Big Stripe Emery Dress


Taking a break from historical sewing for some regular additions to my wardrobe…

The Pattern: The Emery Dress by Christine Haynes, a classic fit-and-flare style with gathered skirt and darted bodice. It has options of longer sleeves and a collar as well. I decided to keep it simple.

Partially inspired by Lauren of Rosie Wednesday who has been quite prolific in sewing Emery’s lately, she’s probably made at least half a dozen.


I cut a size six and it fits pretty well with no alterations but I’m wondering if I need to alter the upper chest area, it pulls across my front if I move my arms back even a little but when I stand normally it’s almost like there’s too much fabric there. It’s weird, not totally sure what to do about it. Thoughts?

The Fabric: A big stripe shirting from Form and Fabric, an online store that recently opened a storefront. I love this fabric so much! It’s so soft and light, perfect for Texas summers.

Lisa from Notes from a Mad Housewife bought some, too, while she was in Austin visiting and made a Scout.

The Changes: I made some self bias tape and used it as a neck facing rather than line the bodice, something I do when I can because when it’s so hot you usually don’t want an extra layer of fabric.


I finished all hems by hand, including the neck binding. And I did a lapped zip instead of a regular or invisible one. I’ve done lapped zips before in practice but never on an actual garment.

But my zipper was too short. I have to put the dress on over my head rather than stepping into it because of that little detail. I just used a zip I had in my stash because I was too lazy to drive to the store and buy a longer zipper yet I some how perfectly fine about sewing all the hems and picking a zip in by hand. Priorities.


The Results: Overall I’m very pleased. I’ve already gotten a few compliments on it. It’s an easy dress to throw on and look cute and I’ve already worn it several times in the last week or so. Win!

Only change I’d probably do next time – I think the waist is a tad too loose or like half an inch too low, or both, or neither. I don’t know, if nothing else I’d probably raise the skirt up a bit at the back waist ’cause it’s not even from the side. But this is just a minor thing and won’t prevent me from wearing the dress.

On the other hand I loved the addition of the back shoulder darts, they worked great to give a smooth shape in the back and most patterns don’t include them.

(Peanut photobombed me!)

I already have plans for my second Emery!

  • Very cute! I love the big stripe. That fabric was a find! I am not even remotely close to being someone who knows anything about fitting, but my guess would be that the pulling has something to do with the armscye being not quite right? I only say that because I have a similar issue before. I’ll be interested to read what others chime in.

  • colesworth

    I’ve only made a muslin and I had too much fabric in the upper chest area. I learned how to draft a block from my measurements last weekend and apparently I am shorter in the upper chest area as compared to standard. So I’m going to try to modify my emery pattern based on my block (but now I’m worried about arm movement!!).

  • JuliaBobbin

    Gorgeous! And the fabric looks really striking in this design. Looks great on you!

  • Accordion3

    Impressive stripe matching at the sleeves!

  • I love it! The fabric is absolutely amazing and perfect for this pattern.

  • sewsouthlondon

    I love how modern this looks in the stripe. The waistline doesn’t look too low on the front. I finished my first Emery this week, and I’m having similar thoughts on whether the bodice fit, or whether cutting a difference size would result in a better fit. Either way, yours is gorgeous!

  • Wow, I am in love with these big stripes! Super cute dress.

    Re: ” I think the waist is a tad too loose or like half an inch too low, or both, or neither.” I experienced the same waistline confusion as you when I made my Emery! I feel like something was just OFF with mine, but I still haven’t figured out what it is. I think I like the placement of your waistline, but maybe it is a teensy bit loose? Although I still think it looks great, and I’m sure the looseness is kind of nice in these 97+ temps lately.

  • This is the absolute cutest Emery I’ve seen. I love it so much!!

  • sallieforrer

    I love this! Those stripes are such a good scale for this dress!

  • Love love love! This is hands down one of my favorite versions of this dress ever! Gorgeous job lady and thanks for using my pattern!

  • Such beautiful colours! About the fit: I’m thinking maybe add some width at the top of the armscye and/or the shoulder, and then possibly an SBA?

  • Thanks for the tips! I’ll take a closer look at the bust the next time I wear the dress.

  • Thanks, armscye width makes sense, looking at the pics it’s like the fabric is pulling at my upper arm (kind of like my shoulders are too wide).

  • Thanks so much!!

  • Thanks lady! I thought about doing a facing but this fabric is so thin and light I worried you’d see that facing ridge, if ya know what I mean.

  • Thank ya! You should totally go buy some of that fabric before they sell out. 😉
    Yes, loose is good when it’s super hot. I think I’ll shorten the back bodice slightly on the next one so the waistline will look straighter on the side. I can always bring in the side seams more later if I still think it’s too loose.

  • Thanks so much!

  • I’m wondering if in this case I need to make the upper chest shorter? Hmm, things to think about…

  • haha! thanks lady! 😉

  • Thanks! I’m starting to think the armscye might be the culprit. Not certain yet but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

  • Thank you!! 🙂

  • Thanks, I thought with big stripes it would be easier to match but I still had to pay attention. It’s not perfect (it never can be when you’ve got darts running every which way) but I think it turned out pretty good.

  • Thanks sallie!

  • Thank you!!

  • Wow, thanks!

  • Thank ya!

  • Agneta Olofsson

    There’s quite a few big and beautiful ones on this site too.

  • Very cute dress, I love the stripes!

  • It looks very cute! I am currently struggling with fit issues on my bodice for another dress and it is driving me crazy. Good luck with yours!