It's finally summer in Toronto so I finally get to sew some hot weather dresses! This is a perfect dress for a night out with the girls, which is exactly what I made it for. Two of my favourite people had a joint bachelorette party a few weekends ago and it was my goal to make a new dress for our night of dinner, drinks and late-night karaoke.
The pattern is By Hand London's Georgia dress. Let me just take a minute to join in on the BHL love-fest. The girls who own this company are gorgeous, stylish, and creative (I don't actually know them - this is purely based on my lurking their Instagram profiles and the BHL blog). Their patterns make new, seemingly difficult, sewing skills totally doable. Their pattern instructions are detailed and clear, and their sewalongs are even better (they usually throw in some extra tips and tricks and even bonus variations too!) Overall, what I think they do really well is take you out of your sewing comfort zone and get you to try a style or silhouette you might not normally wear. Would I buy this dress in a store? Probably not. Do I love it anyway? TOTALLY.
Both fabrics used in this dress are cotton with a bit of stretch from two local fabric stores (the black one's from Downtown Fabrics, the colour one from Designer Fabrics). If I'm being totally honest, I don't LOVE the fabric I chose for the centre panels. In the store I thought it was kind of retro in a good way, but when I brought it home, I started to second guess it.
But I had a deadline and reeeally wanted to make this dress so I forged ahead anyway.
Construction notes: Despite all warnings I did not make a muslin of the bodice (GASP I know - but...deadline!) I cut a size 8 US but ended up taking it in at the waist because it looked loose and baggy and that is not a good look for this dress. This type of bodice was new to me - I did the twill tape trick shown by Lladybird here, and also read Neeno's Georgia post like a dozen times to make sure I was very prepared before I started sewing. I also used BHL's Georgia Dress Sewalong, which has just the right amount of hand holding. I still find that the bodice flips out at the top a bit - it's not the snug fit I'd hoped for...so I guess that serves me right for not making a practice version. It's still wearable...although when I make this again I think I'll have to make some adjustments.
Despite the meh feeling I have towards the centre panel fabric, I still love this dress, mainly because it was so fun to make...so many new skills! So many fitting challenges overcome!
I will definitely be making another Georgia dress... I might do a solid colour next time...maybe all black...or deep purple...we'll see.
Pattern: Georgia Dress by By Hand London (PDF only)
Size: US 8 but took it in at waist so next time I'll probably cut a US 6 graded to a US 8
Fabric: Black: Cotton with stretch (med weight); Colour: cotton with lycra (med-light weight)