Yup. I went there.
And I’m not sorry.
I’ve been really committed to making more fen and inari dresses, but have been recently sidelined into making a few more separates (practical, sensible). But I think Me Made May has taught me I really need to double down on more fun and more colour.
Even if color only means blue and white. 😉
And, since I’ve not got a whole lot of time on my have at the moment (moving house, ugh) I thought a mash up of these two beauties would be a quick + satisfying make.
I love it when I’m right.
I started with the fen dress as my base and pretty much traced the whole thing out as per pattern in size 4. I then copied over the inari’s neckline and shoulders onto the fen. I left the original fen ‘sleeves’ as is and cut the whole thing out.
I was going to stop there, but the sleeves in this fabric were just a bit too overwhelming on me so I cut 2″ off each sleeve hem, turning them into capped sleeves. The edit has led to a bit of unwanted flashing at the side.
But it’s nothing that a small bar tack won’t fix (I hadn’t gotten round to getting that done for these photos).
So basically this is now the ideal dress to throw on for those perfectly lazy summer picnics and bbqs.
Gingham equals summer to me so I went for this gingham-esque wide check I had in my stash (look familiar? I used it last year to make a Beatrix). It’s a medium weight cotton blend with a bit of a light seersucker effect. I think I bought it on eBay rather cheap with the idea of making a summer dress.
I skipped the facing and lined the whole bodice using the most delicious, soft voile from John Lewis. Obviously the facing would have been fine, but I’m just experimenting with a few different finishes.
The lining was really straightforward – I copied the front and back bodice in voile and then just assembled as per pattern instructions. I then placed the finished bodice against the finished voile bodice, right sides together, and stitched at the neck.
The voile sleeves and hem were finally slip stitched to their bodice counterparts. The skirt sections were finished on the ol serger. Simples.
The only snafu in the whole construction was that I stupidly (lazily) didn’t stay stitch the neckline and, of course, it stretched out. I’m still really quite cross with myself – stay stitching would have taken all of 5 minutes. When will I learn not to cut corners!?!
So despite my snafu, I’m really happy with how this came out. It’s my first attempt at meshing two patterns together. Maybe you can’t count swapping necklines as a true mash up, but I’m going to take this as a win.
I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?
Fabric: dress: cotton blend from ebay (probably regency rags), lining: white voile from John Lewis
What did you like most about the pattern?
I’m a fully subscribed fangirl of both the fen and inari patterns, so I think this was a nice way to try and smoosh them both together. The experiment has definitely given me more confidence to experiment with a few more franken-patterns
What did you change in the pattern or construction?
- Swapped the fen neckline for the inari neckline
- Cut 2″ off the sleeve hem (and planning on placing a small bar tack under the arm just to keep from showing my bra to the whole world)
- Went for a straight hem by ignoring the curve on the front skirt piece (I just cut straight across) and copied the front skirt hem onto the back skirt hem to make sure they were even
- Lined the bodice instead of using facings
What ARE you most proud of?
I’ve not really done much pattern hacking or had much pattern mashing experience, but I’m trying to push myself to try new things. So I guess I’m really happy that I managed to translate something from my head to real life via a bit of light franken-patterning.
If I hadn’t been so fricken lazy and stay stitched the neckline I think this would have come out even better.
What would you do differently next time?
I’m happy with how this came out and probably need to move on to a different dress pattern now. I still really love the pockets on this so I may think about how I use either the pockets or the skirt in future makes.