Greetings from Canada! 🍁 The borders recently reopened for international travel, so I jumped a the chance to visit and meet my boyfriend Simon in Canada for a mini road trip. Obviously I needed to make a new dress for the trip, so when Minerva gifted me 3.5m of this floaty, heart-print rayon challis for my #MinervaMake this month, I set to work — head over to Minerva to read up my blog post or scroll down for more details and photos!

This gorgeous rayon challis had been sitting in my Minerva saved items for quite a while, so I was thrilled for the chance to make a garment with it. The background is a light and creamy shade of white, with these scattered scarlet hearts printed on — it’s very pretty and delicate. The structure of this rayon is light and floaty, with a smooth hand. The fabric isn’t totally opaque, so I would recommend lining it too. Make sure you take your time when cutting and pinning this fabric — I used my extra-sharp silk pins to avoid any snags — and I used a microtex needle and my walking foot when sewing.

I initially cut out the By Hand London Tamzin dress to make this pattern, but changed my mind halfway through sewing up the bodice (whoops). I umm-ed and ahh-ed a little bit, before landing on New Look 6262 (now out of print). This dress has a darted bodice with either a v-neck or boat neckline, with a full gathered skirt and sleeve options. I went for View B, as the elegant boat neckline was calling to me, but decided to change up the sleeves a little; I used the Tilly and the Buttons Indigo flounce sleeves to make this classic style a little more exciting.

I had already cut out the waist ties of the Tamzin dress and I thought it would be a shame to waste them, so I added them into this dress at the side seams. I also added pockets to the side seams of the skirt, mainly because I love adding pockets to dresses and it also feels odd that they aren’t included in this pattern? In terms of fit, I made a FBA to the bodice and cut out a size 12; there is plenty of ease factored into this pattern, so maybe next time I could size down.

I breezed through the construction of this dress without any hiccups. The rayon holds the gathers so beautifully, but it was a bit of a nightmare inserting the invisible zip. I honestly have never met an invisible zip that liked me back… For the flounce sleeves, I opted for a rolled hem using my overlocker, which is the first time I have tried this technique!

I am so happy with my finished dress, it feels very ‘me’. I can see myself picking this dress out for work or for meeting my friends for brunch. I am planning to make another version of this dress in a French Navy cotton lawn.
Now I must dash, it’s breakfast time here in Montréal and maple syrup pancakes are calling to me!

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