Thursday 13 October 2011


The Catriona Dress

When Maia's lovely nursery nurse asked me a couple weeks ago if I could make her a dress for her brother's wedding, I admit I baulked at the idea. Making clothes for other adults who don't share my rough measurements is hugely outside my comfort zone. But Catriona is so sweet, and she was a bit distressed about being unable to find anything off the rails, and it's her brother's wedding and therefore majorly important to her, so I said I'd try.

catriona dress unmodelled

She brought an old dress that she wanted me to copy, and I made some changes to make it more flattering.

catriona dress darts

The original dress was elasticated along the top edge to keep it up, but I eliminated the elastic and substituted three overbust darts onto each size so it would mold around her curves rather than cut into them. The fabric has a bit of stretch so the top edge is stabilised with twill tape.

catriona dress waistband

The original dress was empire line but being large of bust, the seam hit across the bust rather than under it. Empire lines in ready-to-wear almost always hit the large of bust at the wrong place. Ask me how I know :) So I eliminated the empire line and added a curved waistband instead for more waist definition. If I'd had more time I would have liked to see what it looked like with a single-coloured band rather than a matching one.

catriona dress skirt

The skirt is gored (twelve of them) and super-full. The circumference was nearly three and a half metres!

catriona dress modelled

And here it is yesterday at the last fitting (pre-hemming and zipper). She loves it so much that I'm happy I accepted the challenge. I can't wait to see the professional shots without light switches and carpet detritus.


  1. That's stunning, so much better than anything off the rack. I'm just hoping my son's nursery nurses don't follow your blog. They think I'm great cause I made some book bags!

  2. You are so amazing! I've always said you should get into ladies dresses ... you know what I mean!

  3. Beautiful. You a blessing to your large busted sisters.

  4. That's lovely, it's a beautiful fit :)

  5. What an excellent frock!

    See, told you you could do it.

  6. Gorgeous dress and fabric - I bet she was thrilled!

  7. You know it's *my* brothers wedding in May and I have nothing to wear ;)

  8. That is a beautifully made dress!