I might have mentioned before that the Eva dress by Tessuti is one of my all time favourites. I have been sewing it for years and one of the summer versions I made a few years ago needed replacing.

I have seen the Eva made up successfully in prints, but I think it is best suited to plain fabric to show off the top stitched seams. I had some medium weight linen marinating in my stash that fit the bill nicely. It is a light-ish indigo, just a little more purple than a straight dark blue. I pretty much love all shades of purple, especially the more subtle ones. Purple suits redheads almost as much as grey.

So here is the result.






If you are interested in the sewing details, they are on PatternReview.

On a roll, I decided I wanted another summer dress. It is so hot at the moment and dresses are definitely the coolest option for work wear. Cotton batik is a superb choice for hot weather, cool and not as high maintenance as linen can be, and I had a lovely piece that I bought as a remnant from a roll of sheeting. It was only 85cm, but 2.8m wide, so enough for a dress. I would have been tempted to make another Eva, as the painterly batik was different enough to the plain linen not to be too obvious, and with the flowing colours there was no problem with an awkwardly chopped up print, but unfortunately the Eva is a little fabric hungry and there was no way to cut it efficiently from such a narrow and long piece.

So I had a look for a pattern I could use, and found the Iris dress, which is a variation of the Eva.


The bodice looks the same, but the skirt only has one horizontal seam. A four-piece skirt produces less fabric waste than one with eight, and as I am rather keen on bubble shapes at the moment it was settled.

Unfortunately I had not planned ahead, and had taken my printer to work. I was far too lazy to go in just to print off the pattern. What to do? I thought I could modify the Eva pattern enough to make the Iris, which is probably what Tessuti had done in the first place.

Bad idea! I did get there is the end, but it took me a lot longer than it would have with a proper pattern. For a start I sewed the bottom skirt piece in upside down, not the end of the world but I only discovered this after I had overlocked and top stitched the seams. Both front and back! Unpicking long seams with multiple rows of stitching is only recommended if you like boring hand work and have oodles of time you want to kill. 🙂

The second problem was that I made the bodice with too much ease. This was ok with the Eva dress, because it is quite long and the proportions are different. Even though the Eva is a bubble, it is not particularly voluminous. The Iris bubble is wider before it goes back in, as the top half of the skirt flares out more because it is longer, at least it is in my version. I would be interested to know if this is the case with the Tessuti pattern as well, so I will be buying it to have a look. Judging by the pictures, my bottom skirt piece is narrower, making the dress shorter. This was due to fabric constraints, but I quite like the shorter look.  Unfortunately it all added up to make the silhouette quite square, courtesy of the loose bodice on top of everything else. So more unpicking. I took a total of 7cm out of the bodice width, quite a lot, but it now looks much better. I can still get it on and off without a closure, always good news as far as I am concerned.

I ditched the short sleeves I had been toying with, again because they made the top of the dress look too wide. I think a deep U neckline might have helped make the bodice look less square, but I had already finished it with a self bias and I had well and truly enough of unpicking. The original Iris pattern had a little stand up collar which I rather like, but I have so many necklaces that I feel I need lots of clothes with plain round necklines to get some wear out of all this jewellery.

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