I don’t exactly remember how I stumbled upon Gasparine, I think it was via Instagram, but I do remember that I immediately fell hard for Miss Marinette. As a lover of 1920s fashion and nautical style, I could not resist its dropped waist and sailor collar and immediately ordered the pattern.
There was one detail I didn’t like, the elasticated low waist: I knew there was no chance for this to look good on me and I decided to simply omit the elastic, easiest modification ever. But when I first tried the dress on, it was way too long and, well, it did not look good at all. So I unpicked the waistband and reattached the skirt directly to the bodice, and that did the trick! It’s crazy how much a few centimetres of skirt/dress length can change the way a garment looks.
All in all, the pattern was really easy to sew, to the exception of the collar, but the tutorial for that part made it fairly easy, too. The only step I had trouble with was no part of the pattern: the cotton trim I used had a strong tendency to shrink as I was stitching it to the rayon, which made it a total pain to sew. I managed to keep it under control on the skirt and sleeves, but not at the collar: it literally made the collar ties about five centimetres shorter each, argh! This made them difficult to tie, so I invisibly hand-sewed them in place.
The fabric is some rayon I bought at Le Chien Vert. It’s a beautiful fabric, heavy and very fluid. Fearing that the pieces would distort as rayon is often prone to do, I stabilised not only the neckline but also all of the bodice seams with some Vlieseline Bias Tape T12 (I prefer that to staystitching).
The pattern has you finish the neckline and sleeve hems with bias tape, but I did not have enough fabric to make some, nor did I want to use some stiff store-bought bias tape on such a fluid fabric, so I made a narrow neckline facing that I topstitched in place (leaving about two centimetres free, that couldn’t be reached by machine, under the collar on each side of the shoulders), and I serged and turned the sleeve hems. I also replaced the skirt gathers with pleats (four pleats, one under each bodice dart), because I had made such pleats on this dress and loved the effect.
I like the finished dress very much; the only thing that bothers me a little is the fact that the collar got so distorted by the cotton trim that it sometimes gets a bit wavy, depending on the way I stand. But once again, I never think about it when wearing the dress. Oh yes, one thing that really bugs me is that I completely forgot to add pockets! I keep reaching for them, so I think I’ll have to muster the courage to add some side seam pockets to the finished dress someday…