I have seen many, many lovely versions of the Papercut Patterns Meridian dress over the last few years, so I added it to my ‘make nine’ plans for 2021 and popped the pattern on my Christmas list. It’s such a simple silhouette, but the waist tie detail creates beautiful shaping and interest and there are different sleeve and hem lengths to give a variety of looks.
I think fabric choice for the Meridan dress really determines how ‘smart’ it looks and I wanted my version to be what I call ‘every day special’ – not so fancy that you can’t wear it to the supermarket, but fancy enough that you feel a bit dressed-up in it. My favourite versions on the hashtag were all made in plain fabric and I thought that a solid colour with the short sleeves and the shorter hem would best suit my brief.
I had been keeping my eye out for some suitable fabric on my travels, but it turned out to be right under my nose at Hometown! We stock a range of enzyme washed linens in some gorgeous colours and I had never paid much attention to this bolt of purple-ish grey on the shelf. When I unrolled it to cut some for a customer I realised just how beautiful it was – it was incredibly soft with the most beautiful drape and I loved the unusual mushroomy colour, so I bought the 2.25m I needed. I also used our YKK colour card to find a perfectly matching invisible zip – I really do love my job!
The size I chose to make was the ‘XS’ – it looks like the size range has been extended and the pattern updated since I got my copy and this is the equivalent of what is now the size 3. I made no adjustments at all and I am delighted with the fit – I could perhaps have graded to a smaller size at the bust, but the style of the bodice makes any excess fabric obsolete. The sewing itself was very enjoyable and I found the instructions to be clear, well illustrated and coherently written. The instruction booklet itself was printed on the pattern paper and required cutting out and folding into a little booklet yourself – at first I thought this was really cute, but after it unravelled for the 6th time and I lost my place I changed my mind! Hopefully this has been improved in the pattern update.
There’s always a risk when you’ve been planning your version of a make for almost a year that the finished garment doesn’t live up to your expectations, but my Meridian dress absolutely does. I love the fabric, the colour, the fit and the style and it definitely meets my ‘every day special’ brief. I’ve been daydreaming of a future version already – I’m thinking forest green tencel twill with long sleeves for a winter wedding (not that I’ve been invited to one) would be absolutely stunning!
For those of you interested in the backdrop of these photos, this is Castle Farm in Kent. It’s the same farm where we picked apples and took photos of my Sagebrush and we visit the lavender fields every year – you may recognise them from my first Stevie dress, my Heidi dress and my Jessica dress photos! The lavender is harvested at the end of July so you may have missed it for this year, but I highly recommend finding a lavender farm to visit next summer!