How’s everyone doing? Yeah….me too. After spending a weekend sewing masks I was desperately in need of something to clear my head and cheer me up, so when Sinclair Patterns asked if anyone wanted to test their new FREE pattern I was all in.
I had this striped abstract print in my stash. I really love the color but I wasn’t sure if the print was for me. I am so happy I went for it though, I could not be more thrilled with this dress. Not to mention after weeks of living in yoga pants and t-shirts, it felt great to do my hair and get dressed up even if it was only for these pictures.
Honestly, even if this wasn’t free I’d buy it and make a hundred. It’s loaded with skirt, neckline, and sleeve options – check out the lantern sleeves in the pattern, so cool! – and has a great pleated detail to the knee length skirt.
This is my new go-to dress pattern, available here. Also, while you’re there everything else is 20% off right now.
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS**
Lauren is a draped front top or dress with pleating details at the shoulder and waist. The wrapped front gives an asymmetrical neckline. As per usual the pattern comes in a large size range and three height options. Now I’ll be honest, those pleats – not for the faint of heart – but so worth it!
I sewed up both variations: a dress in a brightly patterned ITY and and the top made from a polkadot sweater knit. Both fabrics are from Knitpop auction boxes. As you’ll see, fabric choice is hugely important in determining how this pattern drapes and fits.
First I made the ITY dress. This is so comfortable!! It’s cold and windy here now, but when the weather warms up I think it’ll be in heavy rotation. I was concerned that the wrap would be loose and show off more than I’d like, but the weight of the ITY keeps everything in place and modest. The slightly dropped waist gives it a different look that I haven’t seen lately and I kinda love it. You should see the way the skirt moves too.
The second was the polkadot sweater. This time the draped front fell further from my body. I don’t necessarily need an undershirt with it but it makes me feel better. I wore this to my kids’ school the week after I made it and got tons of complements and I was supremely comfortable while cutting 50 little handprints out of construction paper.
Sinclair has a new pattern out!! I’ve quickly fallen in love with Sinclair Patterns for consistently high quality patterns. This week they came out with the new Dakota Tunic and Dress.
This pattern has a curved hem, button (true or faux plackets) or plain front, and several neckline and sleeve length options.
I made the tunic length version with the true placket front, crew neck, and 3/4 length sleeves. This one is made with a liverpool double knit from Knitpop. It wasn’t exactly a recommended fabric but I made it work because I love this print so much.
As always the pattern comes in petite, regular, and tall. The PDF file has layers for each size to blend between sizes – I blended from a size 6 bust to a size 8 waist and hips.
Because I was using liverpool I had to fudge a few things. First, I used a different fabric for the neck binding, a VERY thin stretchy rayon spandex. I highly recommend this if you’re using a thicker fabric as it helps keep the neckline from being too bulky and puckering. Second, I did snaps instead of buttons. My button foot did not like the texture of this fabric and kept jamming so I pulled out my trusty KAM Snaps and got to work. Of course I forgot to switch the direction of overlap when I decided to do snaps, but you know what, I think that’s an archaic artifact of fashion’s past that really doesn’t matter anymore. So there.
All in all, a great experience. I wore this on a full on Mom-mode day and was comfortable and cute, win-win. I have some really fun ITY that I think I’m going to use to make another one in dress length (keep an eye on my Instagram for that).
The Dakota pattern is on sale for $8.99 through 12/15/18 so, you know, go get yourself a little something for Christmas!
**I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PATTERN AS PART OF THE TESTING PROCESS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS**
Oh Fall how I have missed you! By mid-August I am a thousand percent done with summer and start dreaming of cold weather sewing. Of course it’s still pretty warm here most days so I’m all about a transitional dress like the Deer Creek from New Horizons Designs.
I’ve been eyeing this pattern since it came out and finally bought it during their Labor Day sale this year. Why oh why did I wait so long!?
This is a dolman sleeve dress that can be made in short or long sleeve. It also has a tunic variation that I’m going to have to try soon too. The dress length comes just to the calf which is a length that I don’t always find flattering on my body but the curved hem makes it work. I think if I make it next year for warm weather I’ll shorten the skirt a bit.
I made a straight medium according to my measurements and it fits great and is so comfortable. I did add a little length to the elastic in my second one because I get a little fussy if things are too tight around my middle.
The first one I made was this black “Jolene” print double brushed poly (DBP) from Knitpop. I’ve been holding on to this fabric specifically for this dress and it’s everything I hoped it would be.
The second is this beautiful mustard yellow floral DBP that I picked up from Fabric Mart also just for this dress. I’m looking forward to pairing these with boots and a scarf for a cute winter outfit.
I did make a few changes in the order of assembly because of my personal preferences but otherwise the directions were clear and easy to follow. I also made a mistake assembling the waistband the first time but that was on me for not following the directions. When I went back and made a second one it was pretty clear in the instructions what I did wrong. This is what I get for sewing while listening to podcasts.
All in all a totally positive review from me. This a fantastic dress pattern.
**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.**
Confession: I’ve always been intimidated by paper patterns. That is until I decided to make myself a dress for a wedding we recently attended. One thing that is seriously missing from PDF patterns, but abundant in paper patterns, is good special occasion wear.
So I decided to conquer my fear and have a go at Vogue’s V9252, a princess seamed dress with a high-low hem and of course…pockets!
I picked this pattern because it seemed simple enough and had multiple cup sizes built into the pattern which I am always a fan of.
And I’m a sucker for a high-low hem.
I made the dress with this super pretty blue floral shantung satin and lined with a matching blue satin, both from the wonderfully helpful Cali Fabrics.
Unfortunately I fell between a 14 and a 16 in sizing which meant I fell between the available pattern ranges. So I did a little hand grading and made LOTS of small adjustments and muslins but in the end I felt like I got a pretty great fit. The only other major change I made was to bring the armscye up just a bit. It was very low as drafted and I’ve seen other people who made this dress complain about the same thing.
The construction was pretty straight forward and all the pieces fit together with no problems. I ended up hand stitching the lining which, while time consuming, gave a nice finished look to the whole garment. The pockets are generously sized so I was able to keep my phone in there and not need carry a purse.
The hem was a little tricky since this amounted to a full circle skirt and the shantung frayed like crazy. I serged the hem, folded it over and stitched it in place, and then folded and stitched again to hide the serger stitches.
There are only two things I’d change if I were to do it again:
A swayback adjustment. I didn’t get good pictures of the back but thats ok, it had a bit of a ripple. Some of it was probably caused by my zipper technique that still needs work but I think a swayback adjustment would have fixed most of it.
Boning in the side. The skirt is quite heavy and pulls the bodice down more than I’d like, especially in the back. I think boning would have added some much needed support.
I’ve come a long way in my garment making and I’m really proud of how it turned out.
P.S. My husband is looking pretty good too. Love you babe!
A few weeks back I bought a bunch of strawberry pink seersucker fabric from Fabric Mart. I had no plans for it other than I really liked the idea of a seersucker dress and maybe some shorts for summer.
Then I stumbled on a pattern test for the Victoire Dress from new to me designer Laela Jeyne. Joy! It had just what I was looking for in a summer dress:
Thin straps, a fitted bodice, buttons, pockets (of course!), and a tea length option.
How lovely did this dress turn out!? I’m calling it my beach town dress. The perfect little summer dress for walking the boardwalk.
Like all woven patterns, it’s recommended that you make a muslin of at least the bodice to fine tune the fit, BUT Laela Jeyne was kind enough to release this dress with multiple cup sizes (A through E!). I love when designers do that, it really cuts down on the number of alterations that need to be done. I’ll confess, I could have done one or two more muslins to get a perfect fit, but I’m still happy with the end result.
I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with zippers lately and I feel pretty comfortable with those. When I saw the button placket on this dress I was like “oh no problem”.
Yeah…my button skills are a little rusty it turns out. It didn’t help that my button foot kept getting stuck on the fabric. However I love the look of the button down front.