Chemery Dress

Cherry Emery, cherry Emery, cherry Emery- Chemery!!!   This is my second Emery Dress from Christine Haynes and my second made from an upcycled duvet cover.   Whilst doing my usual scour of the local charity shops I spotted this big bold cherry print single duvet hanging from the “everything £1” rail.   How could I resist at £1?

I made no adjustments to this Emery other than those already made for my Dr. Who dress.

However, the duvet was a bit old and subsequently a little too sheer to be decent going out in without some stitching intervention.   I decided to underline the skirt portion and, continuing the theme, I used some remnants of another duvet I used last year to make a different dress.   It had big pink roses on one side, which I made the first dress with, and a white rose printed side.

I love how the roses show through when the light’s just right.   Look at my lazy hemming, overlocked the edges and then turned under and stitched on the machine.  I didn’t really think a duvet was posh enough to justify the painstaking hand stitching I did on my Dr. who dress.

This was my first ever invisible zip insertion and it went in so easily it left me wondering what all the fuss was about (until my second attempt on my Anna dress which took three attempts).   I’m pretty chuffed with it and I didn’t have the head scratching moment I had with the instructions when I used a lapped zip.

After I wore my first duvet dress to work one of my colleagues said she may have her old My Little Pony and Care Bears duvet covers at home if I want them.   Hell yeah, what child of the 80’s wouldn’t want to wear a dress with magical ponies and bears on it!

I really like the Emery dress, although I still need to do a bit of tweaking to the fit, but this dress is perfectly wearable and I’ve overheard a few comments on it as I’ve walked by people in town.   I think I’ll be making more.

Have any of you had amazing charity/thrift shop finds?

The Dr Who Emery Dress

This is the result of finally being let loose and being allowed to actually buy patterns. The Dr Who Emery dress (p.s. there’s a sale on at the Christine Haynes shop until the end of the month so hurry over there).

As I’ve alluded to before my sewing budget is basically non-existent and I rely on free patterns and charity shop donations mainly. Well, after a big strop about a dress bodice toile I could have taken someone’s eye out with, my husband decided it was better for sanity in our household to give me a small budget to buy a couple of Independent Patterns. As if by magic to coincide with Indie Pattern Month. I bought the Emery dress by Christine Haynes and By Hand London Anna Dress for me and, to say thank you to hubby, Colette Patterns Negroni for him.

I’ve been desperate for the Emery since it was released as it’s my perfect dress- gathered full skirt with pockets, fitted bodice with boat neck and the holy grail- sleeves. I hate my upper arms, after loosing quite a bit of weight a few years ago I have a fair bit of excess arm skin and once compared myself to a flying squirrel. I wonder if I could glide using my arm flaps if I jumped from high enough. Ha ha.

I don’t have enough cardi’s/coverups so all those gorgeous sleeveless dresses would go neglected in my wardrobe.

I love Dr Who and when I spotted this duvet in a local charity shop at £2.99 I had to snap it up and immediately had an Emery in mind. The ladies in the shop have me very strange looks when I said I was going to turn it into a dress. The conversation with my colleague, Catherine, at work went like this:

“You could make something for the kids with that”
“No! Me!” Said with a maniacal grin on my face, nodding enthusiastically.
“Maybe something for Eli (my son)”
“No! Me!”

So, I guess some people don’t get it but I bloody adore her. Who wouldn’t want a Tardis on their chest?

Construction-wise I have well and truly discovered I have odd proportions. I traced a size 14 at the top of the bodice and graded out to an 18 at the waist. I shortened the waist darts by about an inch and moved the bust darts down 3/4inch.  The sleeves were cut from some royal blue cotton broadcloth I had leftover from my Burdastyle pleated Trousers and, rather than hem them as directed (I was worried they’d be a little short) I added a band of the Dr Who fabric to finish the hem.

I need to tell u about pretty much the only balls up in this dress. I do not own an invisible zip foot and have never inserted one so I decided to go for a centred lapped zip and it went in really well. It gave me some head scratching when reading the instructions for attaching the lining as it’s for a different zip but I eventually opted to hand-stitch the lining down to the zip tape and continue around the waist and back up the other side of the zip. But I went a bit wrong at the top of the zip. Things weren’t lined up properly and I now have a scratchy bit at the top. But this dress is so fabulous and comfy I don’t really care.

The fit isn’t that awful at the back, by the way, I think I was just standing awkwardly.   Fitting-wise I haven’t got it quite right but actually this is the comfiest dress I own by far and I didn’t want to take it off once it was finished.

So, my verdict on the Emery dress is that I adore her.

What do you think?