I thought it was time for another attempt at the Darling Ranges dress after all the lessons I have learnt in the last few weeks. I'm sure you're sick of this pattern by now, but it was one of my sewing New Years resolutions to make many versions of the Darling Ranges to learn how to utilitise a pattern to its fullest. I'm also using this pattern to learn about improving the fit of a garment. After realising, from trying to make the chambray shirt, that I needed to increase the seam allowance on the shoulder seam to 3 cm to fit the sleeve in the XS size I decided to pin the shoulders on my wearable toile to see how everything looked. The first thing I noticed was that this brought the bust dart up to where I needed it to be, and it also raised the waistline to almost the correct place.
This meant that the last few adjustments I made to the pattern were unnecessary, hurrumph! So, I thought I would go back to the original pattern, trace off another copy and add the appropriate adjustments to minimise any errors I had introduced in all the adjustments I had made to date. The changes I made this time were; add 4 cm to the length of the bodice pieces, removed 1.5 cm from the shoulders on both the back and front bodice, raised the neckline by 2 cm, increased the length of the bust dart by 2.5 cm, included darts on the back bodice to reduce ease, and remove 2 cm from the center of the back bodice piece. I also increased the length of the sleeves. In the picture below, the red lines are the original pattern lines and the purple lines are the modifications.
The fabric I used was some turquoise polyester from my stash. The fabric wasn't the nicest I have, but I didn't want to use a good fabric when I was still working on perfecting the fit. I bought some semi opaque white buttons from the op shop. I didn't have any thread the right colour, so I figured if you can't match clash! I used a dark magenta thread I had to sew all visible stitching and a pale blue for everything else.
All in all, the fit is close but I'm still not 100% with the sleeves. I realise once I started putting the bodice together that I forgot to narrow the neck opening, so it is little wide for my taste. I think I might try something else next, as I don't want to waste too much time and energy fitting a bust that changes on a daily basis, thanks to breastfeeding.
Final tally: Fabric – $1.50 (from op-shop); Buttons – $1.15 (from op-shop); thread, bias binding and hemming web ~ $1 (from stash). So for $3.65 I have another dress to wear, however, I only wore it here for the few minutes it took to take the photo as 100% polyester and 34 degree weather aren't really friends, so this dress will have to wait for cooler temps.