This pattern came free with the June edition of Love Sewing Magazine and I was instantly excited to make version D. It’s not a style of dress I have ever worn before but with my summer holidays coming up I thought it was be a perfect dress for the warm evenings.
I saw this fabric on Material Girl Laura and I instantly messaged her via her website chat to ask if she could put some aside for when pay day came. I ordered 2m originally with the Sew Over It ‘Ultimate Shirt’ in mind but in the time between placing my order and when I got it, I found the M7543 pattern. The fabric lives up to all my expectations. It’s a lightweight cotton with pink embroidered flamingos all over it, a perfect summer fabric. I have a small obsession at the moment with flamingos so I just had to get this fabric. Since buying it, Laura also has a pink colour way in stock.
I admit I do not like to sew with patterns from the big 4 companies. I have had problems with fit and found the basic instructions difficult to follow. But I thought with the simplicity of this pattern it should be an easy sew. Looking at my measurements on the back, it suggested a M size however I thought to check against the finished garment measurements before deciding on my size and I’m glad I did. The amount of ease in this pattern is on the generous side so I went for S size which gave enough ease to be comfortable.
With tissue patterns, I don’t trace and just cut. With the relaxed shape I thought that I would need little adjustments so I felt confident cutting the pattern. It is basically 3 pattern pieces, with a 4th showing the required elastic length. Distinguishing the front from the back is a little tricky so it might be worth labelling your pieces. I originally wanted to add the pockets, however I was able to squeeze an Ogden left over fabric if I don’t have pockets. Pockets or Ogden that’s a difficult choice but I’m thrifty and 2 garments this fabric was the better choice.
The cotton sewed up like a dream. I’ve made many jersey garments recently so it was lovely to get back sewing with woven fabrics. The instructions don’t indicate how or when to finish seams so I overlooked my pattern pieces before sewing. Version D has gathered seams and no straps but it would be easy to change to the tie sleeves and straps if you wanted to mixed the look from the suggested versions.
Adding the large elastic was a little tricky because I used slightly wider elastic than the sleeves as I though this would be more comfortable. I used the pattern piece to measure out the elastic length and it was a great fit. Secure but not uncomfortably tight.
The Finished Dress:
I just want to go on holiday!! I love this dress and I’m really surprised that I like the bare shoulder look. It feels a little strange and I do worry that it will come down but in actual fact it’s quite a secure fit. It’s light and breezy, with enough ease that I won’t feel uncomfortable in hot weather. My husband suggested to put a belt with it and even though that makes it a little short it would be a fantastic look. When I’m on holiday I always seem to brave the short look more, not sure why.
This dress has made me reconsider my relationship with patterns from the big 4. I think with just some careful planning on sizing and using patterns that include techniques that I’m already confident with so I don’t need to rely on the instructions I might look at what else is on offer.