Completed: The Emery Dress, An Aztec Delight

1 Aug

You know who has the best Emery dresses? Angie. Specifically – her Arizona Emery is the thing jealous dreams are MADE of. I love the tough/cool spin-off an otherwise sweet looking pattern.

So… you know what that means. I copied her.

Rayon Emery

Fuck yea I did. Sorry, Angie!

Rayon Emery

Well, to my credit- not entirely. I did pick a lighter fabric (in both color and weight), and I left the sleeves off because… do I have to say it? I’m gonna say it. SUN’S OUT, GUNS OUT. Sorry y’all! Summertime in this place means I got the right to BARE ARMS amirite lolololol

Anyone? Guys?

Rayon Emery

So anyway, this is the Emery dress. I figured I better make it again, considering I put so much fucking effort into all those muslins when I was first trying to fit it. Might as well make it worth my while! Fortunately, the fitting kinks all worked out by this point, so this dress was a matter of cutting and assembling. I did have to take in quite a bit at the center back, but that’s accounting for the fact that my fabric has a slight stretch to it. Not a lot, but just enough to mean some things gotta be sized down a smidge. I think I was a little toooo aggressive at the upper back, because now the shoulders pull, but eh. Live and learn.

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

“What’s that fabric,” you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked! This little piece of happiness came my way courtesy of Fashion Fabrics Club. I was really curious to try it, considering how ridiculously cheap it was – would it prove to be worth my sewing while? Or would the day end in tears?

The specific fabric in question is this white/grey Aztec stripe. It’s a floaty rayon challis, so lightweight that the full 2 yards barely weighed anything. Look at the price – this shit was $5.75 a yard. How is that possible? I have no idea! I don’t have a helluva lot experience with rayon challis, but I do have a little, and this stuff is pretty similar to the others I’ve used – just as lightweight and shifty as the rest. To it’s credit, though, it is pretty dreamy to wear in the heat. It is very breathable, dries fast (if you sweat a lot like I do)(sorry), and the print hides aforementioned sweat (sorry again). The only drawback is that is does stretch out over the course of the day, since the heat of your body relaxes the fibers. That’s not a huge deal – and when it’s hot outside, you may even welcome the extra ease – plus a quick wash shrinks things right back up.

Rayon Emery

Cutting this stuff was a BEAST. Omg! The dress pattern only has like 5 pieces (and one of them doesn’t count because they are pockets, and who matches pockets? Not me!), but it took me forever to get everything cut out since the fabric kept shifting around. I got most everything lined up, but unfortunately, the center back had to take the pattern-matching fall. I actually didn’t even notice this until I was going through the photos. Whoops! I think I actually cut it off the match – because everything else (waist seam, top seam, etc) matches perfectly. Oh well, just one of those things!

Rayon Emery

On the flip side, sewing it wasn’t too bad. I noticed that the fabric does have a tendency to snag and run if you’re not careful (as with other rayon challises I’ve used), so I used my silk pins and a 70/10 microtex needle. That’s about the extent of my carefulness with this fabric. I threw it in the wash on cold, dried it in the dryer, and steamed the hell out of it with my iron. I know you’re supposed to be more careful with rayon, but I have rayon dresses that have been washed+dried for years and they seem to be holding up fine. FWIW, I generally keep my rayon dresses out of the dryer and just hang them – they wrinkle a lot less that way – but I always use the dryer during prewashing just in case the finished dress accidently gets thrown in a dryer load. Don’t wanna have a surprise shrinking incident!

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

I’m pretty proud of how my print matching turned out (minus that center back mistake, I mean). Also love how that print placement turned out at the bodice front. I actually didn’t plan that at all, but it’s a nice surprise! Even if it does look like I’m wearing an Aztec wrestling belt πŸ˜›

Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery
Rayon Emery

I opted to leave the dress unlined so it would be as lightweight as possible. To finish, I used self bias facing at the neckline and arm holes. Oh yeah, and because it’s sleeveless, I raised the underarm by about 1/2″ and cut about 1/2″ off the edge of the shoulders. Didn’t want this to look like a muscle tank!

Rayon Emery

Also, this dress totally broke my camera remote. Well, maybe not “broke,” but it definitely stopped working, which kind of sucks. This is what I look like when that happens, in case you were wondering.

Rayon Emery

So there ya go! Thanks so much to Fashion Fabrics Club, for letting me try some of their (literally)cool rayon, and thanks to Angie for the inspiration for my awesome new dress!

Who are you lurking on these days for a shameless rip-off? Fess up!

** Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, although I did receive the fabric for free. I guess I also got the pattern for free too. Hey-o, free dress! πŸ™‚

47 Responses to “Completed: The Emery Dress, An Aztec Delight”

  1. ekabby111 August 1, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    It looks kind of Celtic up close. I mean that in a good way, obviously.

  2. Anonymous August 1, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    You got a great fit after all your hard work. Jo x

  3. Anonymous August 1, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, after all – great dress! I refuse to sew rayon or stretch fabric, so I applaude you for turning out something so cool (pun intented). I would have to say that my fav seamstress to lurk would be Roisin at Dolly Clackett; if not for her blog I never would discovered By Hand London or ever looked twice at Simplicity 2444.

    • LLADYBIRD August 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Ahh, you’re right – everything Roisin makes is basically pure gold πŸ™‚

  4. ShanniLoves August 1, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    aah freaking love! I’m patiently working on my Hawthorn muslin, to shamelessly rip off your chambray version! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD August 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Woohoooo chambray Hawthorn twinssss! πŸ˜€

  5. sallie August 1, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    All your fitting with the emery has TOTALLY paid off! This dress is the tits!!! Which obviously means I am lurking YOU for shameless copying!

  6. megthegrand August 1, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    SUNS OUT, GUNS OUT! Love it. Love the amazing fabric, and your uber awesome hair πŸ™‚ Wonderful job, dear!

  7. Kelli August 1, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    (reposted since the first one was accidentally anon)

    Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, after all – great dress! I refuse to sew rayon or stretch fabric, so I applaude you for turning out something so cool (pun intented). I would have to say that my fav seamstress to lurk would be Roisin at Dolly Clackett; if not for her blog I never would discovered By Hand London or ever looked twice at Simplicity 2444.

  8. Emma August 1, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    OMG your dress is amazing! Have you tried soaking slippery fabric in water & gelatine (just a few leaves of gelatine in a pint or so of water) and then line-drying it before cutting? It stiffens the fabric up and makes cutting easier, then washes out easily once you’ve finished sewing. As for lurking, I’m loving Jazz Couture and SewStylist’s blogs. Oh heck, I love ALL the sewing blogs, and that’s why I spend so much time reading them and have no time left for sewing!

    • LLADYBIRD August 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      I’ve heard of doing that, but I gotta say I’m pretty stubborn in that I want to make the fabric behave because I learned some kind of cutting secret! Although, maybe gelatine IS the cutting secret? Hmm… might blow my mind right now, argh haha

  9. SeeKatSew August 1, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    I love rayon challis, it’s light and perfect for the summer. For some reason it’s very inexpensive. I don’t think I have ever paid more than $7.95/metre for it. has more expensive selections, but the range is i think no higher than &15/yard, so reasonable.
    I think everyone including myself creeps on you Lauren!! I also creep on Kathy from,, and everyone who I have on wordpress follow list. It’s a lot and I am not ashamed!!

  10. MarrieB August 1, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    I have a serious love affair with rayon challis, and this print is great. I might just have to shamelessly copy you! πŸ™‚

  11. Amy August 1, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Can I just say that your hair is looking fabulous in these photos!!! Oh, and I really like the dress, too πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      It was an especially good hair day! Wish it acted like that all the time haha πŸ™‚

  12. Chickeys August 1, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Yay, FFC love! They have a bazillion fabrics, it’s crazy. And so damn cheap, which is my favorite. πŸ™‚ I got my Emery pattern in the mail last week and I’m so stoked on it. Love it in the rayon!

  13. Elizabeth August 1, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I just finished my second Emery and loving it. As far as looks I want to knock off, all these beautiful silk kimonos I keep seeing are starting to call to me! Agh. But it honestly doesn’t take much to make me hear the call of a new pattern! I lurk here often and thought It was time I start commenting! Always appreciate your makes and humor!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

      Yay! Great to have ya here πŸ˜€

  14. carolinascallin August 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Such a cute dress! I love the way it fits you πŸ™‚ Really great job!

  15. Betsy August 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Your dress is super cute and pattern matching can be a total bitch. That said, great job! BTW- loving the new hair color/colors.

  16. christinehaynesdotcom August 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    gorgeous!!! the fabric suits the pattern perfectly! thanks for giving the pattern another go!

  17. lisa g August 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    love the print placement on this dress, and your efforts on fitting totally paid off–it looks great! i really love rayon challis, though i hate cutting the stuff. ugh, it’s so shifty and annoying!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      It totally is, but it’s also totally worth the effort – feels soooooo good on, haha!

  18. B. Morgan Joy August 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Are you KIDDING? I tried to buy this EXACT FABRIC from last month and they ran out AFTER I PLACED MY ORDER and I was SO MAD and SO SAD and I couldn’t find it anywhere else (bad search terms obviously)

    and honestly a little angry/jealous when I started reading because YOU got some and it’s JUST AS GORGEOUS AS I PICTURED

    but lookit that you’ve helpfully provided a link to a place I can buy it!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Hahah!! Well, I’m glad I was able to reunite you with this dreamy fabric! Hope you were able to snag some this go-round πŸ™‚

  19. powell2317 August 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Looks amazing & I love the aztec wrestling belt. I was inspired to go & buy some chambray after your recent chambray-makes posts.

  20. catdoesit August 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Fiber issues aside, that print is gorgeous. Nough said.

  21. Carrie August 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    YOU! and quite literally…I just received my navy and white stripe fabric to make moneta…just like you. πŸ™‚ and i love this one too!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Woohoo! Moneta twins! πŸ˜€

  22. Sara August 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    I’m always lurking on you for a rip-off make! This is beautifulβ€”I also love Angie’s Aztec Emery, and I’m super happy to see your spin on it for even more rip-off inspiration! Hooray!

  23. Sabine August 2, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    That fabric is just gorgeous (excuse me for a second while I’m drooling on my keyboard). I have to say that if I happen to find a similar fabric I will totally copy you!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      Wellllll, they still have some have Fashion Fabrics Club… just sayin’! πŸ˜‰

  24. weefrills August 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Cute! It’s patterned but neutral colors–very versatile.

  25. Kate August 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Love it! I’ve long been an admirer of Angie’s Aztec Emery, so I totally get your inspiration – I like the print you chose too. I also really loved reading about your muslin situation the first time around – I have the same experiences with the Emery pattern not fitting while everyone is raving about the fit & I’m feeling like I have a freak-of-nature body. My problem is similar to yours in the back, but also with a weird triangle of extra material at the throat while the rest of the bust/waist area fits. None of my usual fitting tricks helped. Not sure what the deal is, but your perseverance inspires me to have another go at it because it’s an adorable pattern.

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      It’s such a bummer to be the odd one out of a pattern that is magically fitting everyone else, huh? Trust me, you don’t have a freak of nature body – you just don’t have the body that pattern block was made for πŸ™‚ I hope you can get your fit issues sorted out – it’s a really cute dress and deserves to be made up! Worth 6 muslins, at least πŸ™‚ hahaha

  26. Hannah Smith (made with hugs and kisses) August 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    lookin’ good! No shame with copying ideas, as long as they are good ideas of course πŸ˜€

  27. beaglescout524 August 3, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Shifty fabric solution: freezer paper. It’s the world’s cheapest tear away stabilizer, and a second of pressing with a warm iron and it temporarily fuses to your fabric. Thanks to Abby Glasenburg’s craft blog, I use it all the time for anything that might get away from me. I even trace my paterns off on to it and just iron them on to my fabric. It’s hell on your needles, and you do not want to zigzag over it. Other than that, it is lovely.

  28. beckyleethompson August 3, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    Knocked it out of the park girl! NICE. Love the cut and style and gotta have one for myself. I like the freezer paper idea for shifty fabrics and may try that. But for slippery fabrics, I always drag out the really big cutting mat and go rotary. This keeps the fabric flat on the cutting surface instead of having the lower scissor blade lift it up. I move my fingers along the cutting line on the inside of the pattern and gently roll the cutter along the line. And I use fabric weights too instead of pins.

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

      Ah, see, I hate the rotary cutter! I’d rather have a go with my scissors; I always make such a mess with the slicer haha πŸ™‚

  29. Angie August 4, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Oh my goodness now we can be twins!! I love it! Now I’m going to have to go back and copy you copying me and make a sleeveless version!

    • LLADYBIRD August 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Yeeeaahhhh! And then imma copy you AGAIN! haha! πŸ™‚

  30. Kelly August 5, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Gorgeous dress! It looks so nice and cool…not that we really have enough sun to warrant a nice cool dress, but I like the idea! I just had a cutting nightmare with some viscose for a Flora – the first skirt piece ended up completely wonky, but luckily the fabric was cheap and so I’d bought loads πŸ˜€ used spray starch when I then cut the bodice to try and stop the same happening. Incidentally, the flora is also a complete shameless copy (with her permission) of Fiona’s version from when she pattern tested it – I just loved it so much!

  31. missjoiedevivre August 7, 2014 at 1:54 am #

    That fit is amazing, and extra impressive after all the work you put in to get it there. You look fantastic in it too!

  32. Johari November 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

    Thanks for the review!

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