This post of Meg's from KCWC caught my eye last spring, and not only because Kelli makes some amazing kids clothes. The dress she is wearing in the centre photo looks amazing on her and it lead me straight to Megan Neilsen's patterns. Not that I went on a hunt for the pattern but when I saw that the Workroom in Toronto had some new patterns in I pretty much jumped in the car.
I checked out any post I could find about the Darling Ranges Dress pattern so I was loaded with great user information. I love the straight-forward instructions and honest measurements. Of course, those measurements are exactly what became my challenge - even the XS was too large for me in the chest (yes, after two kids my chest has shrunk to a size smaller than I had in high school). I had it in my mind that I needed the bodice to be fitted so that the dress had shape (although Kelli's version doesn't seem as fitted and I love how she can wear a belt with it). Anyway, I made a number of modifications to the bodice, including making the bust dart smaller, raising the neckline 2 inches and adding two vertical darts in the back. This resulted in a good fit for me. But even though I made it smaller, the XS sleeve had no ease at all. In fact, it was too small so I had to cut out the S piece instead. Truthfully, I think I'll make a larger cap next time around so there is some ease because it pulls a bit tight across the cap for me now. Otherwise everything went together great and I'm really happy with the dress. I've already worn it to work twice, so it's definitely a keeper. A comfortable keeper.
The fabric I used is a cotton eyelet, and since you can't possibly get through a garment without some kind of mistake - here's mine: I used the wrong side of the fabric. Seriously. Can I blame low lighting? It doesn't bother me too much though. The eyelets mean I have to wear a slip and for a reason I can't remember I used a fuschia gingham bias tape which you can see at the neckline through the holes. Hmm. And I didn't have 10 buttons that matched so I alternated between black glass buttons (love) and plastic ones (not so much love). But these are small details and overall I really like it. It's on the cute side of things but works well with a cardigan. Perfect.
More Darling Ranges to come.