Daisy Daisy – Joy’s Park Lane Dress

I went to a friend’s wedding a couple of weekends ago and didn’t have any suitable dresses (everything was either too short or too small!) so Sarah kindly offered to send me some fabric to make something new. I don’t sew as much as I used to, and wanted to make something I’d get lots of wear out of. I’m definitely more of a “jeans and a tee” girl now, so whatever I made needed to look good with trainers!

It passed the test!

I didn’t have time to toile so needed to go with a T&T dress pattern, and for me that’s unquestionably the Nina Lee Park Lane dress. (Unfortunately, Nina has stopped selling paper patterns, but you can purchase the PDF from her online shop. Fits sizes UK 6 – 28). I also wanted a fabric that would be nice and quick to cut out and sew, so I went for a trusty cotton lawn, as slippery fabrics are not my friend. I was very tempted by the Katrina pink cotton lawn and cherry blossom cotton lawn, but opted for this beautiful black daises cotton lawn, which also comes in lilac. I know, I know:

I wasn’t sure if cotton lawn would have enough drape for this pattern, but not all cotton lawns are created equal and let me tell you: This one is a DREAM! It’s so soft, feels really luxurious and has a lovely bit of swish to it. It’s very lightweight and a tiny bit sheer, so you may wish to line a dress or skirt made with it, or wear a slip as I did. I think it would be perfect for a lightweight Summer blouse and I’m rather tempted to get some more! This is my third Park Lane dress so I wanted to make sure it looked a little different to my others, and I decided to add the collar from my second favourite Nina Lee pattern: The Bakerloo dress/blouse. I guess that makes it a Parkerloo? Baker Lane? I had lots of fun sketching out collar combinations in my craft journal:

Conveniently, the necklines of the Park Lane and Bakerloo were almost identical in my size, and I didn’t need to make any changes to the neckline to add the collar. I can’t guarantee that this is the case for all sizes, so please check your pattern pieces before you cut into your fabric if you’re adding a collar.

As always, my furry sewing assistant was on hand to help

I’d originally intended to add a white ruffle to the collar but it didn’t look quite right, and I used some pre-gathered black lace trim from my stash instead. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise until too late that it wasn’t a consistent width, and my ruffle was a little uneven. If you’re adding a pre-made trim, make sure you check the width before pinning in place, and adjust accordingly. Thankfully, I don’t think it’s too noticeable as it’s against a black background. The Bakerloo blouse neckline is finished with bias binding, but I’m really not a fan and opted to stick with the facing from the Park Lane pattern.

I had to add one of fabulously odd Inside Voices woven labels!

As is always the case with a statement collar, it felt like half the construction time was spent on that alone, but thankfully the rest of the dress came together quite quickly! As I mentioned, I’ve made this pattern a couple of times before, and made the following adjustments / amendments to the construction:

  • 2cm narrow shoulder adjustment – pretty standard for me Cut back skirt on the fold – don’t forget to omit the centre back seam allowance if you do!
  • Omitted side zip – more details below
  • Inserted sleeves flat – I’m sure this would horrify some sewing purists but I always do
    this on tops and dresses as it’s a lot quicker and easier. Just don’t do it on a set-in
    jacket or coat sleeve!
  • Shortened from midi to knee-length as midi doesn’t look right on me

I discovered quite by accident while making my first Park Lane that I didn’t actually need the side seam zip to get it on and off, as I’d absent mindedly removed my toile without undoing any pins. I’m between sizes so I assume that the dress is supposed to be a little more fitted at the waist, but I quite like the looser fit. More room for cake. I usually use a covered-button for the neckline, but had the perfect daisy-shaped button in my stash! These Pigeon Wishes buttercup buttons or yellow love heart buttons would also have paired well if I’d been organised enough to think about buttons in advance.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my phone to the wedding so I didn’t take any photos there. Sarah snapped a quick couple but as you can probably tell: It was verrry breezy and I soon rushed back to the warmth of my cape!

Conveniently, the weather warmed up the following weekend and I had a little impromptu Spring photoshoot among the daffodils.

I hope this has given you a little Spring sewing inspiration. If you make a Parkerloo / Baker Lane, or anything with this gorgeous daisy fabric, I’d love to see! You can tag me and see more of my sewing adventures on Instagram at @joy.margot. And if you are Bristol-based, please come along to the Like Sew Amazing April Open Day/4th Birthday party on Saturday 2nd April, where I will be talking all things bullet journalling! Happy sewing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *