Finally - an emery dress!

This pattern has been on my radar for YEARS! Basically since I started sewing. It took me a long time to get around to even buying the pattern despite always admiring other versions by made fellow sewists. 

emery dressform

But I finally got my purse out to purchase the pattern at last years Sewmance festival way back in November.  

I immediately went home and traced out the pieces with the intention of making it up more or less immediately. I had a day off work and decided to test out a toile. Several toiles later I got so frustrated that I threw in the towel. I was gutted but it just was not working out.  

As I mentioned in a previous post I gave up the ghost of sewing garments for myself for a while and moved on to making family gifts.  

Earlier this year I decided to get back on the proverbial horse and made a bodice block. To my great surprise it fit! Hurrah! And with that I went back to the Emery.  

emery neckline

I decided to mould my bodice block to fit the emery lines. And so I altered the neckline of my block to fit the pattern and added in the shoulder dart. I also added a little extra to my bust dart. I kept the skirt the same as the pattern. 

The other thing I changed was to make this sleeveless. In my quest to fill in the holes in my wardrobe I thought this would be the perfect sleeveless dress. The only change I made was to take about 1/8" off the shoulder. 

I made a toile of the bust and was pretty happy with the fit overall and dived in to making up the entire thing. I used the same gingham fabric I used for my bodice block as I had loads of it! I also lined the bodice in the gingham too.  

This was a joy to sew. I didn't use the instructions as I've sewn many similar dresses so didn't feel the need. The instructions do look clearly laid out though.  

emery back

In my recent makes I have started interfacing the centre back seam where the zip goes and I have much better success in getting them to look right. It's an extra step but well worth it. I simply cut two strips of interfacing but I think you can pre-made tape strips which I will definitely have to invest in. 

I did make a boo-boo with this make and the result is my pockets face the wrong way (i.e. They go towards the back) but I'm not fussed enough to do anything about that right now. They're actually quite small pockets anyway but they still work to my iPod in when walking down the street so it's all good!  


When I make another of these I need to fix the gapey-ness (definitely a word!) of the neckline. I think the dress also came up a bit big at the waist but I'm not sure I mind this if I'm honest. I like to wear it with a skinny belt anyway which pulls it in. The only other change for the moment will be to move the bust dart down a bit and angle it up rather than having it come straight out the side. I think this is just a matter of preference anyway. 

All in all I'm really happy with this dress. It fills a hole in my wardrobe, ticks off a pattern I've wanted to make in a while, fits me (maybe not perfectly but enough for me to wear and not worry) and has helped in the battle to g-up my sewing mojo which fell apart late last year.  

emery inside lining

I really recommended making your own bodice block. Particularly if you struggle fitting garments like I have. It's a bit of work but worth it. The last few makes have proved that - it's nice knowing that what I make will fit (for the most part at least!). It has also given me so much inspiration to try and make my own patterns and adapting existing patterns to fit my block. I really do love this new learning curve. And that's part of why I love sewing - always something new to learn and get excited about!