Made with Butterick B5030 in cheap-and-easy cotton, so that I wouldn’t cry if it didn’t work. It’s marked ‘easy’ and it goes together very neatly indeed. It would have been even easier if I’d remembered to adjust the facing strips to match the 2″ that I added in the torso and the 3″ in the skirt, but altogether it’s a simple 4-5 hour dress. Next time, I’ll make it in warm winter stretch fabric and leave the collar off. I used press studs at the waist, plus two at the bust line because it did gape a little: that’s more the fault of my long thin bustless top half than the pattern designer. Next time I’ll also attach the belt to the dress, or add belt loops.

The most interesting thing about this project was that I found myself doing all the things my Grandma told me to do, back when she was well and young and teaching Tiny Me how to sew. She insisted on every baste, pin, notch and chalk mark. At the time, I wanted to cut – to hell with the consequences! – and get a garment done immediately. I’d wait till she was out of the room and get the scissors out without pinning the pattern, or sew when it said baste. She’d just make me do it again. And again. And again.

Suddenly, now that Grandma’s not able to sit with me and tell me off, I do it all. Right down to trimming the last possible millimetre off the collar and belt points before turning them out: that wasn’t in the instructions, but it should have been. Thanks, Grandma. The collar points look ace.

Waste not, want not:

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