Project started : March 5th 2018
Finished : March 22nd 2018
Version made : B (with cap sleeves and bow detail at the back waist)
- 2.6m of quilting cotton 110cm wide
- 3 Gütermann Sew All 100m – used about 2.5 spools
- 1m fusible interfacing
- 1m bias tape, 12mm wide (the pattern doesn’t tell you the width needed, this is just what I had in hand)
- 14 buttons size 15mm (pattern calls for 15 but I omitted the one on collar stand)
Before I go into the detail of this review, first of all I’d like to say please excuse the poor quality of the photos here. I took these pictures with my aging phone’s camera and the lighting was not at all helping me as we had a very grey and cloudy day. With that out of the way, let’s dive in to the review, shall we?
This dress is such a learning curve for me. I totally underestimated how tricky this can be. Firstly, I’d never sewn princess seam before. Secondly, stand collar. Yikes! Both of them were not off-puttingly difficult, just a bit challenging, especially because I needed to do some adjustments on the bodice. Not complaining, because I feel like this dress, thanks to the
toile-ing fitting process being a bit complicated to me, has earned me my Dressmaker Badge haha.
My measurements fall in between sizes, which is normal for me. I could handle that. But… I had to do SBA here, on a princess seam. This is the bit that really slowed me down. On a princess seam where the line cuts the bust straight in the centre, I feel it is very essential to get the sizing right – I don’t want to see excess fabric there. I found lots of tutorials on FBA, but surprisingly not that many for the SBA.
The fabric I used is quilting cotton, though it feels somewhat softer. I went with version B, which includes a bow in the back and cap sleeves. The bow is cute, cap sleeves? Hmmm… I’m not sure. They look cute, but quite fiddly and not so practical to wear – to me. The fit of the armholes was great before I added the sleeves and with it bias binding strip. Now? Not so much, quite tight actually. Next time, I’ll stay with sleeveless.
There are 11 pattern pieces for this version. The recommended fabrics are poplin, chambray, and linen. The packaging is nice, although I think a beautiful photo of the finished dress on a model wouldn’t hurt. There are English and French instruction provided.
The pattern is aimed at the more advanced sewists. Maybe it’s because of the buttonholes, collar and collar stand? But I think it’s also because the instruction is very minimal… concise. It also doesn’t exactly tell you every single step needed, it just assumes that you know already. Such as, staystitching the curves. Makes sense, I guess.
I like the dress, I think it is sweet without being overly feminine or frilly, even with the bow. I made the dress in size 42 bust, 44 waist, and back to 42 on the hips. I shortened the length by 7cm, and I added in-seam pockets – because who doesn’t like pockets, right? Another thing to be aware of is that the dress is very thread-hungry due to the topstitching. Topstitching everywhere.
All in all I love the pattern, I learned so much from it. I love how the dress can be casual and smart too. I can see myself making another one or two – with some changes of course. Also, like most shirtdress patterns, this one can be hacked into a shirt. The very short and easy tutorial and outfit idea can be found on the Deer and Doe blog here.
Being a rectangle shape with no curves, I’m not completely sold on this dress on my body as it is. For my next version, I think I shall exclude the back bow in favour of belt to break the straight line. Maybe contrasting side panels? Like the style of Zadie dress from Tilly and the Buttons? Hmmm… I need to look more into that.
So, that’s the review folks. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed making and writing this. Happy sewing!