I'm so pleased to have finished this dress, because it's perfect for the hot summery weather we're been having in Sydney. I've pretty much recovered from the appendectomy, but I'm still avoiding anything that cuts in or rubs on my waist, so the Pia and Maya dresses have been perfect and now I'm enjoying wearing this too. I have a bad habit of finishing summer dresses at the end of summer (see: here, here, here and here), so it feels like an achievement to get one made while it's still hot.
The details: this is, of course, the Alder Dress from Grainline patterns. I bought the paper version of the pattern from Indie Stitches because it looked like there would be a LOT of taping involved for the print-at-home PDF.
I chose the gathered-skirt version because I thought it would be more flattering and comfortable on a bottom-heavy figure. As with the other Grainline patterns I've made this is really well drafted - the pieces fit together as they should and there are notches and clear instructions. I referred to the more detailed instructions on the sew-a-long for a couple of steps. I had never sewn a collar with a stand before, and was happy that it wasn't as fiddly as I had feared. The bust dart is way too low on me - next time I make this I'll raise it by about 4cm, but as this has pockets over the top it isn't too noticeable (and I've realised that many bust darts on ready-to-wear are too low for me anyway). I was between sizes so cut a size 4 at the bust and a size 6 for the waist and hips. Like the Moss mini this dress is on the short side - I cut the size 6 skirt pieces to the length of the size 18, which gave me a couple of extra inches.
I made it in a cotton-linen chambray from Remnant Warehouse - I can't find it on their website now, but it was really reasonable and has a nice handle. Despite the linen content it doesn't crumple much, which is a bonus, but is light and cool to wear. The buttons are from Buttons Buttons Buttons in the Rocks - it's an excellent shop, with really good stock and helpful staff. These are unused vintage buttons, apparently from the USA and 1950s. We were in the Rocks to visit the Susannah Place museum (which is really excellent - if you're in Sydney it's definitely worth a visit. We all loved having a glimpse of how people lived in the olden days) so I was very happy to realise I could pick up buttons for my almost-finished dress at the same time and avoid a trip to the horror that is Spotlight.
I'm not sure if I'll make the A-line (ungathered) version of this dress, but having got over my fear of collars I'm quite tempted to sew an Archer shirt some time soon. But at the moment I'm focusing on using up fabric that's been lingering in the stash - it feels good to get neglected material out of the spare room and in to a wardrobe.