Last year Sew Much Talent’s facebook group held a sewalong lead by Alethia and I bought the pattern at the time. I love fitted dresses and having a zipper at the front is a style I can’t get enough of.
This pattern allows you the option to use a stretch woven like ponte but I wanted a classic denim version so I chose this dark navy plain washed chambray denim dress fabric. The fabric is smooth to touch and breathes nicely.
Prewashing this denim meant I could see if it would shrink or lose its colour. The colour is still the same as it when it arrived at my doorstep. I have no worries now about the fabric shrinking as I’ve prewashed it. As much as ironing is a chore, this fabric is a pleasure to iron.
I chose this dark colour because I wanted to ensure the zipper teeth would be the vertical line I so, so need for my height.
The interfacing is the same weight as this fabric and it’s also a woven base so it’s a perfect match for this denim.
My advice is if you are making this dress, buy the lengths of required fabric.
Pattern test version:
When Alethia ran the sewalong, the key adjustment got me was always going to be the sway back adjustment. This design has princess lines for fitting but no darts on the back skirt.
Also, seam joins for the top/skirt are at high hip level so while I felt like changing this, I stuck with these seams as is.
Working from the pattern measurements I cut the test version out in size 14. Thankfully this meant I had lots of pinning to do to balance this dress for my shape and height.
The front panel was way too wide for me and I ended up folding out 10cm out from the centre front line. This resulted in the front princess seams hitting me exactly where they should have been – over the bust point and not along the side of the bust.
Visually I think the front looks slimmer with a more proportional front panel.
I also pinned out the fullness from the back princess seams and decided to include darts that radiated from the bodice princess seams through to the back skirt.
Once I got through this part of the pattern test, I transferred these adjustments to the pattern pieces and then rechecked them before cutting out the denim.
I’ll need to tweak this some more for a future dress.
The pattern provides a zipper fly for the waist. This piece doesn’t cover the full zipper so I extended it to cover the zipper length and then some. This was personal preference. If I was a whole lot younger, I would have chosen a shorter zipper and way shorter hem length. If I was a whole lot younger, but I not and this length is what I feel comfortable wearing. It’s all about personal preference.
What about the lining pieces?
Glad you asked.
Lining is that part of a garment that needs to wiggle when you wiggle. What I mean is, these pattern pieces need to give you room to move, so they have vents.
There is a centre back vent on the back bodice lining piece. So clever. This gives me more confidence that I can wear this dress all day and it will stay firm but move with me.
The back lining pieces didn’t match so I worked through the pieces that were in the pattern and still got a good lining for this dress.
This dress is perfect for the warmer weather that’s creeping up in Australia for Spring and personally it’s nice that my Winter weight has gone now too.
Have no fear if you attempt this pattern.
The fabric is fully interfaced so you can be certain that you can wear this dress all day and it won’t show crease marks like you would expect from a woven fabric with no stretch.