Tuesday, July 8, 2014

FINISHED: Mint Gingham Emery

There's nothing like 50+ likes on Instagram to make a relatively introverted, normal gal feel like a rock star. This dress, my mint gingham Emery (sans sleeves) garnered 53 likes when I debuted it on Sunday, June 29. Wow. 

I bought four yards of this 1" mint gingham from Denver Fabrics. It's a poly/cotton blend which usually I don't like, but I loved the color and just had to have it. I underlined the entire garment in white cotton muslin.

After my Peony bodice fitting conundrum, I took the same logic and applied it to the Emery bodice, and it worked 100%. I did a small FBA on the size in between my high bust and low bust (so size 12) and it fit beautifully. I did lower the darts a bit but otherwise no other adjustments were made. 

After taking an Instagram vote, I went with sleeveless plus bow, although I can't wear a belt. I thought about some way to make it removable but decided just to tack it down.

I left off the sleeves (more practical in the heat) and finished the neckline and armholes with gingham bias binding.

For the hem, I zig-zagged 1/2" from the edge, turned the hem 2" and stitched, then pinked just for added anti-fraying.

I'm really pleased with my first ever Hong Kong seam finish! This is the center back seam below the zipper. Those zig-zags are from attaching the underlining (I think). Really pretty!

AND it wouldn't be a handmade garment if I didn't encounter a glaring flaw in my construction! Here it is. I'm going to blame the multiple layers of fabric on this one, but in reality there was a moment where I thought to myself that I should take the time to redo my pins, but then I went ahead. Next time I'll listen.

I wore this this past Sunday as well. Despite making sure that waist had enough "singing" ease, I still felt like this was a bit snug, maybe from the underlining. I also went back after making this and removed 3/4" from the bodice length which will help with the waist ease a bit.

This is a fabulous pattern for a beginner! Even though this version doesn't have sleeves, my muslins did and I have to say they are the easiest sleeves to ease EVER. There's practically zero ease in the sleeve cap so the entire process from gathering to stitching is so easy. 

I also added some additional notches just to keep my skirt back pieces straight - not necessary but helpful. Overall, a beautifully flattering pattern and super simple to sew up!

Pattern: Christine Haynes Emery
Size: size 12 bodice/14 waist, 3/4" FBA, lowered both bodice front darts, removed 3/4" length on bodice, size 14 skirt, size 12 sleeve.
Fabric: poly/cotton 1" mint gingham + white cotton muslin for underlining
Notions: Organ 80/12 needle; Gutermann Mara 100; regular zip; Wonder Tape for zipper; fusible knit tricot for zip seam allowance.


  1. I love the gingham! I too love to use basic fabrics that have been on the shelves for ever. Such as simple prints, dots, and checks. These are not seen in the RTW but to me never go out of style. Dress looks great, job well done.

    1. Thank you! This is my first gingham garment and I really like it. It's "vintage" without being cartoonish. Thanks for reading & commenting!

  2. This dress looks awesome! Nothing says summer dress like gingham.
    Did you change anything with arm scythe to make it sleeveless?

    1. Thank you! Christine recommends it in her sewalong, but I didn't find I needed to add any length to the side seam on this one. The bias binding is stitched at maybe 1/4" then turned under, not a regular 5/8" so that helps.

      Have you made a muslin of the bodice? You could always just trim away the 5/8" to check it and then go with 1/4" if it seems too low. Or stitch at 1/4" then again at 5/8" to eyeball it.