Friday, August 14, 2015

Christine Haynes Sylvie Dress

When you read this post it's going to seem like I don't like this pattern or the dress but that's not true.  Promise.

I follow Christine Haynes on Bloglovin' and Instagram but this is the first time I've sewn one of her patterns.  I like anything with a gathered skirt and big pocket bags, and the very simple neckline seemed like it would be good for every day wear. 
The sewing itself was very straight forward but the fit was a disaster for me.  It's still not where I want it but it will have to do. Based on my measurements I chose a size 6 in the chest and graded to an 8 right on top of the waistband.  My muslin seemed a little loose fitting but I was OK with it because form fitting bodices in the summer in Kansas aren't always the best choice.  I used Cotton+Steel double gauze for my main version (which is a good choice, by the way). 

When I put the zipper in and tried it on it was way too big.  I did French seams throughout the dress and felt my only viable option at that point was to take off fabric at the center back.  I probably removed a good 2 inches off each side of the back. 

I guess I stretched the neckline when I was working or maybe when I was handsewing the binding.  I staystitched but it appears that didn't work. 

Do you see the little ledge that sits above the waistband?  I believe that's from when I graded the from the 6 to the 8.  Fixing it would have involved a lot of unpicking that I wasn't sure I would be able to put back together correctly. You can also see how loose it is in the back. 
Do you like my gathers?! I used the dental floss method (sewing a long zig zag stitch over a strand of dental floss and then pulling it to gather).  I don't know why it works.  All I know is that it was quick and easy and I'm always doing it. 
On a bright note, I love the fabric. I've wanted to hand embroider on a garment and decided the pockets would be an easy way to do that.  Originally I had a Sublime Stitching iron on transfer but I ruined it while ironing so I had to go with Plan B which was the old reliable Aunt Martha's. 
After all the complaining, I am happy to say that I will actually end up wearing this dress quite often.  It's too bad when things don't turn out the way you had hoped but that's where the learning comes in!

Last year I was more interested in summer sewing.  This year I'm more interested in fall/winter sewing.  Even taking the summer pictures felt like, "Let's get this done as quick as possible and go back home" but I find myself looking around town for photo venues for winter plans. 


  1. Love the embroidery! I think the dress looks wonderful and I wouldn't have noticed any of the imperfect fit aspects if you didn't point them out. Maybe try it one more time?

  2. I love the colour and the pocket embroidery. As you say, even though the fit isn't great you've worn it quite a lot so it's a success. I've never tried the dental floss method but it seems to have worked well for you here.

  3. This is lovely! The fit can be tweaked, but it is a lovely style and color on you. I absolutely love the embroidery too!!

  4. I agree with Claire - I wouldn't have picked out the imperfections. How many times do people wear RTW that has a worse fit and no one thinks anything? You did a lovely job. I've never tried sewing double gauze, but I've heard good things about it.

  5. I had lots of similar issues with the fit of this pattern. My first attempt ended up as just a skirt! Just could not get the fit right on the bodice, but I do want to try it again. Your dress looks lovely, and the embroidery is such a nice detail.