Thursday, June 16, 2016

Floral Upton Dress


Drama! Intrigue! Tragedy! Redemption! Beauty! 
The tale of this dress has so many plot twists, you may not be able to keep up.


This is the Upton Dress, the first woven pattern from Cashmerette. I was a tester for this pattern, but this version is made from the final pattern. My tester version was made from assorted quilting cotton scraps from my stash (stash busting! woo!) and was not fit for public consumption.


For my Upton, I went with the v-neck (love me a good v-neck), high back and paneled/gored skirt. I am quite delighted with the fit in the bodice. No gaping at the armscye, no need for a swayback adjustment, which I often have to do on dresses. Whoop! The gored skirt is quite pretty, too. I love how it catches the wind. I can also say from my testing experience that the pleated skirt is quite nice, too.


My fabric: this is some digitally printed Italian cotton that I bought here in Bangkok. It's so soft and silky... I loved the electric pink and orange color combination and the large-scale floral (although in retrospect, I'm not sure the background color, a purple-pink-grey is the best on me). I decided not to bother with pattern matching and just let things be, which worked out ok, but not great. I definitely have some prominent giant orange pansy repeats across my abdomen. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.


This was my first time sewing a lined bodice with an invisible zipper... Honestly, I don't make all that many zip-up fit-and-flare dresses, mostly because I don't have anywhere to wear them. Anywho, I can't say I'm an expert at the lining part yet... mostly because I suck at stitching in the ditch and catching the underlayer, but, baby steps, right?


I am also still pretty terrible at invisible zippers. After polling my fellow Instagrammers for invisible zip tips, I tried basting it in first and going very slowly. Success! I was able to get the zip in, lined up, and pretty invisible. However, when trying the dress on to confirm the hem length, the zipper popped... Failure! Tragedy! Devastation!


I let it marinate for a while (almost 3 weeks!) before coming back and unpicking it. Ultimately, I decided to do a lapped zip. The seam allowance for the Upton is only 1/2", but by offsetting the center back zip slightly to allow for the lap (one side uses 3/8" SA, the other side 5/8"), I was able to eke it out. It's not the prettiest; unpicking the zip from the lined bodice made everything a bit tortured. But it got the job done! Redemption!


I forgot what a pain sewing circle-ish hems are. The outside of my hem looks fine, but the inside is a hot mess. Don't look, ok?


In the end, despite the drama of making this dress (no fault of the Upton pattern), in the end I am really happy with it! It's pretty, girly, dramatic, fun... it will be a good wedding guest dress, for sure. 


I'd love to make another Upton in a more casual fabric for everyday wear. And the fact that I don't really to make any fit adjustments makes it extremely likely that I'll actually follow through on this! 

57 comments:

  1. Very pretty and worth all the drama I'm sure.

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    1. Definitely worth it! And thank you!!

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  2. Gorgeous!!! I love a good fit and flare and your fabric choice makes this one divine! Invisible zips are all I know....its been so long since I've done a lapped that I would have to find a tutorial. Do what you know! This dress was so worth the trouble.

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    1. Thanks, Margo! I think it was worth it, too!

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  3. Nice work - dont be so hard on yourself! It looks lovely and i admire your ability to see it through. Is this for the O'Naples wedding? i think the colors would be perfect in NOLA. which reminds me that i need to send you my measurements so we can have matching hammer pants.

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    1. Thanks, lady! I might rock it for the O'Naples wedding... TBD. Yes, send me your measurements!!! My closet is getting full so I need to sew for friends.

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  4. So pretty!Love the fabric and it looks so good on you! :D

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    1. Thanks, Andie! This dress is all about the fabric, for sure.

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  5. You are looking oh so fine! Great fabric & a perfectly fitting pretty frock. Winning combo. Yep, just totally ignore any of the sewing pain!

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    1. Thanks, Anna! Ha ha, I may hold a grudge for a few weeks yet, but I am sure I'll get over it- the fabric is too pretty not to!

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  6. Good work on getting it done despite the drama, intrigue and tragedy! It is so tempting to bag a WIP when it gives you that much trouble but I'm glad you didn't. It is very pretty. My brother is getting married this fall and I am almost certain the Upton is going to be be my wedding guest dress.

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    1. Thanks! I am glad I persevered, too. Upton would look fabulous on you, Masha, I can't wait to see yours!

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  7. This is a great dress! Love the colors, and it fits beautifully. No one would ever know about all the drama that went into it looking at it.

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    1. Thanks, Renee! Worth the drama, for sure!

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    1. Thanks, Nique! The fabric really is an eye-catcher, isn't it?

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    2. It's bold and beautiful. I had overlooked this pattern, but now I might have to snatch it up.

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    3. It's bold and beautiful. I had overlooked this pattern, but now I might have to snatch it up.

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  9. Beautiful! You always choose the most gorgeous fabrics for your dresses with bright colors. You look so amazing in this one!

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    1. Thanks, Tanya! Color lovers unite!

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  10. Wow this is gorgeous! Glad you persevered!

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  11. You look amazing in this dress!! Problems? Drama? No one will ever know. Well, except for those 5 billion people on the internet.

    Don't let this one wait for an occasion. Just wear it. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Noone will know until they compliment me and I complain about what a pain it was and then they are bored to tears hearing about zippers. ;-)

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  12. This dress is gorgeous!! I'm sorry you struggled with it, because I know that can sometimes change your feeling towards something, but seriously Meg, this is beautiful on you!! I really hope you forget about all the construction and wear it. Also, my circle skirt hems are always a hot mess too! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Heather! It'll definitely be worn, drama or no. Haha, glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with circle-y hems!

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  13. Love it. I don't find the pattern repeat noticeable in these photos. I also struggle with getting lined bodies neat and tidy. I like the look of a lapped zipper and they are much sturdier. Hopefully you will forget the drama soon and just be grateful you've always got something on hand for a fancy occasion.

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    1. Thanks, Renee! Glad the pattern repeat isn't too noticeable. The lapped zip does feel quite sturdy!

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  15. This is GORGEOUS!! So beautiful and flattering on you. The fabric is spectacular, and I agree, I wouldn't have noticed the repeat if you hadn't pointed it out - it's one of those fairly abstract prints that just looks like a wash of colors. This sounds like a b*tch of a project, but now you'd never know, it's soooooo beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Inder! This dress is really all about the fabric. I forgive it ;-)

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  16. It is a beauty in shape and fabric. I have recently just used the Sew over it! invisible zipper tutorials online (free) and put the best zip I have ever done in the side of a pair of trousers. Jo x

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    1. Thanks, Jo! I'll have to check that tutorial out. I can't tell if my drama is due to my zipper insertion or just a cheap zipper?

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  17. It was worth it -- your dress is gorgeous! ��

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    1. Thanks, Alli! I think it was worth it, too!

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  18. Just lovely on you. Do you think a 3/4 sleeve for winter wear would work?

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I think a 3/4 sleeve would be lovely, although I think you'd have to redraft the armscye for a sleeve.

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  19. Just lovely on you. Do you think a 3/4 sleeve for winter wear would work?

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  20. Just lovely on you. Do you think a 3/4 sleeve for winter wear would work?

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  21. I love the fabric you picked. Circley skirts are tricky!

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    1. Thanks!! I agree re: circle skirt hems!!

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  22. Your dress is lovely on you! I can't imagine changing a thing. Now, to learn to sew well enough to eventually make one of my own.

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    1. Thanks, Jan! You can do it! You end up with a couple wadders at the beginning, but practice helps!

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  23. Your dress is so pretty! I love that fabric and I really didn't notice any weird pattern placement at all. Sorry the zipper gave you a hard time! It's so hard to make yourself go back and fix those things-- I know from experience! It was worth it, though!

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    1. Thanks, Teri! Glad the pattern placement isn't noticeable! I think going back and fixing the zip was worth it, but, man, unpicking that old zip from the line bodice: yuck.

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  24. But, Meg... all the heart eyes for this make! ALL!

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  25. Oh, the drama and the twists! I'm glad you stuck it out because this is stunning and you look beautiful in it! I love the gored skirt - it's great. g

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    1. Thanks!! I'm glad I stuck with it, too ;-)

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  26. Such a roller coaster, but in the end a triumph!

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    1. Every once in a while you get a project like that... but glad I saw it through!

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  27. You may know where all the mistakes are, but to those of us who are just seeing it... Beautiful. I love the fabric and the style on you. BRAVO!!

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  28. Well the end result is just gorgeous!! Hot pink and orange are one of my favorite color combinations. Such a beautiful print!

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  29. WOW I love your dress, fabric and everything. I know what you mean about zips....just finished a bomber jacket with zips everywhere! I think I'll make one like yours this Summer! Thanks for the inspiration.

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