Dresses

  • Pattern Review of the Diana Dress & Top

    Pattern: Diana Dress & Top
    Designer: Ellie & Mac Patterns
    Fabrics: Bamboo Lycra from The Telarie
    Skill level: Beginner
    Size made: 2XL/3XL
    Pros: I adore this flattering top and dress. It is so beautiful to wear and has some great options.
    Cons: Sometimes a lined top annoys me as it uses more fabric.

    Sewing Serendipity: The Delightful Dance of Fabric and Pattern

    As soon as I saw this pattern release, I knew I had to make one. Or as it currently stands, three! haha.

    For starters, this pattern is named after one of my good sewing friends, Diana from @eloiseandezra. If you don’t already follow her on insta, definitely check her out. She also shares lots of fun tips and tricks on her YouTube channel.

    I also really liked that there were quite a few options to choose from. There are multiple skirt lengths and tiered options as well as the peplum top, which is the 3 types I have made. It also has a couple of necklines, including the square neckline, which is a big fave of mine. I’ve made two with the square neckline and one with a low scoop. On the Square neckline you can also add some ruching at the front centre to make a cute sweetheart neckline.

    The sleeves were another big draw card for me as there were so many options!! I loved the 3/4 shirred sleeve and also I am a sucker for a flutter. Shirring is a lot of fun and has such a great effect. If you’re new to shirring or not sure how to do it, I cover how to shir in one of the Master Classes in my membership, The Sewing Corner.

    I am always a bit hesitant to do knit patterns that are lined as its extra fabric to cut out and use, but I didn’t mind so much for this make. There really isn’t any other ‘neat’ way to get a square neckline either without lining or doing some kind of facing. And I do NOT like facing on a knit garment haha. So lining is the lesser of 2 evils for my fave neckline! It shows how to include elastic in the neckline for extra stability as well which is nice. My Knit Confidence course covers elastics in knits if you need some support with this technique.

    Two of the versions I have made have been with The Telarie Bamboo Lycra and they are SO lovely and flowy. The quality of the material is gorgeous and I just love the prints I chose. 

    I would not hesitate to try this one out, its especially nice in the more flowly fabrics like Bamboo Lycra, Modal, Rayon Spandex and a Viscose Elastane. Try it out and tag me in your makes!

    FYI. This pattern is on sale for 50% off for the month of November 2023. Grab it now!

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • Pattern Review of the Avonlea Knit Party Dress

    Pattern: Avonlea Knit Party Dress
    Designer: Peek A Boo Patterns
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from  The Telarie & Netting from Spotlight
    Skill level: Adventurous Beginner
    Size made: 2
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: I love how sweet this one looks and the tulle overlay really makes it.
    Cons: The collar takes some time to get right and I recommend basting it before you sew it in properly.

    Where sweetness meets rainbow dreams

    I’m not sure there is anything sweeter than a peter pan collar on a little one, so I LOVED being able to use this pattern for a friends little girl.

    This is a great staple to have in your pattern library and lends itself well to quite a quick sew. Littlies also love twirling, and the half circle skirt on this one is perfect for that. When I gave Miss I this dress she immediately wanted to put it on and start to twirl in it. Made my heart sing.

    I was a little worried about how the collar would sit being that it has the neck band over the top, but the only way to avoid that would be to line the bodice, either fully lined or partial, and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered. I needed have worried as I think it turned out really well with the neck band anyway. I wouldn’t hesitate to do another one that way.

    My other thing I loved about this pattern was the cute puff sleeves. They looked just so adorable!

    To add the tulle overlay I simply cut the skirt piece out of the tulle and then treated it as one piece while I was attaching it. I did actually initially try a gathered skirt over the top of the half circle but it didn’t work. I didn’t have enough volume in the gathered skirt to give the circle skirt underneath the correct movement.

    All in all I highly recommend this one!

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • Pattern Review of the Willow Wrap Dress with how to add pockets

    Pattern: Willow Wrap Dress
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Clover & Co. Fabrics
    Skill level: Confident Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 39.5″; Hips 47.5″
    Size made: XL graded to 2XL at waist
    Adjustments: Shortened to Empire waistline
    Pros: Gorgeous pattern for showing off your bustline
    Cons: No pockets, but watch my tutorial on how to add them!

    The Wrap Up

    I love this pattern so much I have made 3 of them!

    I am a huge fan of the Love Notions Willow wrap, it is such a flattering pattern with a variety of options. You can choose from dress or peplum length, and to be honest, you can also cut between the peplum and dress lengths to create a tunic length as well if you wanted. There are also 5 different sleeve options, 2 neckline heights and it is great for Maternity and Nursing.

    I would note that with the flutter sleeve option I think it is better suited for lighter, drapier fabrics as when I used the 220gsm Cotton Lycra it was just a bit too ‘stiff’. I didn’t think it sat as nicely as when I made it from a double brushed poly.

    I also prefer an Empire Waistline to a Natural Waistline, so I used the tutorial I made for the Margot Peplum, also from Love Notions, to shorten my bodice to Empire.

    This is the Feature Friday pattern for Love Notions, Friday 31st March, 2023 which means here in Australia it will be on sale for $5USD (approx. $7.50 AUD) till around 3pm Saturday 1st April.

    Use code MEGAN10 for an extra 10% off at the checkout!

    I also think every dress should have pockets, so make sure you check out my video review below which includes a tutorial on how to add pockets to any dress! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel while you’re there so you don’t miss any future reviews and tutorials.

    Pattern Review and How to add pockets to your Willow Wrap Dress

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • Pattern Review of the Sicily Swing Dress/Top

    Pattern: Sicily Swing Dress/Top
    Designer: Peek A Boo Pattern Shop
    Fabrics: Bamboo Lycra from Clover & Co. Fabrics
    Skill level: Beginner
    Measurements: Chest: 45″; Waist 40″; Hips 47″
    Size made: 2XL graded to 3XL
    Adjustments: Just the grading
    Pros: SUPER comfy and easy to wear. Also has nursing option
    Cons: Needs updated sizing

    The Wrap Up:

    I think this was one of the first patterns I ever tried of Peek a Boo as it had the nursing option and I loved it straight away.

    The fit and flare style really suits me and I love that their are a couple of different neckline options. Especially over the fringe months, I really enjoy a cowl neck for that little bit of added warmth, without having to carry a scarf around. 

    Like I mentioned as well, this has the option of nursing which is so nice to see. When I was feeding my son I had such limited choices in Ready to Wear clothing and it was kind of what sparked me to really give clothes for myself another go, so to be able to make stylish feeding friendly tops was amazing!

    The fabric I made my latest from is a pre order I did with Clover and Co in Bamboo Lycra. I like that this fabric design and pattern can be paired well with both leggings and jeans, making it easy to dress up or down. Put a little crop jacket it with it and a pair of heels if you’re going out, or straight cut jeans and a pair of white sneakers and you’re day ready.

    I 1000000% will be getting more of Clover’s bamboo lycra as well. It is DIVINE!!! SO soft and drapey to wear. I want all the bamboo lycra now.

    What next?

    Find More Sewing Joy

    Discover an inclusive and supportive sewing community with a growing library of sewing tutorials, tips and tricks.

  • Pattern Review of the Jaunty Knit Dress

    Pattern: Jaunty Knit Dress
    Designer: Tadah Patterns
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra Accent Fabric – Clover & Co, Solid Cotton Lycra – Sew Unique Fabrics
    Measurements: Unsure – Its a gift
    Size made: 7
    Adjustments: Added a tulle layer
    Pros: This is a very quick and easy dress to make. Perfect for gifts or to add to your child’s wardrobe
    Cons: Not a con, but it is quite a low waist line, I sometimes prefer my skirt to come out higher up the waist.

    Links:

    The Wrap Up:

    The Jaunty was on of the very first knit dresses I made for my daughter. It is such an easy and fun pattern, I have now made heaps! It was also some of the first times I used knit fabric and the jaunty made it so easy to create.

    I love that there is the dual layer for the skirts, it creates a fun element that lets you play around with different fabric combos. I also have done a version with a tulle skirt and have recently done a version with a gathered tulle skirt over a solid cotton lycra underlay. I love the way it turned out and will definitely be making more of those versions.

    Tadah Patterns are VERY easy to follow and have excellent written instructions. They were some of the first pdf patterns I used and in case you haven’t noticed, I am a big fan of Tadah. They will always be a firm favourite pattern maker of mine!

    Video Review:

    Gallery:

    Live Sew Along:

  • Pattern Review of the Elodie Wrap Dress

    Pattern: Elodie Wrap Dress
    Designer: Closet Core Patterns
    Fabrics: Linen blend from Spotlight
    Measurements: Bust: 44″; Waist 39″; Hips 48″
    Size made: 16 graded to 20
    Adjustments: Took an inch out of each shoulder seam and shaped the back
    Pros: Love the loose flowyness of this dress, as well as the wrap neckline
    Cons: I had trouble fitting the neckline with my boobs. I also misunderstood the instructions for the wrap tie part.

    Links:

    The Wrap Up:

    I bought this pattern quite a while ago with grand plans to make it for summer and never got around to sewing one up. So naturally I decide halfway through Autumn that it is the right time to finally get one done. haha

    This pattern is designed for woven fabrics and I chose a beautiful linen blend from Spotlight to try. This is quite a fabric hungry pattern so I think I ended up buying 3.5m for my dress and I closely followed the cutting guide so I didn’t run out of fabric. The linen worked well but I’d love to try it in a twill as well.

    This was my first time sewing a Closet Core pattern, despite owning a few of Heathers patterns, and I must say I’m pretty impressed. While they don’t have projector files, they do have A0 files that are layered so I was able to use those effectively.

    Being a curvier body, I used their 14-32 pattern range which is based off a curvier block and I think its a size D cup for breasts which suits my body better. I sewed up a 16 graded to an 18 at the waist and hips which was great for the waist and hips, but I had some issues with the cross over section not sitting properly over my boobs so I ended up taking an inch out of each shoulder seam and at the back neckline which helped correct it mostly.

    I did really love the pleats under the bust and at the back, I think they are a really nice feature and help give the bodice shape for the bust without using darts. Thats the first time I’ve used a pattern like that and I thought it was really effective. I do think I probably need more ‘space’ for my boobs, so I will have to research how to achieve that with this style.

    I also had some issues with the hole for the tie area. I don’t think I read the instructions properly to begin with and when it came time to open up the hole in the waistband to pull the tie through, I had a world of trouble as I had done it wrong. But, with my trusty unpicker and a little bit of creative sewing, I got it to work and it doesn’t look half bad either.

    I will definitely make this pattern again, I will just have to pay closer attention to the tie area for a cleaner finish next time.

    Gallery:

  • Pattern Review of the Camilla Dress

    Pattern: Camilla Dress
    Designer: Sonia Estep
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra – Sew Unique Fabrics
    Measurements: Chest: 44″; Waist: 39.5″; Hips: 49″
    Size made: 18 graded to 22
    Adjustments: I used the flutter sleeves from the Sonia Estep Katherine and the pockets from the Lily.
    Pros: I LOVE a square neckline. It always look very flattering on me, so I was super excited about this pattern. I also love that it mashed well with some of Sonia Esteps other dresses, like the Katherine so I could use the flutter sleeves.
    Cons: There was no pocket option as a standard which I thought was a little strange, every dress should have pockets! I also was a little annoyed that the tiered pieces were only measurements.

    Links:

    The Wrap Up:

    I really really LOVE a square neckline. It is super flattering on my décolletage, so the moment I saw the Camilla, I knew I wanted to try it. I can now say, I was NOT disappointed. I love the way it sits on me and as always, the empire waist was a win for my body.

    The construction was fairly easy, however it annoyed me a little that their was no pattern pieces for the tiered layers. I know they are just rectangles, but with a projector I like having the pieces so I don’t have to measure it out. Once I had it all cut out however it, I had the dress made within about 2hrs.

    One of the great things about the Camilla is that it mashes well with the Katherine, Hollywood and Lily. I have made and written a review on both the Lily and Katherine, so I love that Camilla goes with both of those. For my Camilla I used the flutter sleeves from the Katherine and the pockets from the Lily. I waited until I had put my skirt pieces together but hadn’t sewn up the sides so I could decide on the best place to put my pocket pieces which worked well.

    I can tell this pattern is going to be one of my go to knit dresses, so get ready to see many more these!

    Gallery:

  • Pattern Review of the Katherine Dress

    Pattern: Katherine Dress
    Designer: Sonia Estep Designs
    Fabrics: Black Solid – Sew Unique Fabrics
    Animal Print accent – Rubyjam Fabrics
    Measurements: Chest: 44″; Waist: 39″ Hips: 47″
    Size made: 18/20
    Adjustments: Graded from an 18 at the top to 20 in the waist
    Pros: I love the signature options of an empire or natural waist the Sonia Estep includes in most of her patterns. I am surprised I like the bishop sleeve on me.
    Cons: I had high hopes for this dress but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It was unflattering over my tummy and the pattern doesn’t include pockets.

    Links:


    The Wrap Up:

    I made this dress after seeing a pic on an ad on facebook. I really liked the style and wanted to recreate it for myself.

    The Katherine dress from Sonia Estep was prefect, especially with the empire waistline and above knee hemline. I also had the perfect animal print fabric from Rubyjam that I wanted to try it with.

    It was a really quick sew, I had it done from cutting to wearing in about 2hrs, but I was unfortunately really disappointed with how it sat on me. When I tried it on it sat right at the top of my tummy, straining against it showing it up very clearly.

    My inspiration picture

    I did think about unpicking and adding a panel in the skirt, but I didn’t have enough fabric left and to be honest, I was just happy to chalk it up to experience and move on. Not all garments look good on me, and thats perfectly fine. So I very happily have passed it on to my neighbour, who looks fab in it!

    The one thing I did LOVE about this though was the bishop sleeves. Im not sure I’ve ever done them for myself and I will be making more. They looked very cool and will now feature in a few upcoming winter garments hahaha.

    So, for now you get to enjoy looking at my garment on my neighbour, who absolutely rocks it! And a sneaky photobomber of one Miss Jemma who is trying to be her surrogate daughter in an almost perfectly matched RTW dress she has haha.

    Gallery:

  • Pattern Review of the Staycation Dress

    Pattern: Staycation Tiered Dress & Peplum
    Designer: Ellie & Mac
    Fabrics: Sew Unique Cotton Lycra
    Measurements: Bust: 44″ Waist: 39″; Hips: 48″
    Size made: XXL
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: I’m really into tiered dresses at the moment, so the Staycation is a bit of a fave of mine. I also love pockets of course!
    Cons: I wish this came with a flutter sleeve option. I think it would be a really great edition

    Links:


    The Wrap Up:

    This is the second Staycation I’ve made, and I still love it.

    There a few different options for the skirt, including a few different tier configurations and also the option for a plain skirt or a peplum length. I really wanted to change the sleeves on this to something more flouncy and trialled it with the ‘Be Dreamy’ sleeves, another pattern from Ellie & Mac, but I didn’t love the outcome so I stuck with the short sleeves and it turned out fine.

    I have had success before using the Love Notions Willow Wrap Dress flounce sleeve in Ellie & Mac patterns, so maybe if I make another I’ll try substituting those in instead.

    No I can’t do this review without talking about how absolutely GORGEOUS this fabric is. This is the Sew Unique Fabrics exclusive March subscription fabric and its bloody amazing. I’ve written about their subscription program before >>here<<. If you were ever going to join, THIS is the month for sure. If you sign up before the 31st of the month, you will get shipped this beautiful fabric along with a neat free gift (also crushing hard on this months gift). You can cancel your subscription at any time, but shhhh, I’ve seen the next couple of months of prints and they are pretty special so I don’t think you’ll regret it❤️

    The other version I made I hacked to be sleeveless which you can see in the gallery of images below. I will try and get a blog written up on how to change it to sleeveless soon for those who would like to know.

    All in all though, the Staycation is a winner and you should definitely get it while its on sale!

    Gallery:

  • Pattern Review of the Lily Dress

    Pattern: Lily Dress & Top
    Designer: Sonia Estep Designs
    Fabrics: Bamboo Lycra
    Measurements: Bust: 44″; Waist: 38″; Hips: 49″
    Size made: 18 graded to 20 hips
    Adjustments: Grading between sizes
    Pros: I LOVE this dress. I specifically love the hi-lo hemline, it just makes me feel so pretty and summery. The empire waistline is also a plus
    Cons: Not really any cons for me on this one, I love it all

    Links:


    The Wrap Up:

    I absolutely love everything about this dress. From the scoop neckline, the pockets to the hi-lo hemline, this dress is super flattering and I feel like a million dollars in it.

    I got the bamboo lycra in a Clover & Co preorder as I loved the design and already had it in purple, so when it came up as a blue colour way, I HAD to have it. I also really like the bamboo lycra as it is a natural fibre that breathes better than say a double brushed poly which can get quite hot.

    One of the things that impressed me about this pattern was the option between 2 waistlines. Empire or natural. Empire tends to hit just under your bust line and is a little more flattering for those with a bit of a tummy. Natural sits lower and can sometimes accentuate features you’d rather not have highlighted. As I have slightly larger breasts, an empire waistline will over skim over my bust and flair out straight below, helping to hide my tummy.

    I also loved the scoop neckline which I’ve mentioned before suits my body type, and pockets. Well, what can I say about pockets?! They explain themselves haha.

    The last thing that I really love is the hi-lo hemline. I just think it adds something a little different and feels nice when you’re walking along.

    This was a really simple dress to put together and there is also the option of a straight gathered maxi skirt, peplum length and a button placket. I was going to do the button placket but decided against it. I may look at it for the next one, cause let me tell you, there will be a next one for sure!


    Gallery: