Queue dress

Hello everyone! I stayed up on Sunday night to finish this, the very summery Queue dress. She is a sleeveless Emery dress with a pleated dirndl skirt, made up in the wonderful Eiffel Tower print fabric I got at B&M in Leeds market back in February. No pockets this time. 

the Queue dress (Christine Haynes' Emery pattern)
This is one of those dresses where lots of the features happened by accident, but on the most part I'm glad they did. 

Firstly, I really didn't buy enough fabric. I cut out the bodice pieces and then discovered that with my lovely directional print, my pleated drindl skirt would have to be just 18 and a half inches long. Oops. I honestly don't know how I made such a rookie sewing error as not purchasing enough fabric. Luckily I don't mind a short skirt! 

I did a fair few alterations and a muslin out of an old sheet. I really want to get this bodice fit perfect, as the Emery is such a versatile pattern. I can't wait to get it all perfect so that I can just cut out and sew up without all the altering and fit time that was involved in this one. 

The fit on my Flowers for Jane dress was pretty good, but there were a couple of things I really wanted to change. 

I moved the waist darts down an inch, and lengthened the bodice by about 3/8". I moved the bust darts up slightly to be pointing at the apex of the bust, and got rid of excess fabric pooling under the bust by shaping the bust darts using Gertie's excellent tutorial (thank you Lynne for pointing me to this tutorial!). I'm so chuffed with the fit on the bust and waist now. I took the shoulder seams up slightly and angled them to fit my big shoulders, then redid the neckline afterwards. I wish I had taken a bit more out of the neckline actually, it's a bit high for my liking. I took half an inch out of each side of the centre back as well, and made the neck darts a smidge bigger. I'm starting to think that this is what's pulling the front neckline out and making it gape, so more work needed there. I'm happy with the fit of this dress on the whole, though. 

I knife pleated my skirt in opposite directions, so there's effectively an inverted box pleat in the centre.

Pleats (and creases)
Because the skirt is so much shorter than originally planned, I didn't want to lose any more length hemming the thing. By happy coincidence, I had bought 6 packs of this navy bias binding from a charity shop weeks ago for 69p a pack, and it's a perfect colour match! Woohoo! It also gives the hem some body so it looks extra full.

I also over corrected the armscye from my last version. I wanted short sleeves with this dress but when I went to put them in, even after adding to the sleeve pattern to allow for the fabric I'd scooped out of the back of the armscye, that sleeve was never going to fit or look nice. ANY kind of sleeve was never going to fit, I had just scooped too much out of the arm hole. Drat. I then tried the Flowers for Jane dress back on and thought "What the heck was I worried about? These are perfect!". So since sleeves were out of the question on this dress, the armholes got bias bound too. And the neckline to match. I decided not to line it, especially since my edges were all going to be finished and bound anyway, and, you know, summer's just around the corner.

The only issues to iron out next time are: gaping at centre front of neckline (would having sleeves change this anyway?) and the waistline, which pulls down slightly at the back. Oh and to retrace the pattern again to go back to the Flowers for Jane sized armholes. Almost there on my quest for perfect fit!

My Invisible zip really is invisible. Hooray! I would have like to pattern match along the centre back, but flipping heck I didn't really have enough fabric for a dress anyway, never mind pattern matching!!

I put a press stud on some of the binding folded in half as a little belt. I thought it needed it to continue the theme and also accentuate the lines of the dress. But this way I can always remove for the wearing of a different belt.

I'm not sure on the bias bound neckline. Maybe it's because the neckline is a bit high anyway, or maybe it's the harsh contrast of colours? Maybe the bias binding is a bit thick? I'm going to live with it for a bit and if it gets to be too annoying I can always chop that neckline down a bit and bind it all over again. I've got enough of the stuff. 

I love navy and white for summer. I'll wear it with red, green, turquoise, bright pink, or perhaps yellow. For now there are always tights and cardigans! When we get some sun it can be flats and bare arms. Come on, sunshine, we're ready for you! 

It's called the Queue dress because when I first went to Paris with my mum and dad as a teenager, I can remember us getting to the Eiffel Tower, having planned to go up, and my dad in true Yorkshireman fashion declaring "I'm not bloody queuing in that!". It was a very long queue, he had a point. But I've told Liam he has to take me to Paris soon so we can go up the tower. And so I can wear my dress of course.

Off to cut out another Emery. Over and out! 


  1. This is gorgeous! I love the binding, it really sets the dress off. I also love the idea of using some binding as a belt - that's genius! Isn't that waist dart tutorial great? I was using it myself on Sunday.

    1. Thank you, Lynne! That dart tutorial is excellent. I wouldn't have figured out how to shape the ends of darts myself, and it makes such a difference!

  2. Very pretty, I really like the binding edges it makes that pattern pop :)

    1. Thanks, Zoe. I'm glad you like the binding - it's growing on me! It's funny how sometimes we're just not sure about something. That's when a pair of fresh eyes helps. Thanks!

  3. I must try this bias binding malarkey - looks so lovely, including the neckline! Super cute dress.

    1. Hi! Thank you! The neckline is growing on me - I think in the end I'm glad I bound everything! I definite;y recommend giving it a go, especially as a way of finishing an unlined dress. And I will definitely use it on hems again!