Let me introduce you to my favourite pattern of all time: By Hand London’s gorgeous Georgia dress.
When I first began sewing I found the Georgia dress pattern on the lovely BHL website, I fell in love. I fell HARD. It was way out of my depth…I wouldn’t dare attempt it. And then a few months ago I thought ‘what the hell, took the plunge and downloaded it. YAY CONFIDENCE.
I so wanted the paper pattern but sadly BHL don’t stock it anymore and I couldn’t find it elsewhere. The PDF version was completely fine, I just like to touch and own very pretty indie paper patterns (and I know I ain’t the only one!)
BHL Georgia dress
I wanted to make this dress in stretch scuba fabric, so even though I managed to avoid installing the zipper with plenty of stretch, I knew I would have to play with the sizing so I measured myself and made the dress a full size smaller. I made a toile first with some plain scuba fabric which worked well and was almost wearable if you couldn’t see my knickers through the fabric, before making it in the most beautiful and slightly thicker scuba from Fabworks which made me feel like a hula girl. There were 13 pattern pieces altogether so I had to be clinical with cutting, measuring and matching, but the pattern instructions were wonderfully written and illustrated so there were no huge issues.
I found that the skirt was a bit too straight for me and I wanted a more hourglass shape, so I cut from 4 inches of each side panel skirt up to the widest part of the dress (hips) to bring it in quite a bit (16 inches around the hem altogether!). On the toile I also found the straps to be a little bit too thick and bulky with scuba fabric so I added a wide length of coral coloured ribbon to create a cute halterneck strap and added a cute peplum to the bottom of the skirt. Scuba is just the PERFECT material for peplum-making!
I loved this pattern so much that I made a second version, sans-peplum, to wear to a friend’s wedding with more Fabworks scuba, this time a gorgeous cobalt blue embossed version. This scuba was a bit thinner than the first version I made, so I figured I could add French seams for tidier and stronger seams.
I made this dress even smaller by another full size, since there was a small bit of looseness around the waist and booty area on Georgia #1, and the tightness around the bust gave me the option to keep it strapless. BHL have a fantastic walkthrough on their website for making a strapless version with boning, but because I’m lazy and because I thought the firm fabric and a bloody good strapless bra already gave me plenty of support up there, I went without. In hindsight, I should have practiced dancing when I tried on the dress because I spent all night pulling my dress up, a very classy look. Maybe I’ll go back and add some straps after all…
Have you made the Georgia dress? Let me know your favourite pattern of all time.
Love, Steph x