You may have stumbled across the many, many, (many!!) versions of Christine's Haynes Emery Dress online. “Maggie, WHY are there so many?”, you ask. Well, I will tell you—the pattern is brilliant. It is well drafted and the result is one of the most adorable dresses on the planet. On. The. Planet. I am shocked that I haven't sewn at least twenty more out of my stash fabrics since completing my first.
One thing I love about this pattern is the fact that you can change up, very easily, a few details as well as fabric choice and have a gah-zillion different dresses. I used an Italian black wool crepe with a diagonal weave. It is a simple fabric, but with just enough visual interest. This fabric was a gift from my husband. He brought it home from Italy and I have been sitting on it for four years waiting for the right dress to come along. I was tempted by some of the other beautiful wool crepes (and cottons and rayons!) in the shop that would also work with this pattern, but in the end I decided to leave those for my lovely customers. The time had come to take scissors to fabric!
I lined the bodice and pocket with a nice slippery Bemberg rayon, this one IS from the shop. The lovely teal color and smooth feel of the fabric delights me whenever I put it on. A perfect secret that only my dress and I share. And now you, so… yeah not so secret anymore. Don’t tell!
I did change up the pattern just a tiny bit for two reasons: 1) fabric choice and 2) the fact that this was destined to be a holiday party dress. I chose to pleat the skirt instead of gathering. I thought the wool might look too bunchy at the waistline so I added some box pleats which lay much flatter. I love a good pleat and it suited the pattern very well if I do say so myself. I also slimmed down the sleeve and shortened it to elbow length. All in all I was happy with my changes.
I did my usual pattern adjustments for the inaugural sewing of this dress which are a small bust adjustment, since I am only an A cup and it is drafted for a B, a broad back adjustment and I dropped the sleeve 3/8” down the shoulder. After wearing it a few times I think I will skip the back and shoulder adjustments for future dresses. This version fits just fine with the adjustments and I know I will wear it over and over but I just don't think I needed to mess with the back and shoulders - which is great since usually I do! That is how good this pattern is.
So, tell me now… don't you want to sew this dress?!?!? This pattern is perfect for anyone who has sewn a few basic garments like a simple dress or skirt and are ready to move to the next level. The more advanced techniques involved are darts, an invisible zipper and a lined bodice. And, even more exciting… if you are ready to make your own... we are holding a class in April to make this dress. Huzzah!! With this pattern we will have a slightly longer class format. There are twelve hours total since we are tackling a more advanced pattern. Don’t panic though, the class is broken up over a few sessions, I won’t make you sew it in one day. And, as always, snacks will be provided. :) Call the shop, stop by, or email for more details! Sign up! Emerys for everyone!
By the way… are you amazed by the photos in this post? Me too! Ashley Shea Photography has done it again and I couldn't be happier. If you haven't heard me say it yet, she is magical. Contact her if you are in need of a great photographer. :)
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