Ooh I’m excited to share this dress with you today! It might be my new favorite! This is the Derby dress by Christine Haynes. I grabbed the pattern from the Indie Sew shop shortly after I sewed Christine’s Marianne dress. That one fit me so well, and the pattern and instructions for the Marianne were perfect, I was excited to sew another one of Christine’s patterns.
The Derby dress was not nearly as easy a sew, not because of the directions or the pattern itself, I just had to make a handful of modifications for it to fit me well. I knew right away that I wanted to sew it as a maxi dress. I had seen Oona’s maxi version and loved it! The pattern doesn’t have pieces for a maxi version, I just lengthened each piece, extending them so that they would come down to my ankles.
My measurements put me in between a size 4 and 6, so I cut the pattern in between those two sizes. I sewed the dress up, tried it on, and had a funny underarm gaping issue. You could peer right into my dress, so I grabbed the seam ripper and started to take apart the top half. It’s hard to see in this busy print, but this is a princess seamed dress. The princess seams were not running right along my bust, so I needed to take out 1.5 inches from the center pattern piece on either side. I also took in the side seams by .5 inches.
These fixes worked and corrected all of my gaping issues. The fabric I used is a super lightweight rayon challis I grabbed from the imagine gnats shop. This fabric is perfect for our really hot Florida summers.
The first day I wore this dress was to Disney for about 6 hours! By the end of the day, the fabric had stretched out a bit (I’m not sure if it was due to the humidity or the weight of this dress, there’s a lot of fabric here)! So I went back and added a piece of elastic across the top of the back to help give the dress some support.
I used a piece of 1.5 inch elastic, measured across the back from side seam to side seam, and cut my elastic 2 inches shorter than the back measurement. I then pinned the elastic in place, stretching it out to make it fit. Once the elastic was pinned (I used about 1 pin every inch across the back) I sewed several rows of straight stitches, stretching the elastic as I sewed! The elastic fixed everything, making this a super comfortable dress!
Silhouettes can be a fun thing to play with. When I am standing still, without a breeze, this dress looks a little tent like (which is probably why I like it, it’s so comfortable). But the rayon challis has so much movement, that as soon as I walk a little, or as soon as the wind blows, the dress looks so flattering!
Okay…here’s a quick run down of the sewing info:
Pattern: Christine Haynes Derby Dress
Size / Modifications: In between size 4 and 6 and many modifications –
- remove 1.5 inches from both sides of front seam
- remove .5 inch from side seams
- add 1.5 inch elastic to back for support
- lengthened pattern to maxi dress
The Derby Dress pattern was provided to me by Indie Sew as a part of their blogger team. As always, all opinions are my honest and true opinions!