I follow Mimi G on Instagram (she is prolific in her makes, it's fascinating to watch - but then that's her business!) and one day in early April she announced that she was offering one of her patterns (previously released with her SewSewDef magazine) for free in celebration of her 6 year anniversary of MimiG Style.
I'd seen the dress before and thought it was a gorgeous pattern so IMMEDIATELY snapped it up! She has produced a new sew along on her Youtube channel to coincide with the offer and it looked like an easy project. Plus it has pockets... BONUS!
I already had some fabric in my stash which I bought on Lichfield market for probably about £4 pm. I had 2 metres of it which was just enough for the pattern pieces.
The bodice is quite fitted and so I made two toiles to determine the correct size for me, and since I have no bust I had to grade between two sizes.
I started by making up the skirt which was quick and easy and done in an evening. I took my time hemming the skirt - which needed to be done before the button band was attached - and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
I even added the pockets at this stage because I thought it might be easier with less fabric to deal with.
Then I pieced together the bodice which has 7 panels. At this point I had to wrap it around me in an attempt to make sure it would fit, but I found this quite difficult because the facing wasn't attached yet and the straps needed to be fitted too. I went to fit the facing to the bodice but found that it was too small despite them both being cut the same size (I double checked!).
So I took in the two back seams about a centimetre each and it fit fine. I then attached the facing to the bodice and realised I had sewn it right side to wrong side. And to add to the issues, I'd not put the straps in either! At this point it was 10.30pm so I decided to leave it for the night and start again the next evening. I unpicked the facing the next day and went back to fitting the bodice with facings and straps as per the instructions!
I used Mimi's trick of running the gathering stitched on the skirt in three sections which made it so much easier. So when the top was finished it just needed to be attached to the bottom half which was easy enough.
And then, with the help of an automatic button hole function I did ten button holes and hand stitched the colourful buttons.
I couldn't wait to try it on once it was finished and overall I was really chuffed! Within a couple hours of wearing it I decided to take in the sides of the bodice by a centimetre or so because it was gaping under the arms.
Next time (oh yes, there will be a next time!) I think I'll take a couple of inches off the bottom, cut the straps a smidge shorter and maybe do in-seam pockets. This is a really comfortable dress and it makes me really happy when I wear it!