Updated: Nov 29, 2018
I've had my eye on the apron dress sewing pattern from The Assembly Line for a while now, but was nervous about making it. It wasn't the sewing itself that worried me more that I didn't know if it might be one of those patterns that I'd make, but never wear. No need for concern, I love it so much I've made three of them this week.
The Assembly Line patterns come with a great A4 book of instructions, as usual they were very easy to follow and give lots of detail about constructing seams etc. The dress came together very quickly but then disaster struck.
When I tried on the dress I had a ton of excess fabric across the chest. This isn't the first time I've had this issue, ordinarily I take out the wedge of fabric by moving it to the dart or seam but there is no dart or seam so I was a bit stumped. I was all ready to give up when I thought I'd just try reducing the width of the front and see how it turned out and I think it worked well.
However I was really hoping to make a dress I could wear through the winter and whilst I love the colour of this cotton fabric from Fabworks, it's too lightweight for this time of year. What I did find was that I liked how it felt to wear the dress and so there was only one reasonable thing to do... make another one.
This time I used some stretch denim that I bought locally from Leons Fabric Superstore and being all brave because I'd already sewn the pattern thought I'd use a contrasting thread for the top stitching. The pattern gives instructions for either buttons or snaps for the back detail, I'd used buttons on the first version so decided to give snaps a go for the next one. I bought Hemline heavy duty snaps and couldn't work out how to use them so took to YouTube and found this tutorial which made it incredibly easy. It didn't take too long to sew up dress number two, it's always easier if you've just made one.
This one I love, obviously denim is perfect for the winter and although I didn't need it to be stretch the fact that it is just makes it a bit softer to wear. I finished the dress on a Friday and that evening went for a glass of wine or two with my husband and wore my dress, I enjoyed wearing it so much that I decided that just one winter version wasn't going to be enough. I had also bought some green corduroy at Leons so the next day I made dress number three.
I still felt there was a bit of bagginess with the denim version so I reduced the front again by about 1cm and decided to make the waist a bit more fitted. With no contrast top stitching and having made two versions this one came together in no time at all and I think it might be my favourite.
The front part is now about as narrow as it can be, I'd love to know if there's a better way of resolving the problem with the excess fabric at the front. The cuff top is also from The Assembly Line, but more about that next time. Honestly I don't think I'm finished, I can see me making at least another one I love the back detail, the huge pockets and the overall aesthetic.