An Orla Affair Offering

11:52 PM

During my July sewing sprint, I noticed a sewalong/contest on Instagram (yes, I've finally joined the modern world and now have an Instagram account - you can find me at sewmelwyk if you are also on IG).

So, did I have time to join this sewalong in addition to the weekly contests over at the Monthly Stitch? Sure, why not!


Well, I did end up sewing a lot this month, but it was all -- almost all -- really fun and resulted in some great new dresses. This is one of them.

The Orla Dress is a pattern by French Navy Now. It was her first pattern release, and so is a free download if you want to join in on the fun. It's a basic bodice with waist darts and gathered skirt, and is easily hacked, as shown by the many examples you can find by searching the hashtags #anorlaaffair or #theorladress on IG.

For my attempt at this dress, I used a length of multicoloured rayon given to me in the recent stash cull by a friend's mom which I've mentioned previously. My adaptations were to add in side seam pockets and to add some width to the waist, as I had concerns about the sizing -- it seems to be designed for smaller people in general.


However, I had plenty of room and probably didn't need to add an inch at each side; I would have been comfortably fit with only 1/2" extra, for a closer fit look. Next time I'll do that.

The dress is simple, which I like. It has a rounded neckline, and straightforward short sleeves. The finishing on the neckline is a bias facing, and I was a little bit tired and inattentive while sewing and ended up stretching the neckline while attaching the facing, especially on the right side. I tried it on, realized, and grumbled, thinking that I'd have to unpick the bias and take it up a bit at the shoulder to make it lie flat. Unfortunately -- but fortunately before I'd unpicked it -- I realized that it would make the neckline look uneven if I did so.

So, once again, pleats/tucks/darts come to the rescue. I fiddled with it a bit and tried some different approaches, deciding on this final look with two pleats at either side of the neckline. It pulls the neckline into a squarish shape, which I think gives a vintage vibe. Then I added some vintage buttons to top it off and make the pleats look like a design feature, there on purpose!


It's a comfortable, cool dress -- loose fitting and in a light rayon. I love the colour and I know this forgiving silhouette means that I'll wear this often. There are a lot of changes I'd make if I make this one up again -- I'd use a fabric with slightly more body, and sew it up with a more fitted bodice as it's intended to have. This rendition is still wearable and summery, though, and I'll wear it.







I had fun trying out a new pattern and a new designer, and thanks to the organizers of this challenge for pushing me to make it sooner rather than later.

Have you made an Orla? Do you have a favourite free pattern to share?


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4 comments

  1. This style of dress really suits you and the fabric is so pretty. Nice fix on the neckline.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Beverly! I'm glad the neckline worked because this dress is such a comfy outfit to wear.

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  2. Your new summer dresses have all been so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Eileen! I do love a pretty floral :)

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