This is my attempt to recreate a favourite old dress that I stupidly and regrettably sold after it got a bit too small: a delightful pansy-print spring frock from Kate Moss’s first collection for Topshop about 8 years ago –
It’s still commanding ridiculous sums on eBay so I figured I’d try to make my own instead. I like how it’s got quite a plunge-y v neck (umm, revealing my impressive tan line after a weekend in sunny Devon), but the longer sleeves and sweet print make it fairly demure.
I couldn’t find an identical pattern, but ended up using Burda 124 because it had the same empire line cut. I made a toile for the first time to check that omitting the contrast bands wouldn’t be much of an issue, and it turned out fine.
I basically ignored the pattern construction completely. I didn’t add waist darts but gathered the back waist seam using elastic instead. I encased the elastic in the overlocked seam which looks really tidy from the inside.
I copied the ruched sleeves of the original dress by stitching some elastic in while holding it taut. The zigzag stitch doesn’t look so smart from the outside, but the busy print hides it from a distance. I added seam pockets too originally (the pattern has them) but actually removed them as they spoiled the line of the dress.
The beautiful Liberty Missenden jersey was kindly given to me by Ray Stitch. I like the darker mustard-and-petrol blue colour palette even better than the original Moss dress, and it makes it more autumn-appropriate too. It has such a lovely weight and drape and makes a simple jersey dress look smart, almost summer wedding-appropriate. It was generally great to work with: you just have to be extra careful not to tug when cutting as I ended up with a spectacularly uneven hem the first time I cut it.
Ray Stitch has some beautiful stuff in at the moment incidentally: I spent far too long petting the new season Tana Lawns – look at these patterns, so dreamy. Plus their strokably-soft bamboo jerseys come in a perfect palette of sludgy tones (I mean that in a good way!) ideal for the basic slouchy tees I wear all the time. They must have the best range of garment-weight fabrics around and happily – dangerously – they’re just up the road from me. I think I definitely need to sew some solid garments next: I’m always drawn to prints as they’re so fun to sew up but solid colours are the more practical choice for wardrobe builders.