This is the first Violette Field Threads I’ve ever made – I discovered their patterns recently when searching for vintage inspired sewing patterns. I am in love! The Ashton was a simple first pattern from this company – the pattern is comprised of 5 pieces; front and back bodices, skirt, sleeve and tie. It’s perfect for beginners – there’s nothing too tricky involved. There is no zip; instead there is a buttoned up back closure.
The pattern is both a top and dress; the full gathered sleeves are sewn into the bodice sides. I made the dress version; I opted for the short sleeves over the 3/4 length sleeves because I was making this for summer. There are two skirt lengths are included: vintage and knee length. I opted for the shorter; however, the skirt is easily adjustable to any length you wish.
The instruction booklet is excellent – well illustrated and easy to follow, it’s another reason why this is a perfect beginner pattern. It includes lots of fitting advice and instructions for making a muslin / toile before starting. I was in one of those lazy moods where I just wanted to make a garment without too much fussing. While the smart thing to do would have been to pick up a familiar tried and trusted pattern, the Ashton just appealed to me more. I chose the dress size that corresponded to my bust size as that’s my largest size – ordinarily, I’d try the smaller size and make an adjustment to the bust but as I say, I was feeling lazy (in other words, tired but not tired enough to give up my weekend sewing time). The dress came together really quickly; it helps that I love gathering.
It’s also a fully lined bodice (I stitched the lining by hand rather than stitching in the ditch which just feels clumsy to me and not as well finished).
I made this version in a viscose with gold lurex from Rainbow Fabrics and the drape is absolutely beautiful; the gold thread is particularly sparkly, too!
For the back bodice button closure I opted for these beautiful little transparent daisies (vintage 1960s Italian buttons) – I thought they were 13mm diameter – it was only after I made the buttonholes, full of confidence, that I discovered that the buttons are actually 15mm.
Note to self, when you buy as much as I do… don’t rely on memory. Now, thankfully, because I made this dress to correspond to my bust measurements and the dress has waist ties and, therefore, lots of room, I don’t have to worry about buttoning and unbuttoning the bodice. I can put the dress on without opening it. Another thing – because I didn’t make a muslin, I’m left with a neckline that’s a bit big so, next time, I’ll have to take a couple of inches out of the neckline. I’ll have to do a bit of fitting research before then because the little bust darts are so small I can’t add the excess fabric into it.
I’ll sort that neckline next time – and there will be a next time because I am so happy with this pattern and cannot wait for summery days to wear it out. I’m also keen to try out other designs by this pattern company.