So a couple of weeks ago I made my first Dahlia using a cheap blue polyester type jersey. There began my tempestuous relationship with this pattern, which to be honest took on a whole different aspect on my second attempt.

I chose a dark blue and green tartan – not wool, inexpensive – and cut the pattern out quickly. Creases for darts ironed in well and my bias binding was much improved, which pleased me.

My difficulties with this make related to the neckline and the invisible zip, which I had omitted to include in my first week, and had managed perfectly well without due to the stretchy fabric. This time I again conveniently forgot about the zip, and incorporated pretty much all of the ‘spare’ fabric into the gathers below the yokes, then stitched it all in place before it dawned on me. I just had enough fabric to be able to attach the zip, after basting, sewing, discovering I had caught the zip tape in several places therefore rendering the zip unzip-able, unpicked, reattached and re-caught, unpicked some more…you get the picture. On the plus side, it did mean I got to try out my new invisible zipper foot. Eventually it was done, neatish – from the outside – and secure as long as it’s not unzipped all the way to the bottom. And as long as I have assistance encasing myself within it: it’s not a job for one.

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The other main problem I encountered was the neckline. My first version is loose, requiring safety pins to avoid bra strap exposure. This one just seemed huge when I tried it on, so I took about an inch off the front & back seams of each arm. This helped but didn’t solve it completely. Only then did I remember that there would be/should be gathers in the neckline which would pull it in considerably. I tried to put in the front gathers, but as I was so focused on improving my bias tape technique, I ended up only successfully creating a tiny ripple or two, which barely look deliberate.

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Again I learnt a lot during this make, and as long as I breathe in and don’t want to get in or out of it too hastily, it’s a fairly nice dress. I made it between Saturday and Saturday, making a little progress each day and taking my time. At the moment I am undecided about whether I would make a third Dahlia, there are plenty more patterns in the sea.

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