Quest for the perfect dress – the Derby

I’ve been buying a few summer dress patterns recently.  I want something comfortable, not fitted, but it needs to be fairly close fitting to suit me.

First up is the Derby dress by Christine Haynes.  I love it and it is so versatile – I wore it to a BBQ on Saturday, then working at home, and walking the dog!  Hetty swam for the first time on the day these pictures were taken – so proud.

Christine Haynes Derby Dress

The fabric is a voile from ebay ( I think it’s Liberty) and I lined it with a red silk cotton mix from Stone Fabrics.

I cut a size 10, which fitted at the bust, but was enormous everywhere else.  Not kind to the hips!  So I took it in at the side seams – nothing at the top grading down to 3 inches each side at the hem.  The princess seams fitted perfectly, and the side seams were at my sides, but the back gaped.  So I took 3 inches off all the way down the back seam.

Christine Haynes Derby Dress 2

I also crossed the back straps, and the dress length is a couple of inches longer than the pattern.  I’m not that tall (5′ 7″) but most dresses are too short on me – one of the reasons I wanted to make my own!

The neckline is a bias strip which extends to form the straps.  I interfaced this as they are very narrow and my fabric is fine.

Derby dress 3

I used my rolled hem foot for the first time on the lining.  I’m very pleased with the tiny hem.

derby 005


Do you have a favourite dress pattern?

15 thoughts on “Quest for the perfect dress – the Derby

  1. That’s gorgeous, and perfect for this weather. I don’t really have a favourite dress pattern, I like too many to have a favourite!

  2. Such a lovely dress and your fabric is so pretty! This is definitely a go to pattern! My favorite pattern has been simplicity 2209, I’ve made at least 5 dresses with it. I am forcing myself to give it a rest for a little while though!

  3. What a lovely dress! You have made a good job of that, it looks fab. My fave dress pattern has to be The Elisalex – I worried about the tulip skirt at first but it’s sooooo flattering 🙂 just finishing one to wear to a wedding next week.

  4. Looks sooo cool and comfy 🙂 I tend to franken-sew, as I don’t like gathered skirts on my 5’2″ frame – but there are so many pretty dress patterns with lovely bodices, so I choose a bodice from one and a half- or full-circle skirt from another! My faves at the mo’ are bodice from Simplicity 1652 and skirt from New Look 6886, which is a WIP for me at present! p.s. I live in Devon too and isn’t it gorgeous in this weather? 😉

  5. This is a lovely dress, I really like it! I don’t have a favourite dress pattern, there are just too many I like, and what I love about sewing is that I can make so many dresses that there is a whole lot to choose from every morning 🙂

  6. Oh, I love this dress, very flattering! (although 3 inches off the back seam is huge!!!). And, YAY Hettie for swimming!! You rock and can now join Kitty when he goes to the beach and swims.

  7. Love the dress! Hmm my favourite pattern would probably be the Silvia Dress by Salme Patterns. I haven’t bought it yet but I love it so much 🙂

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