Making a Miz Mozelle dress
You might remember that a few weeks ago I spotted the Miz Mozelle dress pattern by Jamie Christina and wrote about how I'd fallen in love with it. I never normally buy anything on impulse but I have to admit that I ended up purchasing the pattern almost as soon as I'd written that blog post as pondering on it was stopping me from concentrating on other things. I finally got round to making it last week. I used a beautiful stretch silk satin by Liberty sent by Rachel of the very lovely Ray-Stitch and it's the most dreamy fabric.
I had initially been apprehensive about working with a silk stretch satin and wondered whether the combination of it being both stretchy and silky might end with my tears and the fabric's ruin, so it came as a relief when neither of these things turned out to be an issue. While the fabric has a lovely amount of stretch in it when you pull it taut, it doesn't behave like a stretch fabric at any other time, meaning that it's more stable to sew with than a regular jersey. In terms of slipperiness, again, while it is buttery smooth and causes small children to stroke it (my children took the photos used in this post...there was some stroking in between photos), when the fabric is being sewn face-to-face it doesn't flibbet around like a slippery eel as I'd expected it to...it just stayed exactly where I'd pinned it. So ultimately, it didn't feel so different from working with cotton, save for the fact that my heart felt like it was in my throat for most of the time that I was sewing because it was such beautiful fabric.
I'm not sure I've ever used a pattern that fits so well with so little adjustment and it seems as though it may be one of those rare and lovely patterns that would fit well on just about anyone, principally because the waist is cinched in beneath the belt by a cased elastic, which means that you can fit the dress perfectly to your figure. The waist gives shape, but the rest of the dress is drapey, so I can imagine it flattering a multitude of bust sizes, from paltry to ample.
Before I use a pattern I normally have a quick look around on the internet for fitting issues that might have cropped up, but I couldn't actually find a finished Miz Mozelle dress aside from the utterly gorgeous official pattern photographs, as it's a relatively new pattern, so, in the hope that it might be useful to others, here's my in depth analysis. It's mainly detailing changes that I made, but please don't take that to mean it was a flawed or troublesome pattern - it was quite the opposite and incredibly easy to follow:
I made a toile of this dress before cutting into the Liberty fabric and I'm so pleased that I did. At 5ft1", the keyhole neck opening came further down my body than intended and revealed the bra beneath, so when I made it a second time here, I reduced the size of the keyhole substantially - I don't think this would be an issue for anyone of normal stature, but it's worth noting if you're petite.
The other thing that I discovered when I made the toile was that, for me, it was preferable to make the dress up in a different order to the pattern instructions. You're told to bind the sleeves before attaching them to the dress and sewing up the side seams, however, this way leaves a raw seam intercepting the edge of the sleeve binding, something which would make me want to walk around with my arms glued to my sides to try and hide it. For this reason, I left binding the sleeves until the end, so that the side and arm seam is safely tucked away inside the binding. I used a satin shop-bought binding - I think I've only ever used a ready-made binding twice before as I normally prefer to make my own, but in this instance it was preferable as it was a little crisper and so I found it easy to work with.
Overall, it felt like an incredibly easy and stress-free pattern to sew together - the instructions are clear with lots of diagrams and the details such as the collar, the keyhole, the shape of the sleeve, all completely delight me. I think it may be one of those patterns that I keep coming back to: I'd like to make one in every colour and in every kind of fabric. I may require a separate wardrobe to hold them all. My family may come to think of the Miz Mozelle dress as my uniform and hanker after the days when I alternated between skirts and jeans. This version was made with summer weddings in mind.
What's your favourite dress pattern? The one that the moment you've made it up, you want to make all over again - I'd love to know.
Addendum: Sorry, I forgot to say earlier, but the pattern was purchased from lovely Alice of Backstitch. You can find it here.