The Arrows Emery

Wow, my first post this year! I actually thought I'd already published this, but the post was sat in my drafts, whoops! The dress itself was also a long time in the coming! I'd had the fabric stashed away for yonks, having bought it as soon as I laid eyes on Sarah of A Million Dresses' version. Then I saw By Gum, By Golly's, and I knew I was right: I had to have an arrows dress in my life. 

All a-quiver dress (Christine Haynes Emery dress in Cotton + Steel fabric

I adore the print (by Melody Miller for Cotton and Steel). In fact I love almost every single Cotton and Steel print I have seen. On top of that, the cotton is of lovely quality and even though it's quilting cotton, is not too stiff for dressmaking in my opinion. 

As you can see it's another Emery. After all that time (I'm talking half a YEAR) in the planning, this dress got sewed up in about three or four little sessions over Christmas. It's hardly been off my back since and I adore it. 

Nothing to report on the Emery pattern as I've done all my adjustments long ago (see previous Emerys here) but I was carrying a little bit of extra Christmas padding when I made this, so I sewed the bodice side seams at 3/8". The padding has now mostly gone, and I have to say I do like the bit of extra wriggle room. May do the same for all future versions.

The hem was a bugger as well. No idea why, but it was soooo far from level. I pinned it up on my new dress form (Christmas pressie from my lovely Liam) measuring from the ground, but it transpires that something in my posture makes hems hang differently when on me than when on the dress form. Great! 

Bless Liam for helping me. He had lots of patience with me turning very slowly and was great at spotting even the slightest of hem discrepancy. I'm glad we took the extra time over it, it would have bugged me something rotten if not. 

I didn't match the pattern per se, but did make sure I had a line of arrows or dots meeting up across all the seams. I just marked where a few lines were on my pattern pieces and lined them up that way pre-cutting. You can see what I mean in the side view above, and also below (this is the matching across the invisible zip).

Not that I'm in it for the compliments, but this dress has received probably the most of any dress I have made. Also the most "oh I didn't think you'd made THAT one"s, which I think might be a good thing?!

Again, it cements what I love about the Emery pattern. A simple shape which allows a great print to do the talking. 

So, if I adore this dress so much and it has hardly been off my back, why is it being modelled by my new dress form rather than by me? Life got in the way, I'm afraid. I had no daylight time available to take pictures with the dress on me (I don't have a remote and tripod yet. Must sort that out soon.) so you shall have to make do with my lady valet as a model, and these two quite crap mirror selfies:

Cardi / no cardi. With Topshop shoes from years ago
As you can see, I've finally succumbed to the wonders of the Hell Bunny Paloma cardigan, after years of coveting Forever Amber and Roisin at Dolly Clackett's Paloma collections. I bought mine from Tiger Milly on eBay, and would be more than happy to recommend this seller and the cardigan alike. The cardi is so so comfy, a lovely fit and just the perfect length to wear over waisted dresses. I may now need to buy the green and black versions as well... 

Well, I'm off for now! On a side note, wedding dress sewing is taking way longer than I thought it would. I'm spending every spare moment on it, and I've still not finished the "rehearsal" dress (the wedding is in June). Better get a wriggle on! 


  1. This is gorgeous! No wonder you've been wearing it so much! And I love how the arrows are lined up.

    1. Thanks, Lynne! Me too, it was well worth the effort to make them all line up (and tacking my invisible zip in first to make sure it lined up). Xx