A few months ago I purchased the Evening Empire pattern and some cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner… when would I find time to make myself I dress? I thought, but still, I wanted a blue dress in this luscious fabric… and I make so much for my kids, I decided it was time to try a full-size dress. Kids clothes are so much less fabric. I think my least favorite part of making a whole dress is wrangling with all the material. I had never put in a zipper before, and found Anna’s directions pretty easy to follow, and was amazed at how great the zipper foot works!
Overall I am happy with the dress and think it will get worn quite a bit. I need to adjust the straps a little and make them shorter but other than that it fits pretty perfectly! I of course made several mistakes in the making of the dress, but fortunately they aren’t that noticeable. The wrong side of the fabric is facing out on one panel of the bodice, but the right and wrong sides of this fabric are nearly identical. The interfacing is a little mixed up between the lining and the front of the bodice, but that is hidden! And the zipper I ended up using is white and shows a bit so it doesn’t look as finished as I would like, but I can live with it. It is my first zipper for goodness sake, and it works! And our JOANN’s is closed until winter because the roof collapsed last winter under all the snow, so I had to work with what I had on hand... I never realized how much I rely on them :)
The hardest part for me with this dress was deciding on the lining. I didn’t want to use cotton, because I think I’ll wear this dress with tights and I don’t like to wear slips, so I chose a polyester taffeta-esque fabric from my stash in dark blue. It makes the dress a little poofier, and the material was a pain to work with (very slippery and thin), but I think it will have the desired outcome!
It has been an Anna Maria Horner year for me. I have sewed so many items from her fabrics, and now this pattern, and I have another project or two in the works from her book Seams to Me. Thank you Anna for a wonderful year, I find such inspiration and joy from your beautiful fabrics and creative ideas!!!