Painted Portrait Autumn Wonderland Dress
Anna Maria Horner's Painted Portrait Dress is a garment as beautiful as it sounds. Sold as a make-it-yourself dress and blouse sewing pattern it has become one of those oft-pinned items that this seamstress couldn't stop thinking about. Last week I succumbed and ordered the pattern from Backstitch as a Christmas treat (ahem).
Only the best fabric would do, hence a trip to Worthing's Eclectic Maker. I was excited to find they had Eloise Renouf's organic cotton Bark and Branch range and though I would've liked to buy some of each design in the collection, the Autumn Wonderland tree-print was my favourite. For the contrast yoke I chose a grey printed cotton designed by Rebekah Ginda for Birch Organic. The two fabrics look and feel great together.
The Painted Portrait sewing pattern can be made up in several different variations. I decided to opt for a dress with solid yoke, sleeves and pockets this time. Before beginning I perused a few blogs for advice from expert makers. Fancy Tiger Crafts has blogged a parade of pleasing Painted Portraits, Lempo Bee gave good advice on the sizing (I adore her Melody Miller version) and on her recommendation I cut the dress out in a small size (I'm usually a medium but found this pattern rather roomy - if in doubt make a toile first). I followed Cookin' and Craftin's lead (see her superb blouses) in cutting the back yoke as one piece. I'll always choose a button-free dress if possible – easier to sew and more comfortable to wear.
The finished dress is much more lovely than these photos show as I took the pictures on one of the greyest days of the year and eventually resorted to using a flash outdoors in an attempt to capture the colours of Renouf's print. Here's to sunnier days and more Painted Portrait Dresses...