The Darling Ranges birthday dress

I have been thinking a lot about sewing for getting on for 4 years now (I know this as when I first decided I was going to start sewing again – after a 20+ year hiatus – I joined Burdastyle and have apparently been a member since 25 October 2009). So, I have been thinking about sewing, and planning sewing projects, and purchasing fabrics, notions and patterns for 3 years and 9 months. I also have a lovely network of enablers, who are prepared to indulge my passion for having-lots-of-everything-just-in-case-I-finally-get-around-to-making-all-the-things-I-have-planned. Among said network is my lovely Mother, Rosemary.

Now, Rosemary is the woman who taught me to sew back when I was just a wee-un. She used to make many of my clothes when I was small (I remember a particularly fetching pair of purple crimplene trousers with orange ric-rac trim… Yes, it was the seventies!) and both of my brothers and I were all confident on a sewing machine before we hit high school.

Anyway – this year for my birthday back in May I asked for the Darling Ranges pattern from Megan Nielsen and some fabric to make it up in. I know that I am late to the Darling Ranges party (I am late to most pattern parties…), but I loved Anna’s version on Paunnet and Roobeedoo’s purple number and Mary’s version over at Idle Fancy, so I decided it must be mine.

Darling Ranges_RP_3 Darling Ranges_RP_4 Darling Ranges_RP_6

I managed to make it up less than a month after receiving the fabric and pattern (something of a record for me) and then the weather turned so hot I didn’t want to be wearing that much sleeve. But yesterday it rained a lot and as I was meeting up with the aforementioned Mum and fellow enabler Ian (aka Dad) for a very belated birthday curry I had a chance to wear it.

Forgive the crappy photos – they were taken in our badly lit front room on my point ‘n’ press fuji finepix camera after returning from an absolutely freakin’ delicious Gujarati feast at Hansa’s in Leeds.

The pattern, if anybody does not yet know, is proper easy to make up, bias binding instead of facings… yada yada… so many people have already covered all of this stuff I’m sure you already know how this thing is constructed.

I did make some changes… longer, thinner bust darts, a slightly longer bodice and I stitched a bit of elastic to the back waist seam to give it a slight fit.

Darling Ranges_RP_1 Darling Ranges_RP_2 Darling Ranges_RP_5

Overall I really like this dress. It is meant to be a relaxed fit, so I am happy with how it looks post pattern adjustments.

But the big question – is it fitting for a 44 year old woman to wear a cutesy little dress like this one?

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6 Responses to The Darling Ranges birthday dress

  1. oh yes! very fitting! :)

  2. Melizza says:

    Your dress is such a great fit. I tried to make this dress four different times. At the time I just wasn’t skilled at fitting. Now with some experience under my belt I’d love to revisit it. It’s such a comfy cute dress.

    • rachsews says:

      Thanks Melizza – for a dress with such a relaxed fit it did take a couple of tries to get the bodice right (or right enough!) on me; I did find the darts way too wide and short to begin with – the bodice looked almost square, so just making the darts a bit slimmer and a bit longer helped enormously. Now I have my adjusted pattern, though, I will certainly be making it again, as it is really quick to put together once you have the fit how you like it.

  3. Juxnz says:

    Slightly older than you and also ask myself the question of appropriateness often. I thing your dress is cute rather than cutesy – not too short or too long, just enough exposure but not too much, terrific fabric choice for the style, and very suitable for a curry. It’s an all round winner.

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