High Flying

Some of you may remember my elephant Pleiades… well, I made the dress that that was the toile for, and have posted it on Minerva for everyone to see. As I received the fabric for free, it is there that the blog post about the fabric belongs, and if you pop over there you’ll see that it wasn’t all plain sailing with the fabric, despite the fact that it is now completely beloved.

However, as I made some major adjustments to the pattern, I decided that I’d be able to go into further detail about those adjustments here on this blog. For, as you may remember, there was a few issues within the pattern (Pleiades 1 by French Poetry), namely around the armsyce and sleeve head, that needed some attention.

I decided I did not want to have gathers around the sleevehead, and I also wanted to raise the armhole, which was sitting very low on me. After humming and hawing about how to actually do this, I decided to use an armsyce and arm that I knew suited me: the Azaire from Gather Kits . I carefully superimposed the Azaire over the Pleiades (taking care to ensure that I balanced the notches correctly, as the back piece of the Pleiades wraps over the shoulder) and used that to create a better shoulder and armsyce shape. My changes ended up raising the armsyce by an inch. I did have my reservations about it – if I’d had more time I would have made a second toile, but in the end it worked marvellously and I am so, so happy not to have gathers on my sleevehead. I understand that it’s pretty, but in reality it just doesn’t feel like me. I also reduced the shoulder width by 1cm (possibly another centimetre would have been perfect) and lengthened the main sleeve length by 1 inch. Now I am so happy with the finished shape of the armsyce and the shoulders, so all ended well.

Now, this latter adjustment was because I wanted the lantern sleeves to sit further down my arm than they were going to. I imagined my elbow being in the middle of the lantern. Unfortunately, I forgot that I’d raised my armsyce by 1″ so any advantage of the lengthening was lost, and I think had I realised this and added another inch or two to the sleeve length then the dress would have been even more perfect. I feel, right now, that the sleeves are just ever so slightly too short. Saying this, however, when I look at the photos it has ceased to bother me, so it too has turned out alright.

I want to sum up what this dress feels like to wear. In this, I feel like me but more so. I feel enhanced. The fabric is so light and it feels extremely special next to the skin. It lifts me, and the romance is just perfect. Our friends held their wedding over zoom just before the restrictions came into force, and Joey and I sat in front of the computer screen and watched the perfect ceremony from afar. I felt like a million dollars in my dress, and very very much look forward to wearing it to more weddings next year. A huge thank you to Minerva for sending me this fabric (and for being so good over the dye issue). I absolutely love the dress, and I hope you enjoy looking at further photos.

Earlier this year I ran a naming ceremony for our lovely friend’s Maureen and Chris, and as a thanks Maureen gifted me a photography session with her. She is a very talented photographer and I decided to ‘cash in’ the token to photograph this very special dress. She’s done wonders, and the resulting photos are just perfect. We chose a huge, swan populated loch as our background, and it’s just worked perfectly. Thank you so much Maureen!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. smw166 says:

    I’ve got this pattern to make, I’m about to do a toile . It looks like you put some piping between the bodice and the skirt which looks lovely. It’s beautiful. Kind regards Susie


    1. Thanks Susie! Yes, I thought the piping would highlight that curve between skirt and bodice. There’s more details about that on the Minerva blog! Good luck with yours!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. smw166 says:

        Hi again, I’ve got very confused at the first hurdle with this pattern. Are the cutting instructions right? They seem to have 44″ material folded in half and then be able to get pieces 1,4 & 3 out of it. My fabric is 50″ and when folded in half I can’t even get piece 4 out of it! What did you do? xxx


      2. Hi! So, I had to cut piece 4 on a single layer. To be honest I tend not to follow cutting layouts, as I find I can get the best use of fabric from just fitting the pieces in as I can, but I remember for the skirt front I cut out on a single layer – especially because I lengthened it and so the pattern piece was even wider.
        Hope that helps! Can’t wait to see your versions

        Liked by 1 person

      3. smw166 says:

        Yes that does help, I’m going to lengthen it too, single layer it is. Many thanks Susie xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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