I didn’t think this print of figures under umbrellas in heavy rain was going to be of much interest to anyone but myself and maybe a few who sew. But there I was, in Split, Croatia, feeling pretty cool in this light silk (from Simply Fabrics at £8 a metre) during a month-long spell of high temperatures that threatened to break 100-year records, and both the long-suffering locals and exhausted-looking tourists would occasionally give it wistful or WTF glances.
It’s very Londony! In fact, when I got back to London I was treated to two entire days of dingy skies and the exact same rain as in the print, including a total drenching a long way from home during blackberry-picking!
I shouldn’t have had any issues with sewing Dahlia. It’s my third. I knew how much to trim off the neckline so the bra straps are in line with the dress straps (Summer Dahlia sorted that). I knew to lower the armholes and interface the waist yoke but to omit the yoke lining which adds too much bulk for the zip to glide. And the silk, which behaved perfectly between needle and plate, promised to give the drape with which to achieve the sultriness promised on the envelope art. So, in expectation of perfect results, I started with the skirt, patiently sewing French seams at all the vertical joins. I used scraps to practice the blind hem on my machine (Notice my stitches look rather like the lashings of rain…) But having sewed the skirt, just as I was a mouse-click away from buying a nice cashmere cardigan to match – oh sweet hubris! – I got round to the bodice and found the waist yokes simply didn’t match the bodice in width. ‘Hang on‘, thought I as I tried to cobble new pieces together from scraps, ‘didn’t this happen before?’ When making my Winter Dahlia, I assumed the same kind of shortfall was my fault because I didn’t cut the lining yoke on the bias, or something. So I did some belated research.
‘My yoke isn’t wide enough for bodice back!’ said a similarly-challenged seamstress commenting on the Dahlia Sew Along, Part 6.
‘Maybe you’ve forgotten to sew the back darts on the bodice,’ the Sewalong replied.
(You know, I think I’d notice that!)
‘Maybe I’ve cut them upside down‘.
Sadly, in describing a myriad other problems with the pattern, many bloggers blamed themselves, as I did too, initially. But I’m getting the big picture. It’s not us. It’s Dahlia. Do you have a pattern that’s just toxic? One that keeps tempting you back like a glamorous friend that turns up asking to sleep on your sofa and you think ‘Great!’ forgetting how last time she invited all her dodgy mates back for a party and trashed the place while you were at work…
But it’s not all gloom! Despite the crude upper half (both the back and front bodice just seem to sag), I enjoy wearing this dress. It’s soft yet cool against the skin (and not at all sheer). With an old cardie from the collection, it’s warm enough for the cold summer days that inevitably await. And I discovered upon returning from the holiday that the dress is perfect for my almost-forgotten Lapis Lazuli necklace.
Link: an almost-forgotten, brooding, perfect rain song by the Eurythmics