Monday, 13 May 2013

Completed! Poppies Darling Ranges Dress

Excellent timing on this dress, I finished just as the brief spell of sunshine ended! Ah well, surely the sun will come back soon.... I've had my eye on the Darling Ranges Dress pattern for so long, I'm so glad that I finally went for it. I paired it with some beautiful Anna Maria Horner Field Study Poppies rayon from M is for Make.

First up, after seeing other bloggers' versions, I knew I should make a muslin of the bodice (FYI not something I normally do) I am SO glad I did! Based on my measurements I made up a medium and was fairly disappointed that it in no way fitted around the bust. So I hacked it up into a small, still awful. I then went back to a medium, did (my first ever!) small bust adjustment. Now I was finally getting somewhere! But the bust darts were still not really doing anything good in relation to my bust though so I pinned the muslin on me until it looked right. I think I ended up with narrower, longer darts. I also raised the neckline about 1 3/4 inches and cut about 1/4 inch off the length at the shoulders (does that even make sense?) 

When I put the bodice together the fit was pretty good but the side seams were different lengths. I extended the side seam on the back bodice. By then I just wanted it done already and I deemed it 'good enough'.

butchered bodice front
The construction was nice and straight forward after that although the bias and placket folding had me reading the instructions quite carefully. I should have stay-stiched the neckline, I think I stretched it out a touch before I got the bias on. I did under-stitch it though which has given me a crisp turn. I have a bag of left over quilting cotton bias, the blue was a good match. Being stiffer than the rayon has helped keep it smooth, I think.

I had cut out the ties for the back of the dress but as I can't see myself wearing it without a belt I turned them into cuffs for the sleeves. They were just the right length too! I added twill tape to the waist to give it a bit more support and put a belt loop at each side seam.

I went rogue with the button placement and skipped the waistline, sewing a snap on instead so not to be squashed into my by my belt. I couldn't find buttons I liked that were the right size and colour but I think these clear ones work well, the print is busy enough! Speaking of the print, I'd love to say I planned the placement but it was fluke. I was concentrating on having all the pieces the right way up!

I just wish it was warm enough to wear it! Maybe with tights, a slip, and a cardigan, boots....

(Please excuse my grumpy face, I haven't worked out the balance between manic smile and stroppy stare yet!)


  1. Ooo! This is gorgeous! I love the fabric, and how it matches on the bodice. I have this pattern but haven't made it yet, even though I have fabric for two! I like the cuffs you've added. I was thinking of doing that too, and it's nice to see how it turned out. Hopefully the weather will be good enough to wear it soon.

    1. Thank-you, Lynne. Go for it! It really was nice and simple after I got the fitting worked out. I can't wait to see your versions