What happens when the Darling Ranges and Eucalypt patterns get together and make a baby? The Darling Eucalypt!I made a Darling Ranges dress a little over a year ago, and the bodice was not a good fit for me…it took many muslins and lots of changes to get it right. But recently I decided to take another crack at it, starting with the original pattern. I have more experience now with fitting patterns, and I thought maybe this time around I could make it work without totally changing the pattern. I figured all I really needed was a small bust adjustment. And I wanted to make it with a rounded neckline, and sleeveless with narrower shoulders. I made my first muslin, and the fit was not great- but as I looked at it I realized the shape of the bodice I wanted was pretty much exactly like the Eucalypt dress, a pattern that fits me really well. So the idea to merge the two patterns was born!
In the end, the only actual pattern piece from the Darling Ranges dress that I used was the pocket piece…but the style of the dress is very much from that pattern, and I followed all of the instructions in constructing the dress also. I used the pattern pieces from the Eucalypt dress, plus the following changes:
I cut the pattern across at my natural waistline, and added seam allowances to the bodice and top of the skirt. You could make a similar dress without doing this, just by adding an elastic casing at the waistline, but I made it separate because I wanted to add a little more fullness to the skirt. I added 1 inch to the center of both the back and front skirt pieces. (which adds 4 inches of fullness in total).
I added an additional 2 inches to the center of the front bodice and front skirt pieces for the button placket, folding it in 1 inch, then another fold of 1 inch.
After I sewed the shoulder and side seams of the bodice, I sewed a line of basting/gathering stitches around the bottom and tried it on, pulling the threads to gather the bottom of the bodice until I liked the fit (not too fitted, because I figured I would add some elastic to the waist seam later.) Then I gathered the top of the skirt to match up, sewed them together, and followed the instructions from the Darling Ranges pattern for the rest of the construction.
The fabric is a super soft dotty chambray from Robert Kaufman. (I got it from Pink Chalk fabrics but it seems to be sold out most everywhere. They have it on order at Hawthorne Threads, and you can sign up to be notified when it comes in.) It really is great, and I used just over a yard for this dress because it is extra wide. This was the last fabric I bought just before I made my stashbusting pledge! I think I have enough left for a Scout Tee 🙂 I used a purple voile (from my stash) for the bias binding and pockets, I like the little pop of color!
Here are some of the details:
Once I was done, I wanted to bring the waist in a little bit…so I put some elastic thread in the bobbin and sewed a couple of lines of elastic thread close to the waistband seam. It worked perfectly to bring the waist in a bit, and it is stretchy so it keeps it very comfortable!There was some gaping at the waist seam after I added the elastic, so I sewed a hook and loop to keep it closed. It works well and you can’t see it from the outside.It has been such a hot summer and this feels like wearing air-it is so light and soft. I love this dress!