This is a special dress.
A dress as a tribute. A tribute to my father-in-law, Karel, who passed away suddenly and tragically a few weeks ago. This is not a sad post. This dress was made to attend a celebration of his life.
Karel got such a kick out of my me-mades. Always drawing attention to my makes when we were out and about together.
Apart from being an exceptional musician, playing oboe and English horn for the Czech Nonet, the Czech Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and finally the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Karel was also fantastic with his hands, repairing instruments in retirement and always being handy with needle and thread.
Karel learnt to sew by assisting his mother in socialist Prague when he was young and appreciated and carried this skill throughout his life reupholstering couches and fashioning curtains and all manner of things.
Karel would have loved this dress and I wore it with happiness and sunshiny rays of warmth.
This is the Xerea Dress (view B) by Pauline Alice Patterns: a sleeveless tent dress. A dress of awesomeness. A pattern made specifically with me in mind.... obviously.
And even more special, it was gifted to me by Kirsty for my birthday back in August. Thank you, lovely Kirsty!
Such a fabulous trapeze: a shape I'm having quite the love affair with.
I made the size 36 at the bust and finally figured out how to grade out to a 38 at the hips. It was entirely unnecessary as it relates to fitting in my childbearing hips, but I'm always paranoid things will be too tight and anyway - trapeze! Big trapeze!
Oh and I did lengthen the dress by 1 inch to bring it to my standard preferred hem length (yep, I know exactly the length I like my hems and all my dresses are exactly the same).
It's made up in a super comfy heavy cotton (maybe drill/twill) with a touch of elastane (I think) from Pitt Trading. There was just enough left on the roll for this make.
It's hard to see in the shots above due to the ridiculous lighting conditions when I photographed the make (seriously I gotta shoot when I can shoot). But here is a shot of the top of the bodice...
I pressed the centre box pleat all the way to the hem and it has a lovely effect.
I'm a little uncertain about the fit across the shoulders as you can see some excess fabric just above the bust near the armscye. Maybe I require a narrow shoulder adjustment (which is hilarious because...), or perhaps an SBA given the pattern is drafted for a B cup. Without any darts, however, I'm not sure how that's done. It doesn't bother me and I think we are sometimes a bit too pedantic in criticising our makes.
But I do think the armscye is the wrong shape for me. I reckon I can pinch out a dart in the rear armscye line as they do sit away from me.
And what a lovely back upper bodice... who doesn't love a v-back?
This is yet another woohoo! I really adore it. It's so comfy and the print is fabulous.
And now I need to go get a haircut. My curls are outta control!