{Chalk & Notch} Fringe dress

If you've been coming here for a while you will know I'm always behind when it comes to popular patterns. What can I say? I ain't no sheep. 🐑 
However, I started noticing the Chalk & Notch Fringe Dress when Harriet posted this dress on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. She followed it with another one, just as cute. Then I realised that this beauty from Vicky was also the same pattern and I had to take notice. Not only that, I managed to make a flying visit to Like Sew Amazing last week, on our way back from Cornwall, and Sarah was talking about how lovely the pattern is and suggested it for a fabric I bought from her. That was it. I had to make it.
I had spotted the fabric on the Lamazi Fabrics page roughly at the same time as my friend Mel. I loved the pink and chartreuse splodges on the olive green background. Such a striking fabric. She bought it straight away and I didn't. Then she made her dress and I was olive green with envy (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) so I ordered my fabric and we decided to take part in #sewtwinning. We do it all the time anyway, might as well make it official. 😆
The fabric is amazing. It's a Lady McElroy tencel lawn (who knew that was even a thing?! Not me.) and it's quite possibly the softest thing I've ever sewn with. It's a bit shifty and incredibly lightweight. But it's lovely to wear and it pressed BEAUTIFULLY. Plus, it's so soft. Seriously, you need to touch it to understand why I'm so obsessed. We got ours from Lamazi but it's currently sold out. However, the The Village Haberdashery looks to have some in stock at the time of writing. 
It feels like a very delicate fabric but it took to unpicking well - not that I did much of that this time - and I pressed it at my normal iron temperature, which is 2 dots on my iron. I used a microtex 70 needle. I had no problem with those runs that you get sometimes, when sewing dark and fine fabrics that have a white-ish wrong side. I was going to french all the seams but the seam allowance is only 1cm so I just used the overlocker and that was fine, too.
Now, the pattern. This is my first Chalk & Notch pattern and I was impressed. The instructions are thorough but not overwhelmingly so. I liked that the 2 versions have their own separate set of instructions and I didn't have to keep jumping ahead for my own version. 
The pattern offers a cut-out neckline or a button closure option, which is what I made. It also features grown on sleeves. I chose to cuff my sleeves rather than going with the elbow length and button tab variation. I also omitted the waist ties - more on that in a second. It's a super simple dress but it's so cute. It's well drafted and it fits very well. It's a great advanced beginner pattern, for someone wanting to have a go at buttonholes, for instance. Only 3 of them to contend with; 5 if you choose to make the sleeve tabs.
I chose my size based on bust measurement, so I went with a 4. However, I may size the waist up one size for my next one. The fit is perfect and I love it, the only slight drawback is that I didn't consider the waist would have to go over my wide shoulders when I'm putting the dress on. I could do with a little more room when wriggling in and out of it but that's the only issue, if I can even call it that.
I hemmed my dress at 1cm (½ inch) rather than the 1.5cm (⅝ inch) the pattern calls for. I love a high-low hem. Gets me EVERY. DAMN. TIME. 💕 But, it can be a nightmare to hem, so I prefer to keep it as narrow as possible to avoid puckering. My trusty method is to overlock to edge, which makes it easy to turn up at 0.5cm. Press that and then turn it up one more time. Pin it and sew it. Done.
The reason I have no ties is because I only had 1.5m of fabric to play with and the pattern calls for 2.6m for my size. I managed it, but my back has a centre seam as you can see above and I couldn't fit the ties on my fabric. I bought a pink satin ribbon that matched the pink in the fabric but it looked all kinds of weird when I attached it, so I took it off. The ties are optional anyway, and there's not that much volume to cinch in, so I thought I'd risk it. And you know, what? I love it. I was concerned it might look too big and frumpy but it looks fab - even if I say so myself. 
Here is Mel's dress, if you were curious. It is so beautiful! You can see why it made me cave and want to buy the fabric. To find out more details about her pattern, check out her instagram post here.

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