This dress did take some work, but I love it, and have worn it on numerous occasions.    The design is timeless, and the dress is feminine, comfortable, and because of the work involved, uncommon.  If you sew it in a classic summer or spring color, I feel, like me, you will be taking it out each year to wear again and again.  

Although shown in summer fabric and colors, you can use winter wools like challis and of course winter colors in the bottom weights.  

I used a heavy fabric, in fact a denim.  For a heavier woman, this dress will look better in a home decor cotton (the type that Waverly sales) or a bottom weight like poplin, twill or like I used, denim.  Further, I did the longest length.  The reason is this.  

If you study the pictures, the dress almost flairs out like a tent.  The reason is because of all the seams required for the gores.  With a lightweight fabric, the seams will stiffen a broadcloth too much, and create more of a tent effect.  A heavier weighted fabric will be stronger then the seams, and fall, creating a nice flounce around the ankles.

One thing I wish I had done, was use a lighter weight fabric for the bodice.  It was not necessary to use a heavy fabric for this, and a lighter fabric would have helped in two ways.  First, in reducing the weight of the dress, and second, in making for a less stiff collar.  If you use different weighted fabrics, you will need to strengthen you’re  waist seam where the two fabrics meet.  Otherwise the lighter fabric will eventually tear under the weight of the heavier fabric.

The dress sews up like a standard dress. It did take me a while to understand what was happening with the gores.  You do not actually sew the point of the gore, but instead, sew past the point going up, and sew past it going down.  In doing so, you actually sew the point.

If you are tall, you may have to adjust the length of the bodice.  Be sure to measure you’re back from neck to waist, but I think you will find that reducing you’re seam allowance around the waist will be sufficient.   

With the denim, you will want to use a denim needle, and either upholstery thread (which might be a little in the way of overkill) or heavy duty polyester, which would be the better option.

Given my philosophy on sewing, you know if I got through it, it can’t be too much of a challenge.  Just take it one piece at a time, and before you know it, you will have a great versatile, standard dress for you’re wardrobe. 

One last parting thought.  I made the dress in a solid, but given the style, you can have great fun with contouring and design.  For instance, a printed fabric  for the main part of the dress and solid fabric for the gores.  One thing I have been wanting to try is an ombre for the gores helping to pull attention away from the hips.  A small wale corduroy (a large wale would be too much bulk given all the seams) cut against the grain causing the wale to rise at an angle could also create a very flattering look.

As you can see, the pattern allows great opportunities for design for those with very little experience.  

Let me know if you give it a try.


Copyright 2014-2015 by Anne A. Sears