My latest make is yet another Named Clothing pattern. This time, I went for the Reeta dress from their SS17 collection. It’s been really popular since its release and I’ve seen some really inspiring examples – particularly Rachel’s from The Foldline and this gorgeous one from My Dress Made. I chose the pattern for my third wedding of the summer, and finally worked up the courage to use a stunning Italian floral Viscose from Fabric Godmother I’ve been nervously saving for about a year.
Whilst the difficulty level of Reeta is not too hard, I didn’t want to just cut into my fabric as it was the most expensive material I’ve ever bought (£24p/m!). So, I chose a cheaper Orange Viscose from Ditto Fabrics to use first. Despite having some issues with the fabric shrinking 15% when I pre-washed it, it was a complete dream to work with. The only problem I had was getting the collar to fit – reassuringly I saw that What Katie Sews had this problem too… has anyone else found it a bit tricky? I also took it up about 3in – other than that it was very simple. Despite my sister saying I look like I’ve just escaped from prison, I completely adore the finished dress; I made it in a weekend, and felt pretty confident starting on the more expensive fabric.
So this viscose, whilst beautiful, was a complete and utter b**** to sew with! It is so heavy and slippery, moved all over the place, and bizarrely it just wouldn’t fuse to interfacing for more than a day. Obviously it did make sewing the dress less enjoyable than usual, but in the end a combination of an even-feed foot and some patience got it done. Having said that, sewing the collar was even worse than on my practice version. The material had no give whatsoever so I had to abandon matching notches and just try my best. Luckily the fit of the dress is relaxed, and the collar is quite loose, covering most of the imperfections at the neckline (of which there are a few). For both dresses I used a 3mm rayon cord from McCulloch and Wallis for the waistband, however upon showing my boyfriend James the finished dresses, he immediately said that the cord was wrong and that I should use a belt or use a length of fabric from the dress (and he is rarely this opinionated on dressmaking matters!) I am really unsure if I should change it. The cord wasn’t cheap, and there is after all a channel sewn into the dress for the purpose. Perhaps a thicker cord would look better?
Waistbands aside, I am so pleased with the finished dresses, they are both great. This pattern is just friggin’ brilliant – it’s flattering, comfortable and super stylish and can be dressed up and down. I am particularly pleased with my floral viscose version – although it has certainly divided opinions amongst my friends and family. Some say it’s great, others that the pattern is just too bold and swamps me. At the end of the day, I love it, and that is all that matters. All I need now is some sunshine so I can wear them out…
I would also like to thank my ever-patient boyfriend James, who as well as being so encouraging of all my sewing adventurers is also a professional photographer and takes all my awesome pictures – I am a very lucky girl.