PaulineAlice Alameda dress

Setting the chiffon with gelatin helped me achieve this gorgeous new Alameda dress from PaulineAlice, fabric courtesy of Pitt Trading. Pauline has designed this perfect summer dress.

I’m always excited and wary when I test a new pattern for a new pattern designer. Excited to make up their style. Wary to keep the design as intended and still look amazing (you know what I mean). Pauline’s brief to me was to make up the pattern as I would wear it. So I decided to make up the dress and then skirt. I’ll post up the skirt review next.
Have a look at the pattern testers so far #amazing dress.

When I went to see Sylvia at Pitt Trading, she agreed that I should make up the dress and skirt. Sylvia has a wealth of knowledge and she’s very patient when you’re putting together fabrics and notions for your specific project. 

Sylvia is also very grounded too so you will leave knowing the fabric and notion choices you’ve made will work and look good. The rest of the work is all your doing:)

Back at the sewing room:
I made my usual adjustments – roll shoulders; sway back; measured the width against mine (reality ‘gulp’ time).

The skirt length – I decided to ‘just see’ how the ruffle would work for me and used gingham on the test dress.

Granted I don’t wear gingham as a first choice but I used it to practice the piping and practice matching lines across each pattern piece. Practice makes perfect when you’re not sleepy or you’re not hungry and not distracted with housework.

Gelatin and chiffon:
This chiffon from Pitt Trading is soft and flowy and that’s why I chose it for this dress. I wanted the skirt ruffle to flow and not stick out. But soft fabrics are harder to control that quilting cotton, so I used Lena’s gelatin method. Her gelatin method is also found on Threads

There was a bit of colour in the water once I treated the fabric but by the time the fabric dried it was firm – yay – and the print was ok – yay hey! I’ve since washed this fabric twice and the print is still as vibrant as I bought it off the roll.

Is the piping worth doing?

Here’s how the piping worked out on the test dress.

Here’s how it worked out on the real dress.

I’ll let you come to your own conclusion. I love both dress versions and not just because of the work I put into it. 

The bodice is a flattering style and the princess lines are easy to adjust for a fuller figure or when you’re ‘shrinking’. Just ask Karen Ball of Did you make that? about the advantages of manipulating princess lines.

Test dress results:
There was gaping front and back at the panel/armhole area. So I removed 5cm from the front panel and 3cm from the back panel and redrew the panel curves for proper coverage.

The belt or my waist seemed too thick so I slimmed back the belt width by 1.5cm. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things but I’m short so I have to get the proportions right on all my makes. That’s just a given for my shape and size.

Ruffle or no ruffle:
The ruffle gives this dress and skirt a softer look. Gosh it’s lovely in soft fabric.

I wore my Alameda dress to a Christening before summer ‘left the building”.

I love how this chiffon from Pitt Trading keeps this dress looking feminine. 

By the way, I’ve added lining behind the ruffle because chiffon is sheer. I’ve used the ruffle pattern and shortened it by 3cm and simple overlocked the lining.

Thank you Pauline for asking me to test this pattern.

A big thank you to Pitt Trading (Julia and Sylvia) for enabling me to test Pauline’s pattern in the fabrics that it was designed for.

If you’re in Sydney, make sure you go by Pitt Trading’s stand and say hi to Julia and Sylvia at the Craft fair on this week. It finishes on Sunday.

About PaulineAlice patterns

Pauline’s patterns are available in 3 languages: English, Spanish and French.
Pauline has created an ongoing collection of feminine sewing patterns… with a touch of retro.
Alameda is a street in Valencia, Spain where Pauline lives (). All her patterns names are related to her beautiful city. She’s French and she’s been living in Spain for more than 4 years now and the Spanish names really inspire her.

Camí comes from Camí Real, the name of a neighborhood and means a path.

Malva-rosa is the name of the beach (Malvarrosa in spanish, Malva-rosa in valencian). I think that’s a beach I’ll add to my travel plans in the future.
Her Ninot jacket would be perfect for our current winter conditions.
#Simply stunning.


  1. This pattern looks great in the chiffon you've picked, the swirls and the piping really pick up on the pattern design. I love a princess seamed dress with waist definition, it's so flattering on you


  2. Both dresses are lovely – have to say that chiffon dress is a stunner. The piping makes it really special and I love that frill. Gorgeous.


  3. You did a beautiful job making both dresses. I especially like the gingham version. I think this is a great pattern for gingham, especially with the piping. The chiffon version is so pretty and a completely different feel.


  4. Beautiful dress, and thanks for the gelatine tip ~ it really does tame the fabric when sewing. Your chiffon fabric just looks divine in this pattern … J


  5. This is just stunning. I love both of these dresses and they are by FAR my favourite versions of the Alameda pattern for sure. The chiffon version is wonderful but I also really love the gingham too – very different looks but you have just nailed both of them. I am planning on making up the Ninot as soon as we finish the Jackie sewalong.


  6. The chiffon dress is absolutely gorgeous – and the style really suits you. Actually the gingham dress is lovely too – and it doesn't look like just a test dress! Yes, I've had success with the gelatine treatment too – really reduces the struggle with slippery fabrics!


  7. Oooh, I like the fabric choice! It's a flattering dress, and I can see how it would be versatile enough for many shapes and sizes. I think piping always makes things look more “finished”, and this looks great!


  8. Love the lines of this design, yours looks fantastic. I cant ever imagine being patient enough to sew with chiffon, may have to give the gelatine a shot – thanks for sharing the info.


  9. Oh chiffon! It scares me more than silk! But you conquered it and made a lovely dress! Incredible how the same pattern looks different in different fabric! Great job with both dresses (and piping!!!!)!


  10. I like both dresses too. And yes the piping is worth it. It adds details and emphasizes the style lines. Great job.


  11. Both dresses look great (as does your skirt version). I love that chiffon print and will have to try the gelatine method as I always find lovely prints in chiffon and hate working with it!


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