I've made quite a few Emery dresses now (the last one's here), so it's a pattern I'm familiar with and doesn't cause me any stress. This time though, I decided mid-way through that I'd change things up a bit.
The dress was hanging up just waiting for sleeves and a hem, and I couldn't shake the feeling that it looked great without sleeves, and that adding them might be a bit too much with this busy print. I tried it on and decided that the armholes wouldn't be too big to be left sleeveless as long as I used a 1 cm seam allowance instead of 1.5 cm (which doesn't sound much, but it did seem to make a difference!). As I'd already lined the rest of the bodice, I cut some bias strips from my fabric and used them to finish the armholes - and it seems to have worked a treat as far as I'm concerned.
I love the fabric I used for this version, a lovely cotton poplin from Textile Express with a whole rainbow of colours. I called it a stamp collector's dream in the subject of this post, but I suspect it may actually be more like a nightmare - I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the ways of stamp collectors but I think they probably wouldn't appreciate the pretty floral and dotty "stamps" that intermingle with the more genuine items. For me, they definitely add to the fun though so it's all good.
OK, time for some honest opinions now! The observant among you may have noticed that the headband I'm wearing here matches my dress - is that just a little bit too twee or is it OK? Personally, I think I can just about get away with it here because it's a print with a relatively large repeat and until you look at it closely, the headband sort of just looks multicoloured, but with a more obvious fabric pattern it would definitely be too twee to be matching.
I have become slight obsessed with making these headbands recently though - they're really quick, a great way of using up scraps and something that I wear regularly. I'm a bit disappointed that none of my family or friends would really wear them, because if they would then that would be birthday and Christmas presents sorted! They're pretty simple, but I was thinking of doing a tutorial if anyone's interested?
So there we go - a pretty new dress and headband! They did just what they were meant to in terms of inspiring me to sew again. I'm also pleased that I tried leaving this version of the Emery sleeveless - I'd definitely do that again, which is nice because it gives me more options for my most reliable pattern. All in all, three cheers for TNTs!