I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to publish this post, all! I was fortunate enough to be a pattern tester for the newest pattern being released today from Dixie over at Dixie DIY, and woohoo! is all I can say.
I’ve been a *mostly silent* follower of her blog for a few years now, and have made up her Summer Concert Tee no less than 6 times. It’s the perfect… well, summer tee! So when she started posting sneak peeks of her newest pattern, the Bonnell Dress, I jumped at the chance to test it out. Additionally, I had some great tribal-esque border print fabric that I snagged for a song years ago in my stash, and this pattern was the perfect vessel for it.
I love the slight nod to the 50’s this dress lends, with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt. But what really caught my eye was the side cutouts and the gorgeous V-neck in the back. This is the perfect dress pattern for a summer wedding, a night out on a patio, OR – toss on a lightweight blazer (Morris, anyone?), and it’s perfectly appropriate in a biz casual work environment. I love pieces that do double duty!
Following the pattern was very straightforward, from assembling the PDF to constructing the dress. I didn’t clock it to the minute, but I was able to put this together in one afternoon of about 4 – 5 hours worth of sewing time, so that’s awesome. The instructions were concise, with clear illustrations at necessary parts. An eager beginner could tackle this project without much difficulty at all.
I sewed a straight size 14 for this pattern. It fit fine with no alterations required but… is a little snug in the bust. I always think I can get away without doing a FBA, but I’ve come to realize that I need to suck it up and just DO IT! Dixie includes a link to a comprehensive FBA on her blog post of this particular pattern.
I also did not make a muslin as recommended *sheepish grin* (are we noticing a trend here? I’m impatient!) nor did I interface my waistband. These are two things I will do with my second make (and third, and etc). I’m learning more and more that it’s worth the little bit of extra time to take the additional steps, and usually the result is a better fitting and more professionally looking garment at the end of the day. So, patience is a virtue I am *trying* to apply in my sewing world.
I always have a tough time being on the other side of the camera, so forgive the awkward poses that ensue. I enlisted my momma to play photographer for a bit, as I’m still getting comfortable with my wireless remote + tripod. Baby steps!
… and one outtake for good measure!
All in all I’m so happy with this dress – it’s a fresh take on a classic silhouette, and a great summer pattern. Looking forward to making a few tweaks and having a few of these hanging in my closet… if summer ever arrives; this happened today, a few hours away from where I live. YIKES! May 29th in Manitoba, gotta love it.