So, who doesn’t love a pretty gingham fabric in their dressmaking? I have always loved the sweet little check fabric and all the colours that it comes in. When I saw this Bordeaux colour way on Felicity Fabrics website I knew that I had to make something with it.

It’s just a gorgeous deep shade of red rather than the usual bright red version. I do like red but I prefer the muted or warmer shades. I have recently been researching the colours that suit and compliment my skin tones and found I am a ‘Deep Autumn’ and the red in my colour palette is the deeper shade and this Bordeaux was just perfect for me. I am really taking my dressmaking up another level this year and so want to create a handmade wardrobe that is the best it can be. Which means making and wearing clothes in the colours and palette that suit me and enhance my skin tones! So, with this in mind I knew this fabric would be just perfect.

It’s a beautiful quality fabric, 100% cotton and so lovely to work with. It also reminds me of those wonderful school years when my summer uniform was in gingham. 

Not usually one for choosing dress patterns, I just thought this fabric was crying out to be made into a pretty dress of some sort. As soon as I saw the Sorrel Dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade, I knew it would be perfect.

This is my first time making any Jennifer Lauren patterns before, and I really enjoyed everything about this project! I used the printed pattern, it comes in a pretty cardboard envelope with the cutest line drawings on the front. The skill level is confident beginner, and I would totally agree with this.

The instructions were really easy to follow and I would highly recommend this for any confident beginner dressmaker. The only technical part was adding the 11 button holes, but even that was relatively easy to do. Especially with modern day sewing machines which make the buttonhole making so much easier. 

Based on the size chartin the pattern, I made a size 12 B cup, and it fits perfectly, with a little bit of ease too! I didn’t have to make any adjustments at all. It comes in a great range of sizes and with A, B, C, and D cups included! And to top it all…….it has pockets!

There are two options to choose, view 1 with the button placket and View 2 without. I chose View 1 as I like the structure of the button band down the front of the dress. There are no sleeves to insert as they are a built in Kimono style making it super easy! Both dress options are finished with a facing making a really neat finish. The only thing I did that was not included in the instructions was to under stitch the facing and top stitch the neck line. I just found it gave a really crisp finish to the whole dress.

I added 11 mother of pearl shirt buttons that I found in my vintage button tin and my dress was finished. Whilst rooting through my button tin I also found a vintage belt buckle that would be perfect to make into a belt to wear as an accessory with this dress.

All in all, I had a lovely sewing afternoon making it. I only had to get my stitch ripper out once, because I forgot to overlock my pocket edges before attaching to the sides! 

I especially love the flattering silhouette and the shaping created at the waist line from the open-ended darts on the skirt and bodice.

I styled it with my favourite jeans, and a Seamstress pin badge to complete the look! It so reminded me of my days as a school perfect!

I absolutely love this look and am definitely going to make this dress again. It would look fabulous in a floral corduroy (love a bit of floral me!) or a pretty chambray. It’s a great layering piece and is going to get well worn throughout the autumn winter months. Really versatile and totally wearable in all seasons depending on what fabric you choose. 

I am so glad I went out of my usual dressmaking comfort zone of blouses and trousers to make this dress. I am now looking at dress patterns in completely different light now!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Jayne

Loopy Mabel’s Closet