Monday, May 11, 2015

A Finished Felicity Dress

I finished my Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren this weekend. I slipped it on for these photos and then promptly took it off because in this household, a white linen dress is a luxury item. The entire ten minutes I wore it, I was sure the baby was going to throw up on me or one of the big boys would grab onto my skirt with peanut butter (or worse) on their hands. I escaped, but needless to say, this won't be my go-to mom outfit.

But a girl needs a little handmade luxury, right?

I've had this white linen for a very long time. Like before I started sewing and even had a machine long time.

I'm not gonna lie, friends. This dress was a struggle. Not because the pattern was bad--nope. The pattern was clear and easy to understand. It was a struggle because it didn't fit my body perfectly the way the pattern was written, and I don't have a ton of apparel experience to know what to adjust. The kajillion tutorials on altering garments were also kind of useless because I didn't know what didn't fit, just that it didn't. Cue some extremely frustrated evenings spent staring at this dress and begging it to cough up the information and let me know what to fix.

I started with coming to terms with the fact that the bodice was much too large. At least one size, possibly two, though I went with the size my measurements suggested. I made a muslin of the bodice, but I struggled with knowing how much space would disappear when the zip was added. Apparently I just need to make a practice dress with each pattern. Next time, I'll make a size down. I'll also try raising the waistline an inch, and today I discovered Jennifer Lauren has posted a bunch of alteration tutorials for this dress, which is all sorts of awesome. (And I already have the fabric for the next one, woo!)

By the time I'd come to all of these conclusions, I'd put in the lapped zip and finished off my exposed seams with bias tape, and there was no way I was ripping out that zip to make more complicated fixes that might not actually fix anything. I did go back and sew in the side seams about a half an inch on each side to bring the bodice in closer. I threw in some additional gathers to the neckline. I also shortened the hemline because I'm on the short side.
All together, those minor fixes made the garment look less marshmallow and more dress. And with a cardigan on top, I rather like it. (Since I adore cardigans and try to wear them every moment of every day, that's not really an inconvenience.)

This is finish 4 of 14 for my Q2 FAL list.


  1. Pockets! And they blend right in, too - score! I think it looks really nice on you, with or without cardigan although I am always cold so layering makes a ton of sense.

  2. You rock. I am so scared of apparel sewing. I hide from it. But you braved it, and you look awesome.

  3. this is such a cute dress. Go, Audrey! :D

  4. I totally get your struggle here, that's why I tend to stay away from apparel, no matter what it doesn't fit and I can't even figure out what it is about it that doesn't fit in order to fix it. I think you did a wonderful job on this dress though, that fabric is so fun! I would love to see a sassy belt with this dress, that's how I've always fixed my "homemade dress" problems :)

  5. The dress is lovely and the fabric is beautiful, a nice dress for going out. If you get a chance, consider some dressmaking classes - you can learn a lot in person from a good teacher. The dress looks good on you, but I do know how it feels when you know it should fit and feel better on. Great finish! I'm helping Adrianne with the FAL and I am to say that I am visiting as part of the 2015 FAL Cheerleading Team.


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