It’s as good (bad?) time as any to make a dress. It’s been a strange and eerie moment on this timeline. The whole world (well, the sane part) is locked down due to the Corona virus and I honestly don’t remember living through something like this before. People are freaking out and there’s orders for restaurants and movie theatres being closed for a minimum 6 months. This is a world-changing event, you don’t just shut down entire industries without socioeconomic repercussions. The crafting industry is thriving though, and that’s what I’m trying to do as well.

That includes copious amounts of dressmaking packed into my schedule. Now that we are all more or less working from home, there’s even more time to make all the dresses… that I can’t wear out anywhere.

I give it two months before my wardrobe explodes.

So onto the dress! I actually started this ages and ages ago. I wasn’t bothered to finish it for a while and I’m very sad I waited because it’s a beauty. And really supportive, as well.

For the bodice, I took inspiration from the B6413 pattern. I really liked how supportive the bust area was but I’m not crazy about that keyhole, or the sleeves. Don’t get me wrong, the sleeves are lovely, I just don’t like wearing sleeves of any kind, even tiny raglan cap sleeves. So I took my sloper and rotated all the darts to the centre front. That’s a really simplistic view of it because it was actually QUITE difficult to get the contouring allowances correct and I must have done like 6 muslins of the bow front.

The skirt is pretty straightforward; just a gathered rectangle with some  pockets in the side. I took two widths of my fabric to make it and I’m stoked the gathers turned out looking so consistent! I used to struggle with that quite a bit but tried various different methods and finally settled on one that gives me the best results every time. One day I’ll write a blog post about the pros and cons of various different gathering methods, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

This is a very twirly skirt! The fabric itself is an oldie but goodie from AliExpress. A very lightweight, flowy cotton.

People ask me all the time “Where did you get it on AliExpress?”–Guys, I don’t know, I bought it three years ago, go there and type in “lemon fabric” in the search bar, there’s like 40,000 listings for the same fabric, they’re all the same, get one of those.

There’s not too much left to say about this dress so here’s the rundown on the adjustments I’ll make for next time:

  • Reshaping the neckline, it gets a bit funky around the armpits (that’s my body’s fault, because of armpit fat, unfortunately)
  • Underline the bodice pieces for greater structure. I won’t be boning anything any time soon but this definitely needs a little more stability.
  • Loosen the tension on my hem foot–still can’t get those damn puckers out!
  • Smooth out the princess seams further so the bust apex doesn’t poke out as much
  • Shorten the straps

I keep telling people nobody’s sewing is perfect, everyone has room to improve, and I’m definitely not the exception.

Hopefully the next few months start to settle down. We put down a deposit for a house but that fell through just yesterday, which was very upsetting for us. We are quite annoyed with ourselves at having missed the legal height of the third bedroom, rendering it a 2-bedroom house for insurance purposes and wouldn’t work for us. My biggest regret is that means I will have to wait a little bit longer before Hugo can come to live with us.

I was so happy when our offer was accepted that I cried on the way home at the thought of taking Hugo back from my mother, so I’m not exaggerating when I say that the last week’s events have been increasingly heartbreaking. With the virus event sweeping the nation, there’s a good chance that now would have been the worst time to buy anyways, but I didn’t care about the money, I just wanted a home. Hugo, a backyard, my own sewing room (finally!), these are all things that have been out of my reach for so long, and it looks like we still have a while to wait yet.

I’m trying to stay optimistic but it’s been a hard time. Streaming my sewing twice a week has been keeping me sane and on the other hand, I feel pretty blessed to have amassed a wonderful little community and gained some really amazing friends on the way. My growth on Twitch in the last few months has blown me away, but even if it stops now and never gets any bigger, I’d still be happy because there’s nothing more fun than sewing with your friends.


  1. Nanci Swaim Reply

    I absolutely love your lemon dress! The print fits the dress design perfectly. Your bodice fit is spot on and I know exactly how difficult that can be! The full gathered skirt looks fabulous on your petite figure. Bravo!

    • Demi

      Thank you so much Birgit! It is definitely a happy dress :)

  2. Love your dress. In times like this it’s the best to focus on positiv things.
    In Switzerland everything is closed, except the necessary till mid April. Luckily I am introvert and enjoy it to met less people, my sister goes slightly crazy with all the staying at home.
    At least I don’t to throw a party for my birthday and can celebrate Easter my preferred way, not leaving my flat and pretending the world doesn’t exist(living alone, my family is in two different countries)

    But back to the sewing. I would have never guessed that you hacked this Butterick pattern. I probably would have used a ballgown pattern and achieved the look with cutting around and spreading the front bodice part.

    And it so funny to read that you hate sleeves. I’m the complete opposite, adding sleeves whenever possible.
    Popover dress by Gertie, adding regular sleeves, improve the next with flutter sleeves and thinking how I can make even more dramatic sleeves. Because sleeves are awesome

    • Demi

      I’m an introvert too but I still feel like I’m going crazy a little bit!

      I did not hack the Butterick pattern, haha. I created this from my bodice sloper because I liked the Butterick pattern but wanted a version without the hole in the bodice and straps :) Hacking that pattern into something like this would have been way more effort than starting from scratch! I don’t like sleeves because I sweat a lot and I ruin many dresses because of it :(

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