Monday Outfit: Henry Dress in Gradients of Grey

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Good morning! We’re still recovering from the Fourth of July party, the heat and technical blips, but I have a new garment to share today, and that’s always an energy booster for me.

A few months ago, I had fun sewing up the Franklin dress + tunic (in fact, K wore the tunic when we went to see the fireworks on Saturday). The lovely Erin of Brooklyn Pattern Co. contacted me again recently to see if I’d be interested in giving the Henry dress a try. But of course!

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I had a hard time deciding on the fabric. The combination of the feminine pleated puffed sleeves and the more geometric angled pockets (which I absolutely love) had me scratching my head a bit. I wanted a sort of gradient look and have this fabulous pink linen that I wanted to use, but I only had one yard of it. So I burrowed into my endless fabric supply, pulling out gingham checks, my default navy-and-white stripes, a madras seersucker, a couple of knits with bright prints… None of them felt right.

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I struck gold when I found this gradient striped fabric at the bottom of one of my bins. I think it’s a cotton poplin, and I’m all about the various shades of grey. The one stickler was that the stripes run parallel to the selvage, so I had to cut the patterns cross grain. This made it tricky for K to get the dress on since the fabric couldn’t stretch much width-wise and there are no closures.

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For the neck and pocket facings, I used the thinnest cotton lawn in a refreshing mint color. My neck facing didn’t like staying in place despite my understitching; if you look closely enough, you’ll see the neck facing scooching up and revealing itself in small tufts. But check out my stripes-matching — I’m quite proud. I might have to start thinking about dipping my toe into quilting.

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The instructions are superb, but I did a few things slightly differently, just because:

1. To make finishing the sleeve edge easier, I double-folded and pressed the sleeve edge before sewing the underarm portion of the sleeve together. It’s always harder for me to press sleeve edges in the round, and with the added bulk of the pleats, this turned out to be a good move.

2. I raised the skirt hem by about 2.5inches. It looked too long to me when K tried it on.

3. I basted the pockets on each side before assembling the front of the dress. The instructions guide you to simply pin the sides. By basting each side of the pocket to the side panel, the pockets are nicely attached and makes the next step easier.

On a side note, I think a sleeveless version of this dress would look wonderful.

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The verdict? Thumbs up from both me and K! I cut out the largest size, which is 8, and the fit is perfect. I really like how modern it looks (though maybe she appears to be heading to a corporate board room and just needs to locate her Manolo Blahniks?) and K asked if she could keep it on after the photo shoot. The ultimate sign of sewing success! She even volunteered to add some modeling oomph with her prop of choice:

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Thank you for the pattern, Erin! I thoroughly enjoyed making the Henry dress, and K is a happy camper. Make sure to check out the other blog tour participants and Erin is offering a coupon code for you! Readers receive 20% any pattern in the shop with the code: SUMMERFUN15. The code runs from 12:01 am on July 6through 11:59 pm on July 15.

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25 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Henry Dress in Gradients of Grey

  1. She looks so grown up in that dress!!! I love your fabric choice, especially the sneaky mint in the pockets 🙂

    (I am also impressed by your stripe matching skills lol.)

    1. Thank you, Evie! I’m really happy with the way it turned out and yes, I can’t believe how grown-up she looks either! 🙂

    2. Haha, I was delighted that the stripes matched up so well – you know how much I’ve struggled in the past ;-). Thank you, Kathryn!

  2. As already observed by others, K looks so grown up in that dress! You did such a beautiful job with the colours! The dress is very sophisticated looking! Well done!

    1. Thanks Melissa – I loved the way it came out and it’s interesting because the photos make her look so much more adult. In real life, her kid-antics comes through so strongly, you don’t think of the dress as sophisticated. 🙂

  3. I was so excited to see your name on the blog tour, Sanae, and this dress does not disappoint! Even before I read your comment re: the stripe matching, I had admired its perfection! And that mint lining is such a lovely cool contrast to the grey. Such a lovely dress – it’s no wonder K is so thrilled with it:)

    1. It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog tour, hasn’t it? I’m finally coming up for air now that the manuscript for the book is pretty much done, though I have about three more weeks of hardcore work left. Thanks for the sweet words, Lucinda!

  4. I want to make a comment, but I agree with everyone else about how cute K looks and hoe sophisticated the dress is. And, I do love that rock and roll touch–on her knees even!

    1. K is totally rock and roll, Greta! Today, she wanted to go back to the skatepark for more skateboarding, and she was dancing to the music as she skated!! She amazes me.

    1. Oh, thanks Kristine! I’m wondering if I should add a zipper or something since it’s definitely tricky to get on and off, but K adores it!

  5. Yay! Only one day late in reading your blog! I always feel so silly commenting later (that I never do it)… Such a fantastic dress and it looks like it is from a very expensive children´s boutique. And like others have mentioned – K looks ike she could be in high school. Especially in that slightly slouchy pose with the hands in her pockets. Does she pick that up from the cool skater girls 😉 ? The fabric is the most perfect for this dress and I really love how you let the pockets blend in.

    1. Oh, don’t worry about when (or if) you comment, Ute! I still get comments from posts I put up years ago, and I love it. I also don’t mind when no one comments since I’m doing this mostly for myself :-). It’s crazy how much older that dress makes her look! Now I feel like I need to make something way more juvenile to balance things out. And yep, she’s a total cool skater girl, and I’m afraid I’m going to be too dorky for her in the very near future (it might have already happened).

  6. Sanae, this is a STUNNER! Seriously- that fabric! I love Erin’s designs. And I say YES to some manolo blahniks for K. In 20 years…. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Erin! It’s a good match, right? I was pretty excited to unearth the fabric! Erin’s designs are great, and her instructions were fantastic for this dress. If my kid ends up wearing manolos, I’m not sure how I’ll feel. Maybe we’ll end up with the same feet size and I can borrow hers. 😉

    1. It’s nuts, right? I feel like she’s a changeling or something — transforming overnight! Thanks for the dress, love! I’ll try to whip up something that’ll make her look appropriately like an almost-9-year-old! 🙂

  7. And yet again your interpretation sells a pattern better than the pattern maker (which btw had some really nice versions as well)! Perfect choice of fabric. Sophisticated, beautiful and the mint lining is gorgeous! Need to pin this pattern!

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