Kristina's Style - Jolene Dress

Challenge #1 featuring the Jolene Dress

Independent Pattern Month (IPM) 2017 came just at the right time for me. My sewing list has been sooo long and I’ve been missing the little bit of the kick up the bum to get going. Enter IPM 2017… 🙂 I’m also not the world’s greatest at keeping up with blogging, there’s still so many unblogged garments…

I’ve told myself I would not buy any new patterns or fabric for a while (we are building a house, so I should be saving for that and my new sewing room 😉 ), but I could not resist. The Ready to Sew Jolene dress was one of those acquisions… a couple of days before he announcement for the IPM challenges came out. I own the Jimmy sweater and made two in short succession, such a nice pattern!

Kristina's Style - Jolene dress

Jolene is described as feminine and easy to wear, with a flattering semi-fitted shape thanks to gently gathered princess seams both on front and back.

Kristina's Style - Jolene Dress

I had printed the pattern and set aside some potential fabric (from stash), and on the evening of the announcement I immediately got down to cut the pattern (I do have to say, I really like their way of printing A4 patterns, you don’t need to cut the edges away, just align, tape and then cut it all out, so much faster!) and my fabric. A beautiful cotton poplin I bought from the Willson Trollope sale a few months ago. So beautiful to sew with and not sheet at all, perfect for this pattern, though maybe not so perfect for the middle of winter 😉 Oh well, I am going to Fiji on holiday in the not too far future.

Kristina's Style - Jolene Dress

I really like the Jolene pattern, it strikes me as a bit vintage, something a bit special with the gathered bodice. As mentioned, this is my second Ready to Sew pattern and it won’t be my last. I like their details and he little something different. I decided to make the knee length version with 3/4 sleeves.

I made a size 40 (French sizing 😉 ), I love the fit. It’s not too tight and not too loose, a bit more on the loose side. Perfect for a hot summer’s day. I’m a pretty lazy seamstress, but made a quick toile of the bodice, just to check. The fabric I used was a bit more drapey, something I had bought at the Fabric Warehouse sale for $2 or 3/metre to use for exactly these purposes. I like it quite a bit though, so I may actually finish it.


And to continue the lazy, but not quite that lazy story… I am usually not a fan of gathering, two rows of stitching, trying to gather evenly, and that 4 times… and sewing on 22 buttons, 22… but… it is soooo worth it. And that curved hem is beautiful.

I made one change, and that is using the collar stand for the smallest size and adjusting the bodice to fit that – I have not seen a shirt pattern for my size that fits my skinny neck, a family “problem”. For the bodice change, all I did was cut the curve for the smallest size and then drew a line between that corner and the side for size 40. Worked out well. My shoulders are also a bit forward sloping, so the 7-8mm less on the front corner was a perfect adjustment. And now the collar fits perfectly.


(Can you tell I like it? Grinning like a fool, and not just because I managed to find a moment of little wind and late arvo sun…) I will definitely make another one of these, in black or dark blue, as a nice casual, but not too casual dress… Flanel for winter could be nice too (sadly I have none in stash, and will try not to go out and buy any). I can almost see myself making a long version like the dark one on the website and the blouse version is also interesting, as is the kimono-sleeved one. I am in need of more tops….

Close up of the gathers (and my perfectly matched buttons…)


Till next time at Kristina’s Style.

16 thoughts on “Challenge #1 featuring the Jolene Dress

  1. What an interesting pattern! And the fabric choice is really neat, with the way the gathered sides contrast. You certainly have patience for 22 buttons but I love the way it looks with the doubled buttons. This is really beautiful and now I’m off to check out this designer, thanks!

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  2. I admire your dedication – 22 buttons! This pattern has a really interesting design too – well done on the gathers! I’ve just looked at the Ready To Sew website and really love the shirt version of Jolene. Could definitely see myself wearing one of those!

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  3. What a cool pattern. I love the gathered princess seams, & the double buttons look great too. Good job getting the collar to fit. This is a problem that torments my partner, who lives for button-down shirts but has an unusually long & thin neck (elegant, I say) for a dude.

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