Starry Sky Emery

This one has been on my list for a looooooong time. I got the fabric in Tokyo Fabric town on our honeymoon in Japan (in April, ahem). It’s a lovely deep blue with white spots that remind me of stars, and this beautiful broderie pattern all along one edge.


The pattern meanwhile, Ms Christine Haynes’ Emery Dress, is one that I have lurked admired all over blogtown. There are so many beautiful versions of this dress out there. Personal favourites include Anna (Paunnet)’s beautiful Christmas plaid version, and pretty much any of the hundred million Roisin (Dolly Clackett) has made (seriously she is the Emery queen).

Emery-Cover_grandeMy mum recently treated me to a big wad of muslin, and so I dutifully sewed up not one, but two toiles in the right stuff. I know for lots of people the Emery is a perfect fit right out of the envelope. This wasn’t quite the case for me, but that’s ok, bodies are different after all. I googled around for some online reassurance and was relived to read that Lladybird, a personal blogging hero, descended down a “six muslin spiral of doom” with the same dress, so I persevered.

I’m starting to recognize some of the fit issues I have, and when I know how to fix them it feels like a huge accomplishment! For example, I made a hollow-chest adjustment using a slash and pivot method, the same as I did on my Anna peplum hack. I first saw this demonstrated on Ginger Makes, so in my head it’s the “Ginger method” 🙂

from Ginger Makes

from Ginger Makes

Fitting the back was much more of a challenge. I started with serious neckline gapage so widened the darts. This gave me comical back humps like I was about to sprout wings. At this point I realised that in fact there was excess to be pinched out all the way down, so returned to the original darts and just took the extra out along the zip.

For the skirt, in order to keep the trim along the bottom edge in tact, I cut a single straight piece, rather than the gently curved/flared skirt of the pattern. It being autumn/winter I also opted to line the skirt with the same white cupro I used for the bodice lining, for warmth and to stop the dress sticking to wooly tights.


What else? I made the collar in a contrasting white broderie, which with the interfacing, became quite chunky, with a tendency to roll out along the neckline. Two lines of understitching and an aggressive press with the iron seem to have corrected this though. Oh and my invisible zip is pretty visible. I was confused as to how this had happened before realising that I just sewed it on with a regular zipper foot – doh!! Since it’s neatly inserted and a matching colour I decided to live with it rather than unpick it.   IMAG0057

Overall, I am pretty in love with this dress. I wasn’t sure about the collar but I’m so glad I went with it. I think it gives the dress this retro, slightly Wes Anderson feel. Always a good thing amiright??

 Siobhan xx

4 thoughts on “Starry Sky Emery

  1. sewbussted says:

    Hi Siobhan, I am sorry about leaving a comment here, but I can’t find your email address. Sew Magazine which is out of England is doing an article on pattern hacking and they would like to feature a photo of your winning garment. Please contact me ASAP as they need your permission today. You may email meat

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