I can't quite believe how much life has changed in one month. Back in February, while coronavirus was gaining momentum worldwide, we were still free to come and go as we pleased in the UK. While our current locked down status is absolutely necessary, I'm so grateful that I got to catch up with sewing friends in the flesh at various events just weeks before.

One such event was The New Craft House Galentine's Party. The night itself was such a giggle, made even sweeter by the fact that Amy of Almond Rock and I won the #SewingWife bingo, for which our matching fabric choice definitely gave us the edge.

We both randomly bought this gorgeous cupid/cherub print viscose twill from Ditto Fabrics a while back with no real plan in mind, until the perfect occasion revealed itself. When Hannah and Rosie announced their party, I knew I had to use this fabric and I knew exactly which pattern to pair it with.

I'd been lusting over the stunning Solina dress in Breaking the Pattern by Named for ages, so I seized the chance to finally make it. Something about the whimsical ties and floaty silhouette really called to me, especially after seeing SO many amazing versions on Instagram.

I think I made a straight size 4 (or 5...I can't remember) and miraculously, I didn't have to shorten the bodice for the ties to hit at my natural waistline. I also didn't have to shorten the sleeves, which was another pleasant surprise. However, I removed 15cm off the length, and I probably could have trimmed more off. 

Inspired by a number of clever stitchers, I lengthened the waist ties to 80cm each so I could wrap them all the way around as I was worried about how the 'shift' shape would look like on me from the back. I'm pretty happy with the result. 

I was gutted that I had to sacrifice the centre skirt slit because I didn't have enough fabric, so I'd love to include that feature next time. For a second version I would also pinch a small wedge out of the front neckline and tweak the back bodice as it's a little too long, giving me a slight hunchback. Even though the ties are one of my favourite elements of the sleeves, I would probably skip them again as they're so impractical.

All in all, I felt super glamorous in this dress and I'm pleased that I tried (and liked) a shape that's out of my comfort zone. Have you seen the super cute top version of the Solina pattern? I'm 100% making one this summer!