Vogue Dress V8997 ★★★★★

25lineartLots of pieces, fairly complicated pattern. But not overly difficult, and the fit is good. I just wish the big companies would get on board and actually let out some digital patterns.

The cut of this pattern turned out so very flattering. It has everything I love in a dress, a structured bodice, longer sleeves, and a super full skirt. I’ve gotten an incredible number of compliments on this dress.

I altered this pattern pretty heavily, but it still turned out great. It was fairly easy to turn the back center zipper into a front button panel. You can see the results of those alterations here: Monet’s Water Lilies

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress ★★★★

24lineartThis dress is super flattering … with a few modifications. It’s definitely a straight silhouette smock-like pattern, so both times I used it I ended up adding front and back darts around the bodice to add shape and structure. I’m a bit of a classic pear shape, and my wide hips made all dresses look WIDE unless I have some definition around the waist. That said, it was super easy to add said modifications, and with them the dress is adorable flattering and comfortable. I also drafted and added short sleeves in one version, and that was easy as well! The collar construction is fairly simple and flattering.

I used Sprout Patterns when I sewed this dress, and it worked out great!
To see the modifications I made to this pattern, you should see my post here: Sprout Hacks with the Alder Shirtdress

Grainline Studio Lakeside Pajamas ★★★★

20lineartThe construction of the tank top makes this pattern one of my favorites. It was so easy to put together, so flattering, and so fun. I will say that the shorts are definitely too small for me to be comfortable wearing to the gym, or out an about, as her website suggests, but that’s probably more about me than about the shorts, haha.

The instructions make perfect sense, are clear and concise, and really give an excellently finished result.

I really love the construction of the back of the top, its got a fun flowy layer tulip look.

You can check out this pattern on Sprout Patterns, and you can read about my experiences making it here: The Cat’s Pajamas

Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas ★★★★

 

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I’d definitely use Closet Case patterns again after this project. She walks you through the complicated structure of the split collar with clear instructions. The fit is very nice and works with my body shape. And the result itself is comfy and classy all at once.

She was very good about using classic pattern markings, even including “shorten or lengthen here” lines, which many indy pattern makers leave off for some reason.

I used this pattern to make these super comfy adorable pajamas: When Life Gives You Lemon Fabric

Colette Myrtle ★★★★★

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This pattern is super easy, very flattering, fun and fast to put together. I don’t really have a bad word to say about it. You can use it with wovens and knits, heavier fabrics or things light and drapey. I’m not usually a fan of cowled drapey necklines, but in this case I liked it. I used Sprout Patterns with this pattern, so I didn’t even have to do the usual paper taping and pining. With the easy fit of this pattern, it is definitely the way to go! Check it out here.

You can see this pattern in action here: Pluviophilia Rain Dress

Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★

1lineartI love this pattern. It is easy to put together, and perfectly flattering. Given that, I will admit that its not perfect. I think there might have been some minor mistakes when Butterick translated from the retro original. The back skirt always ends up slightly wider than the back bodice for me, but its easy to fix with a dart tweak. I almost never use the given variations, and I find the bows horrendous.

But this pattern has become an amazing base for me to make up my own variations. You can see that it is easy to draft petal sleeves, create an interesting draped and pleated skirt structure, create a lace bodice top with sweetheart neckline, use a built in petticoat lining or separate petticoat, or anything else!

I never fail to get compliments on dresses I make with this pattern. And I’ve used it to make 7 different dresses over the years: 50’s Birthday DressScience Girl Eats50’s Mad Hatter Dress50’s SilkBridesmaid DressScience Girl is Sour

Butterick B5603 Misses’ Empire-Waist Dresses

 

Colette Hawthorn Dress ★★★★

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This was the first shirt dress pattern I’ve ever used. It was fairly easy to follow, and certainly satisfying to complete. It does suffer from the usual colette problem where I seriously have to adjust the bust darts, because I believe she drafts her patterns for a larger than usual bust size. But its an easy adjustment to make at this point. I will say that I have some trouble with the way the collar lines up, and depending on the fabric you choose you should definitely skip the interfacing. Maybe its just because I’m a sloppy sewist, but both times I’ve used this pattern thus far, I’ve had trouble lining up the waist seam-line across the buttons. One side always turns up a millimeter or two higher than the other.

However, Colette’s instructions are excellent, and definitely great for a beginner. I’ve been too lazy to actually put a button placket in either version of this pattern that I’ve tried, but once I do I know that her directions will make it clear and easy.

I’ve completely both the peplum blouse version of this pattern, and the dress, and both turned out excellent.

You can see the peplum version of this pattern here: Cotton Lawn Peplum Blouse

Here are some images of the dress version:

 

Colette Dahlia Dress ★★★★

2lineartThe colette dahlia was quite easy, and is definitely a true beginner pattern. The way you use bias tape to create the straps is quite clever, and will definitely help anyone who has a fear of inset sleeves (as I definitely first did).

This pattern does suffer from the same problem as many colette patterns where her drafted bodice is larger than average. The use of gathers and the lack of darts means that you can mostly get around it, but if I wanted to be true to fit I’d have to do a bust adjustment.

Version 2 is perfect for a comfortable summer party dress. I’ve yet to give version 1 a try with the sleeve, but I’m sure it will be just as easy and fun as the first.

Here’s what I made with the Dahlia: Spring Birthday Dress