Ah, black dresses. So hard to photograph! After three different attempts to take photos plus Photoshop tinkering, this is what we have... and I think it's time to step away and call it done. I'm sure you get the idea.
The Rushcutter is the first pattern release by Emily of In the Folds, and it's a good 'un. A round necked, raglan sleeved (or sleeveless) swingy, a-line dress with options for a belt and back fastenings. But the real star of the show is those pockets. Enough room for life's necessities and still room to keep your hands warm. So good!
Overall this dress was a pleasure to sew. The directions are clear, with photos guiding you every step of the way. The drafting is spot on, to - there's plenty of nerdy seams-matching-up-nicely satisfaction to be had here. Both pattern and instructions have been thoughtfully prepared with lots of attention to detail, making this an appealing sew for an advanced beginner. There's stacks of information on Emily's website as well, like skill scales and sizing charts. But there's also a potted/condensed set of instructions if you'd rather not have your hand held.
The yoke and sleeve construction is really interesting. There's a little dart on the shoulder which gives the dress a nice fit, (kind of important in a dress like this which is so roomy everywhere else). The piecing around the neck is lovely and would lend itself nicely to a bit of colour blocking should you wish. (Apologies for just using the phase colour-blocking, argh).
This Rushcutter was made from our Hemp/Organic cotton in black which holds the a-line really well. It's a light-medium weight fabric with a little spandex (the stretch is surplus to requirements for this frock, but it's a nice stable fabric so made no difference whatsoever here). The sleeveless summer version would be nice and drapey in a light voile or rayon.
From the back. Looking super creased after a day in the shop. Keeping it real!
Side view. Pockets!
I'm a big fan of Emily's size designations: she uses letters A to K, so no meaningless numbers or value-laden words. The size range is great too, from bust measurements 76cm/30" to 131/51.5" (bust is the only fitting point you really need to worry about with this dress - it's very a-line).
I fell in between sizes, but measured the pattern pieces and saw they included a lot of ease, so chose the smaller of the two. Toward the end of this make, Emily suggests you try the dress on before inserting the zip. At this stage I really wanted to get it finished so foolhardily forged ahead. Next time, I'd take an inch or two out of the back before inserting the zip. It's not unwearable, but it is VERY roomy - however for an Autumn/Winter frock that will always be worn layered, I've decided that's a-ok.
I made the round neckline a little more boat-shaped by taking out an extra 1.5cm at each shoulder and scooped down the front of the neckline about 1cm because it was feeling very high on my short neck. I also cut an inch off the length of the dress and took a very deep hem because I'll almost always be wearing this with leggings. I also put in a lapped zipper instead of an invisible one. Small, personal preference stuff.
The Rushcutter pattern is available here as PDF download only at this stage, but it does come with the very handy copy shop option.
- Fiona + Jane xx