Why thank you, don't mind if I do!
That is totally how I felt about testing this pattern for Ann over at 1 Puddle Lane when I saw the tester call.
Ann, featured above in one of her pleated versions, looks amazing! This dress screams ladylike whilst being an absolute chameleon. It is fabulous made up in all manner of fabrics from silk to cotton voile, sateen or denim! The pattern features:
A fitted Panelled Bodice
A - DD cup sizing
Back invisible zip
Lined or Unlined Options
Gathered or Pleated Options
Sizes 6 - 20
I wanted to get started straight away. However before I cut into my pretty fabric, I worked closely with Ann to sort out my fitting issues. Let's let's face it none of us have the perfect shaped body, no matter our size, so a toile is pretty much every smart sewists first step - it will save you money, time and your sanity in the long run, no matter how boring they seem! And I had the usual fitting adjustments - gaping neckline, rounded shoulders and sway back. I made a size 14 above the bust and sixteen below. I cut a DD cup and it was pretty much spot on - YAY!
Ann helpfully posted a number of tutorials on her blog on how to remedy sway backs, small necklines etc. Ann was patient and held our hands along the way - Thanks for sharing your knowledge and time Ann!
To show how much Ann is committed to making your experience with the Miss Audrey a positive one, she is running a sew-a-long starting on the 1st December, so you'll have a brand new frock by Christmas! What a great present to yourself. To sign up for the Sew-a-Long, where updates will be sent to your registered email account every few days, hop on over to the 1 Puddle Lane blog here and sign up - bonus, it's free!!! Ann is providing advice on toiles, finishing industry tips and setting up a Facebook page so you can work, learn, communicate and share with others on the Sew-a-Long too. I have to say that being a tester, that is my favourite part - being a part of a group that shares the same passions and likemindedness as I do. It's so great to know you are not alone - and yes, we are all as crazy as each other... Ha ha, just joking (a little bit...)
What do I love about this pattern? Again, like the Marbella Dress I recently tested this has A-DD cup sizing, and on my ample girls this is a huge and time saving win for me. I also loved that this dress came with a gathered or pleated full skirt. I had been hankering for a dress with a full gathered skirt for our Australian Summer and this was the one! Be aware though that heavier materials like denim, cotton sateen and corduroy would be better suited to the pleated skirt, less bulk sitting at the waist.
Also on the plus is that you can either fully line or just add facings to this dress. Facings you say...blah??? Not these ones, Ann has drafted these to fully enclose under the armhole so they are almost like a short bodice lining. I love them as they don't flip out or move around.
I made not one, but two dresses from the Miss Audrey.
My first dress is made from a lovely floral digital print stretch cotton poplin. It had an almost stiff papery feel to it prior to washing but upon washing, and even more so with wearing, it softens beautifully and is about as light as paper to wear - biggest bonus - not see through! No skirt lining required = perfect summer dress in Queensland.
There is not much more to say about this dress except that I LOVE IT! Seriously when I wear this dress everyone comments on it and asks where I am going? I have been tempted to make up stuff just because people look so disappointed or deflated when I say I'm not going anywhere special - errands, school drop off, groceries, etc. Wow, that does sound depressing - think I might need to spice up my life a bit???!!! Haha.
My second dress is from a gorgeous thin to mid-weight dotted chambray. This fabric is just gorgeous, the sheen on that chambray is bee-uutiful! This fabric isn't as light and therefore has less drape than my first dress. So I think it makes me look heavier and it definitely needs a defining point for the waist - I think. Never the less, this is the perfect dress for looking smart and I love that I can wear my favourite brown accessories with it.
Oh, I forgot to mention my dislikes of the Miss Audrey??? Hmmmm, maybe that it takes me longer than one day to sew one up! Seriously, there is nothing to dislike! Once you have her fitted to your personal shape it's just a matter of sitting down and sewing her up!
If you would like to purchase your own copy of the Miss Audrey Dress, sign up for the sew-a-long and gather inspiration from the other Blog Tour participants - be sure to stop over at 1 Puddle Lane. Can't wait to see what you do!
Will sign off with this last outtake photo for a bit of a giggle. I'm calling it my 'Something about Mary moment!' It looks like I have some 'special' hair product in but it is thankfully just the wind having a bit of fun!