Like many of my most well-loved dresses, this one was quite a long time in the making. A few years back I’d bought a yellow ponte sheath dress from ASOS that had some amazing seamlines. I don’t often buy clothes anymore these days (preferring to spend my time sewing than fighting my way to the shops, or waiting days for an internet purchase that’s low quality or not quite right), but I really liked this dress, and wore it often despite the sleeves and hem being too short. Inevitably, the yellow also got dingey and pilled over time, but I still liked the overall design.
So I traced it! I literally just laid the dress over brown paper and ran a serrated tracing wheel over the different sections, leaving an impression underneath, just like how I trace patterns. I remember I traced James’s well-loved linen shirt at the same time, so it was a few months ago, and even though I had this mustard ponte in my stash for even longer, it took me a while to get around to sewing it up.
It may look like a complicated design, but it’s actually really quick to sew up on the overlocker, and only the back invisible zipper takes a little bit of sewing machine time.
Here you can see me holding the original dress, whilst wearing my copy!
All the things I loved about the original dress are present here – the figure-hugging design, the flowing, curved panels, the vibrant colour – but the sleeves are nice and long instead of “unintentional bracelet length”, and the hem doesn’t go scandalously short when I bend over!
I did notice, however, that the shoulders could be a tad longer here, and the neckline is a bit too high at my neck edge, so I’ve fixed those on my paper pattern for my next version, which will be some manner of colourblocking, either with the ideas I showed you last week, or with some other leftover ponte colours I found while clearing out my sewing room this weekend! Charcoal, fuchsia, and pale turquoise are also looking pretty tempting as a combo…
It’s hard to see the seams from a distance with the dress in one colours, so have a look at these closer shots to see what I mean about the amazing curves! They really are surprisingly easy to sew, and look fabulous on.
I did have a special occasion which prompted me to finally sew up this dress, I must admit – I was personally invited by Samantha Cameron to attend a reception at Number 10 Downing Street in honor of Anthony Nolan, the charity which found me my bone marrow donor!! I wanted a great dress to wear to this, and this yellow one was just perfect (even if I did match the walls on the grand staircase!)
We had to place our phones in a cabinet on arrival, but I did get a few with the famous door outside, and the official event photographer caught a nice one of me chatting to Chris while at the reception itself. I don’t know how, but I managed to find the most interesting man in the room to talk to (though I was too shy to bug Stella McCartney and say hello!).
Oh, and in other news, there’s a fantastique interview with me at Thread & Needles that you should totally go read – it’s a great exercise for your French-language skills! Full respect to Amelie for translating all my wordy answers – she asked some amazing, interesting questions, and I just kept on talking!
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