Emmaline Dress: Orange Picnic Version
A few months ago, I went a little gingham-crazy and added several (ok, maybe 6) gingham pieces to my fabric stash, including this orange colorway. It’s 100% cotton and fairly thick and stiff, but not so much that it feels like home decor fabric. Guinevere refers to gingham as “picnic fabric” (too many cartoons?)
Personally, I don’t like to wear orange myself. It doesn’t do my complexion any favors, but it really makes Guinevere’s skin and eyes take on a beautiful glow. I forsee myself adding plenty of orange (and coral) to her wardrobe in the coming years.
This pattern is the Emmaline Dress from Violette Fields Threads. I bought the printed version of the pattern which has a lovely glossy instruction booklet with full-color photos throughout.
My fabric may be a bit thicker than would have been suggested for the pattern. It hangs somewhat lower in the back than the front from the weight of the fabric dragging on the elastic (and the grass in the picture isn’t helping at all). She’s pretty dainty, so she picks up her skirt nicely when needed.
I thought attaching those bottom ruffles would be much more tedious than it turned out to be. They are all gathered together as one, so it wasn’t much more work than doing just one ruffle, other than narrow-hemming each layer. As for the rest of the pattern, it went together pretty easily, including making self-fabric bias tape for the neck and under-arm edges. I would suggest changing the order of adding the elastic to the back bodice so that the skirt is sewn on before the elastic is inserted into the casings. It would have been easier to get the skirt onto the bodice if it hadn’t been all scrunched from the elastic.
If you like this look, but don’t happen to have a small girl to dress, there is a misses version of this pattern. I haven’t bought the misses version of the pattern, but I’m definitely tempted. There’s certainly enough gingham in my stash now for it.
Lastly (at risk of stirring a pot), if you happen to look at McCall’s current collection of kid’s patterns, you might see something that looks an awful lot like the Emmaline pattern. I can see when a trend takes off that there might be some overlap in pattern offerings, just like there is in trendy clothing offerings. On the other hand, the sample McCall’s dress “just happens” to be of a similar fabric to the Violette Fields Threads version (which was definitely the first of the two). Also there are two views on the McCall’s pattern and it “happens” to be the view that more closely resembles the Emmaline pattern that “happens” to have the similar fabric. It makes me a little suspicious as to where McCall’s got the inspiration for their pattern. I’m purposely not linking to it. Big 4 have their place, and I have a long-history of using (and loving) them, but I do wonder about the corporate-ness of it. If it were the other way around and an indie designer put out a pattern that was extremely similar to a Big 4 pattern and just happened to make up their samples in a fabric very similar to the Big 4 company’s pattern…how fast would a major corporate lawyer call with a threat?