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{Finished Object} Emery Dress #3

ok, so after my hellish time making up my own construction order on the last Emery Dress I decided to make another one following the instructions to a T.

I've had this quilting cotton fabric in my stash for months and always intended on turning it into an Emery Dress. I bought the fabric (Comma Nigella by Zen Chic) at Sew Modern and I remember the lady asking me what I was going to make because I bought 3 yards. When I told her I planned on making a dress she made a comment about how she figured I was doing something big with it since I got so much yardage; I'm guessing most people who shop there don't usually buy that much yardage of one fabric since the store mainly caters to quilters.

Now that I had the pattern tweaked to fit my bodice, I knew it would be an easy project. I kept the zipper in the center back and add the shorter sleeves. Actually I modified the sleeves to make them more of a cap sleeve. I know the pattern isn't perfectly drafted, but I like how it turned out on the dress. I took off about 1/2" on the ends of the sleeve pattern and a couple inches in the middle and then connected the three points in an arc.

I just have to brag for a second and mention this is the first dress I've ever completed in one day!! I feel like I've surpassed a sewing plateau. But, I suppose such a conquest can (should?) happen when you make the same pattern 3 times.

I gotta say, after making essentially the same dress twice two weeks in a row, I definitely like the side zipper better than the back center zipper. Seriously, why does the back not look nearly as good as my side zipper dress? Also, don't pay any attention to all the wrinkles. I have no idea why the dress looks so crumpled in the back.

My husband took these photos and while he says he doesn't mind doing it, he gets a bit inpatient so I'm always hesitant to ask him to take 50 shots from each angle. So....crumpled dress in the back it is....

I think I only used a 3/8" seam allowance along the center zipper because I was worried the quilting cotton wouldn't breathe as well, but I probably should have used the standard 5/"8" seam allowance. I should mention that this version can be fully zipped while on the dressform, but the sleeveless version cannot despite that one being made out fabric that has a slight stretch. The shoulders and bust on my dressform are a bit bigger than my actual measurements so fitted tops can't fit on my dress form. Obviously I added some unnecessary extra ease into this version.....

For my next {Emery?} Dress I want to try installing a side zipper where the zipper doesn't extend all the way to top of the side seam/bottom of the armhole. I have a blouse with this type of zipper insertion, so maybe I can figure out the construction. It would be nice to have a clean armhole as opposed to worrying about the zipper top digging into my armpit (oh doesn't that sound lovely??).

Anyway, this post is short on details because I pretty much used the same modifications from the second Emery Dress, but just moved the zipper to the back. I really want to make another Emery Dress despite having at least a handful of other dress patterns I've never made. It just feels amazing to know I have a pattern that fits like a glove and is pretty easy to make (if I follow the instructions).

Also, there is now a sewing celebration for Roisin (of Dolly Clackett fame) and her upcoming nuptials. She's such an inspiration to me. I recently went back to Sew Modern to find some adorable fabric and was SO tempted to buy the raccoon print from one of Tula Pink's collections and I seriously thought, "Roisin would totally rock a dress made out of this fabric"....and what do ya know, she did! In case you're wondering, no, I did not purchase the fabric because I still haven't broken out of my demure, conservative fabric and pattern choices. Baby of these days...So yeah, I'll be making another Emery Dress. I did buy some pretty awesome fabric recently that I'm really excited about turning into a dress.

Maybe for my next one I'll alter the neckline. My husband's first comment on this dress was "the neckline is very conservative". Translation: "you should have lowered the neckline". Tasha of By Gum By Golly just posted an Emery Dress with a square neckline, which looks super flattering. I just might have to steal that idea!

...And like that, I'm down 3 projects in 2014! I actually finished this dress a couple weeks ago and had planned on finishing those damn modifications to the trench coat that has been dancing around my head for months. But alas, I got lazy and never got around to it. Also, I need to get started on one of the projects for my husband that I've been promising for at least year.....oh're so attractive, but so intimidating.


  1. Popping over almost four months late to say: The side-zip idea is brilliant. One of my favorite dresses has a side-zip that ends about four or five inches down from the actual armhole, and it has cured me of my side-zip aversion. I'm always super nervous about friction.

    Anyway, love this Emery.

    1. Thanks! the zip totally digs into me, which is why I haven't worn it that much. But I was thinking I could possibly "easily" modify this dress and unpick the top of the zip by an inch or so and then just sew the side seam closed. Hopefully it works!


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