Heyho.

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  13. I love the fabric and such a very professional make, it looks wonderful. I intend to lose some weight too so that I can once again overeat on my holidays.

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  14. Gorgeous dress and you wear it so very well. If I'd made that, I'd never take it off.

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  15. It looks wonderful and beautifully made. I think I might have to have a go at it myself - what is that gorgeous fabric called and where can one buy it?

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    1. I bought the fabric at Guthrie and Ghani (online). It is called Dawn Chorus and is still available (12SEP17). Here is the link: https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/shop/fabric/dawn-chorus-cotton-lawn-fabric

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  16. At least you are able to make yourself a dress, Christina, so you have a talent that sadly some of us, like myself, do not. I also liked the colors and pattern. Now about losing weight, that too is an issue with me as well. I keep trying and having backslide issues.

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  17. Your dress is lovely and it suits you beautifully. I chickened out of finishing the dress I started, due to the invisible zip.

    Jacqueline

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  18. It's a fabulous dress and you should definitely wear it more often and stick two fingers up at the weather! ;) xx

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  19. That's such pretty fabric. Such a shame that the weather's been so awful that you only got to wear it twice, still, you've always got it now ready for next year.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx