Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Coral Linen Eva Dress

One final post before the year ends - Happy New Year everyone!

Before we went on our big European holiday a couple of months ago, I got it into my head that I needed a new summery dress to wear in the hopefully sunny places we'd be visiting.

So as you already know from the blog title, the pattern I used was the Eva dress (here's a link to the Tessuti pattern), and yes, you probably already read this in the title too: like just about everyone else, I made it in linen.  I do already have a dress in the same lovely coral shade of linen (blogged back here), but that dress has become a bit shorter in the wash, so here I've made something that can shrink lengthwise to its heart's content.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure this long sack style of dress would suit me...  I do generally like sack dresses, and I know this dress looks terrific on other people, but I was worried it was going to be very dowdy on me, and even when I tried the dress on after finishing it I wasn't sure I liked the length.

Anyway, I took the dress with me to Europe - and how wrong I was!

I wore this dress all through my Europe trip, and - let me keep being completely honest with you - it looked better than all the other clothes I'd brought along (oh and I might do an extra post about that - I love looking at other people's travel wardrobes!). Most of the time in Europe I felt a bit scruffy, but in this dress I felt less of a tourist :).

In an out-of-town bakery in the South of France, in this dress and heels the baker seemed to take me for a French maman bringing her kids home, and threw in extra pastries pour les enfants - et bon weekend, madame!

On a dry, hot day exploring Les Baux the dress was amazingly comfortable, and the length was easily tucked up into my undies for climbing ancient worn down steps.

And in Rome it was the one outfit that felt elegant enough for "la passeggiatta" (I believe that's strolling and sampling gelatos) among the locals :).

My little 7 year old daughter took all these photos, and I am quite astonished at her skills with my camera! I haven't had to do ANY cropping or straightening the way I do with my own photos... 

The official photographer


Sleeveless variant of the Eva dress from Tessuti patterns, made in a size S.  The pattern cost me $28 in hard copy form.

3 metres of linen from Lincraft, and I think it was about $14 / metre which would total $42.  I had about a half a metre left at the end of some sneaky cutting - Rachel had let me know she'd only needed about 2.5 metres but obviously how much you'd need depends on the size sewn, fabric width, and repeats in the fabric design.

I already had thread from my making last coral linen dress, and I didn't need any other notions, so the fabric plus pattern costs add up to $70. That sounds a lot, but with the amount of wear I've given this dress it feels worth it.

Tessuti patterns' Eva dress in coral linen
  • Lengthened the bodice by 2cm to try to give the illusion of a longer body
  • Changed the order of assembly of front and back panels to give myself a better shot at lining up the seams (they're still not perfect though - I was in too much of a hurry)
  • Used a regular hem rather than binding the hem, just because I'd skipped the last part of the instructions and assumed the dress was going  to have a regular hem
  • Omitted top stitching

I love the neck and sleeve binding, I love that the instructions include steps for finishing your seams, and I love the pocket instructions - they're the real deal, and give you a properly finished pocket that sits facing to the front of the dress as it should. I remember proper pocket instructions like these in my old 80s / 90s designer Vogue patterns, but I haven't seen them in ages. And the pockets themselves are excellent, nice and roomy and positioned at a very comfortable place.

I've heard a few negative mutterings around the place about hand drawn patterns vs those drafted in CAD or whatever other software gets used, and I have to say, I absolutely don't mind if a pattern is hand drawn - what I care about is whether it's a well-drafted pattern.  Not all hand drafted patterns are good, but it seems to me that Tessuti patterns know what they're doing, even if their patterns do look 'old school"...

I can't think of any cons!  When I initially tried this dress on and reviewed it in the bathroom mirror, I thought it would look better at just below knee length. I was wrong; the lantern shape of the skirt would be lost on a shorter dress. The bathroom mirror didn't give me enough perspective to be able to judge length, so the con is on me.

See you soon!

- Gabrielle x


  1. This dress is tres tres chic!Love the colour on you, the shoes (perfect heel height) and you are so lucky to be teaming up with such an excellent photoprapher!

  2. This looks fantastic and I can exactly see why it was such a success overseas. Oh yes, I am feeling very much like a scruffy tourist at the moment!

  3. Gorgeous dress and the perfect thing for is an art to pack clothes you feel good in day after day.

  4. It is lovely! Nice mod on the bodice length too.

  5. Yay for itty bitty photographers! She did a great job! The dress looks chic and comfortable..perfect for a trip. Happy New Year!

  6. You look great in this dress and it's just so chic and effortless. I have a linen dress that shrunk after I sewed it. Having learned my lesson now, I wash my linen a few times before sewing. Your photographer has mad skills, my 14 year old cannot take a decent photo of me. His photos make me look like I have weird body proprtions :) that I have given up asking him.

  7. Sew, Jean Margaret3 January 2015 at 10:06

    This is one of the nicest Eva dresses I have seen. Definitely effortless chic. Well done.

  8. I think it looks great just the length it is. Beautiful colour.

  9. Happy New Year and your photographer did an excellent job. Love the comment about the ancient worn down steps, this dress ticked so many boxes and looks fantastic on you, enjoy wearing it.

  10. Happy New Year Gabrielle. I only just spotted this post last night. WOW! You look gorgeous in the Eva Dress, it's absolutely stunning in this coral colour. Would it be ok to share this on our blog? please let me know.

  11. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:42

    Happy New Year Colette. Thank you, and yes of course that's fine - it's a terrific pattern!

  12. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:44

    Thank you, it's good to finally have a casual dress in my wardrobe that looks good on :). Unfortunately this photographer is only occasionally interested - but she's good isn't she!

  13. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:46

    Thanks Kirsty, I'm sure you aren't looking nearly as scruffy as you feel though, you have such an amazing wardrobe!

  14. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:47

    Thank you Katherine, and yes, it's very hard to pack well isn't it!

  15. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:48

    Thanks Rachel - I think that little bit of extra length helps...

  16. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:51

    Happy New Year Margo. I know! Maybe she'll consider being my regular photographer when she gets a bit older - your son takes lots of your photos, doesn't he?

  17. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:56

    Thanks Erin. Yes, linen is a beast for shrinking! I know my partner struggles to take decent people photos but does really nice landscapes - there is definitely some skill involved! I've found that if I really want him to take my photo I need to start by lining up the shot with him standing where I'll be standing, then I take the photo and show him. It's a bit slow though :)

  18. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:57

    Thank you so much! The colour feels perfect for it, I'm really happy with it :)

  19. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 11:58

    Thanks Gail, it is a great colour isn't it! I was so wrong about the length at first...

  20. Gabrielle Corbett11 January 2015 at 12:00

    Happy new year Sharon, isn't she clever! I don't know how normal it is for a middle aged woman to tuck her dress in her undies for better mobility but it works :).

  21. love this dress. yours is such a gorgeous colour. the pattern is such fun to sew - I made it last summer and it's the first dress I've ever made.

  22. Fabric Epiphanies16 January 2015 at 19:33

    You had me at coral! I do like the shape of this dress though. I just wish it was a style that would suit me!

  23. Thank you Carol! Congratulations on your first dress and I hope it worked well for you - did the sewing seem pretty easy compared to quilting?

  24. Yes, I know, such a great colour isn't it - and I know it's one of your colours too :). Oh that's the biggest challenge isn't it - what shapes and dimensions work and what don't! And the answer apparently changes over time too :(.

  25. oh yes - much easier than quilting! lol

  26. Nice work with this style. Especially the skirt shape. How cool!

  27. Thank you Maria, it's an interesting shape, isn't it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...