Friday, 9 February 2018

January: Darling Ranges

2018 Make 1

Need: Smart/Casual dress for work

Pattern: Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges

I made one of these when I was pregnant and have since taken in the side seams so it's wearable now. I graded the pattern back down to my usual measurements and have found that this actually got rid of one of the issues from the last go; there was excess fabric on the front bodice, I don't know how-but it's not there now so maybe something to do with my iffy grading out of sizes from shoulders to waist last time?

One thing I ended up being not se keen on with the last version were the waist ties at the back. I think this maybe has to do with the wight of fabric but I found it boxed the back of the skirt up a bit and sort of made the bottom area look a bit like a bustle....I mean thats probably too extreme but it made more of that area of the skirt rather than sitting flat and as this version was also using a weighty fabric I wanted to eliminate that so instead of the waist ties I added two darts to the back bodice to take out the excess. Theres a great tutorial for this on Megan's website. It worked great and the back sits better now. I can also now wear this with a belt.

I'm not sold on this skirt shape for me. It's a gathered rectangle and I think in heavy fabrics it doesn't do me any favours, I think I would prefer something a bit more a line next time.

Fabric: 2m medium weight Cotton Denim

I picked this fabric up in Ditto, I had a particular colour and feel in mind so didn't want to risk ordering online and it not being quite right. I've really been trying to not to overshoot my estimate on how much fabric I buy for each project and ending up with left overs not quite big enough for anything worthwhile, but this time I was a little under and had to cut the skirt on the crossgrain-I think it looks fine though and at least I used up nearly every scrap I had. 

(Can someone please explain to me how the 'meters of fabric needed' on pattern sleeves works? I have never chosen -or even seen- a fabric that is either 60" or 45" wide? Am I doing it wrong?)

Notions: Gunmetal hammer on denim buttons

I picked up some cool denim buttons from an ebay shop a while ago, and they are very satisfying to use. It made a nice change not to have to sit hand sewing buttons on and I really like how they look. The pattern calls fro three above the waist but I always go for one extra to save on any gaping and then I try to get one under the waist line but really close to it so that part doesn't pop open every time you bend either.

Thoughts: Overall pleased with this, but if I use this pattern again I'm going to think about different skirt options, or maybe look at making version 2 which is more of a shirt dress which might be nice for summer. 
Really pleased with the back darts, it fits well and it's nice to have the option to wear a belt with this to add a bit of colour.

Swishy hair outtake:


  1. Wow! I love this dress so much

  2. Great work dress - looks like a nice quality fabric, it has a good colour and variegation that I like ;o)

  3. Very nice - and perfect for work. I had a bad experience trying to get a Kelly skirt to fit once, which has put me off trying Megan Nielsen again (I suspect the issue is that I printed the pieces at the wrong size though, so I should probably revisit that... )