The latest zero waste pattern from Liz Haywood is the Ursa, which is a simple, draped, cowl fronted dress.
This is another pattern that I didn’t think would suit me, but I have faith in Liz’s designs so gave it a go. I made the smallest size, which is based on hip measurement and my hips are 3cm smaller than the smallest size so I was quite concerned that there would be too much volume in the hips and not enough in the bust but it was actually pretty big everywhere! I decided that a belt was going to be a must to give myself some shape.
This is here for a bit of honesty and a bit of a laugh! There is a long dart effect at the front, which when cut out becomes the gussets used under the arms. This would give normal people shaping, but on me, well, I have definitely got that second trimester look happening!
It’s not helped by the length of the dress. My fabric was slightly wider than ideal, but this is the easiest thing to fix.
When I made Sarah’s zero waste dress for Perth Frocktails, the pattern called for a tab which anchored the back cowl to the waistline to stop the whole thing collapsing and she suggested I do the same thing at the front of this dress. I used the scrap of fabric I had removed to square up the fabric. I interfaced the anchor points and sewed it on at the top and bottom.
This made all the difference to the way the dress fitted me, but it had to be belted. I had no problems with this, but the most suitable belt is now a little large, so that’s next on the list to be fixed. It does the job though.
I think this looks much better. I really like the shape of the dress at the back. I took up the hem 3cms and I like the length a lot better too.
Before I added the tab the front of the dress hung lower than the back. It doesn’t seem to do this on any of the pattern models, so I decided that it might be something peculiar to me. However, adding the tab did sort this out so if anyone else has this problem, this is an instant fix.
Check out the lovely versions in Liz’s blog post. She has one version where she pulls the cowl over to the shoulder and this would be so nice in the winter. In fact, I can imagine that I will be making a wool version to wear as a pinafore for when the weather gets cooler. It’s an easy make with not too many areas for unpicking. Liz has provided a video on how to sew the underarm gussets, which is really useful. The sizing is extremely inclusive (unless you don’t have any hips 😉), and my dress is a delight to wear. Thanks Liz!