The Orla Dress by French Navy caught my eye as part of a Sewing challenge for Orla Month #anorlaaffair organised by the lovely Maddie of Maddie Made This, alongside Rachel, Anya and Allie which encourages you to make up the Orla Dress.
I love a good sewing challenge because it does just that, it challenges you to try something else and gives you a reason to sew when all the other reasons (as we know there are many) aren’t kick-starting you sew-jo. It also inspires and promotes conversation in the Sewing community. Sign me up! The ladies who won were so deserving and I loved their makes.
So… I printed the pattern straight away and was giving the fabric some thought. Then as I was putting the PDF together (so simple by the way) I remember this amazing Crane fabric by Emily Burningham which I got on my last visit to my favourite Northumbrain shop. So I cut that out straight away.
I was worried that the sizing wouldn’t be right for me so I graded it out slightly and I also lowered the front darts by an inch as many have recommended on social media.
I later realised that I have probably graded a little to much to account for my FBA so rather than recut it, I added a small pleat along the neckline with I feel has added a bit more shape anyway!
It comes together really quickly and it really satisfying. I didn’t have lots of fabric to work with so I made the skirt pieces a little smaller so I didn’t do as much gathering to the skirt as perhaps I should but it worked out I feel. I do prefer a bit more fullness if I can get it though!
I used this dress and my opportunity to have a slow sewing day to get my zip insertions practiced! I’m so pleased with it.
I finally finished it with a contrast bias binding, which, believe it or not, I bought especially so that it would contrast! That’s it- a really easy make. I’m going to make another in a polyester style silk feel fabric I think.
I wore this to Manchester to meet with my lovely friends and really enjoyed wearing it.
I’ve since massively hacked it and made a top so look out for that soon!