I think you can tell from my previous post about the gorgeous Elskan dress from Charlotte Kan that I love a good old batwing dress. The Dita is another dress that utilises this eighties silhouette but also features a really flattering wrap design. The dress is made to wear either with the v-neck at the front or the back which gives the dress a lot of versatility. I personally prefer the dress worn in the traditional way with the low cut wrap at the front, though this is only because I don't think high necks are my thing.
The reason that prompted me to eventually buy this pattern (other than loving the design) is because I was venturing to the posh bit at Ascot racecourse and needed a dress. I don't have loads of Ascot worthy dresses as my going out clothes rarely get more exciting than jeans and a top and loads of things from last year are frankly too small (sad face). The dress code for Ascot is pretty strict - dresses to be at least knee length, no strapless, halter neck or spaghetti straps and no exposed midriffs.....pah like any member of the public is going to get a glimpse of my midriff any time soon! But in all seriousness I was out of work and needed a quick, simple, cheap make that feels glam. So in walks Dita.
I wanted a drapey, flowing fabric but originally wanted something with a little body. I thought crepe would be a winter ready dress fabric that would have a lovely drape and would work well with the dress. I looked everywhere as I had specific ideas of what I wanted, which always means you can't find anything at all...! Long story short I came across the gorgeous digital tapestry crepe fabric on the Sew Over It website. It wasn't quite what I was thinking of but I liked its bold colours and in narrowing down my search I kept coming back to it. When it arrived, whilst I loved the colours, I was a little disappointed that it was more like a polyester silk type fabric - I also thought it was black not navy in the background though that is probably due to my computer monitor giving me a false colour representation. The fabric is very smooth, swishy and drapey but also really thin (should have read lightweight on the fabric description and believed it!). I didn't think a crepe was like that though so it was a real surprise, I always assumed it was a slightly heavier, rough feeling fabric. This meant I went through lots of pre-sewing thinking about whether to interline the fabric to give it more body or just to get on with it and sew... In the end after buying some black lawn to interline it with I decided not to bother because I wasn't sure whether it would work well and in honesty I was in danger of running out of sewing time before the big event.
The construction is super simple as there are so few elements to sew together and there are no tricky techniques, so its perfect for beginners. In the end I whipped it up pretty quickly. The thing that took time was hemming the skirt as there is quite a lot of fabric. Things that you should be aware of with this pattern. The skirt is shorter than I would normally cut and sew, I lengthened it to the longest length available on the pattern and it was just right for me (just above the knee) but I would say if you are tall you may find it comes up a little short. The tie needed sewing down rather than just pressing, but this is likely due to my fabric choice more than anything. Without topstitching it looked a little 'baggy'. The biggest thing with this pattern is that the front falls open which can be annoying and the facing can pop out a little. I found that even when securing the front facing at the shoulders and at the waist it popped out and this is mostly due to the fact the front naturally sags which is part of the design. Wear Lemonade suggest a pin at the bust but I think this looks a little like it doesn't fit plus I wasn't sure this fabric would take kindly to having holes put in it. My preference was to purchase a lacy slip from M&S. Works a treat. So if the front falls open a little it doesn't feel like I am exposing myself to the world.
The best bits about this pattern are that its a really flattering design, it sews together impeccably and it has English translation alongside the French sewing terms. OK not all of it is perfect but its 99.9% perfect and so much easier than trying to decipher the French! Basically I love it so much and think after all my worries the fabric is just perfect for this pattern. I feel like I have a proper going out dress now. Just have to find another occasion to wear it!!
I hope you liked reading about Dita. What is on your sewing table today?