Lemon and raspberry La Mia Boutique dress

When I bought my first La Mia Boutique magazine a few months ago I was instantly drawn to dress #31 in that April 2008 issue:

I loved the duality of the buttoned, tight, and sleeveless bodice with the pleated A-line skirt, and I wanted to accentuate that with contrasting fabric (and, err, leave out the weird knee-highs!). I happened to have about a half metre of lemon-yellow linen/tencel blend leftover from James’s dress shirt, and it was just too soft to let languish in my scraps box! So I decided to use it for the bodice (and lining) of this day dress and pair it with some raspberry-coloured tablecloths for the bottom. I think I may possibly be channelling Spring colours, or perhaps I’m just craving sorbet!

When I first looked at the technical drawing for this, I assumed that the actual opening stopped at the waist seam (and the buttons on the skirt portion just went through the pleat), but in actuality the opening extends as far as the last button so there’s no need for a wiggle to get into this! I used some fabulous green vintage buttons from my mom’s stash (raided on my last visit), and despite all the wrinkling in the un-styled photo below, this fits really well.

I opted to cut the skirt back on the fold to eliminate the weird back seam, but I kept the front skirt seam since it made the buttoned opening a bit easier to construct. The bodice is entirely lined, so I didn’t have any fraying issues there, but I did take a strip of the linen and bound the entire waist seam on the inside. The tablecloth wasn’t too bad, though, so I just left the pinked seam allowances as is since it’s just a casual dress anyway.

If you’re a standard size in European pattern magazines, beware, because La Mia Boutique’s sizing is really far off the others. I’m a very standard size 42 in Burda World of Fashion and Knipmode, and a pretty good 44 in Patrones, but for this dress I had to cut a 46, and especially in the top (where I measured between a 44 and a 46), there isnn’t a whole lot of ease. So I’d definitely recommend making a muslin for La Mia Boutique patterns, or (like here) using scrap and recycled fabrics you don’t mind losing if it all goes horribly wrong.

I found with a cursory sweep through my wardrobe that I really need casual day dresses and skirts, so it’s good to be able to fill a hole so quickly! And in a few days you’ll see my other recent linen day dress, too!

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