A Dress Named Ava

Ava, I’m not so sure we are gonna be best friends.  I have yet to make a Sew Serendipity dress that wasn’t love at first make, until now.  I got my hands on this Ava sundress pattern many months back, and I made it for the very first time last weekend for the Monthly Stitch’s, Indie Pattern Month’s Dress Challenge. The dress was a breeze to make, but I had a few more issues with it than any other Serendipity Studio dress I’ve made before it.

First off, let me talk about the cons.

Number 1: I cut the knee length and it was way too short.  It seemed more like a tunic length if you ask me.  These dresses do usually have a hem band option, but in my experience with others from the designer, without a hem band, the dresses I have made haven’t been this short.  Perhaps it had something to do with the shift style.  Now that I am thinking about it, shift dresses are usually on the shorter side.  I cut 6 inch strips for the hem band that I folded to add to make it longer.  As you can see, the band is under that narrow red strip along the bottom.

Number 2:  I cut the small, which is what I usually make on my first go of this brand, but never has a small been as baggy as this one was on the upper back.  Once the dress was done and I tried it on for fit, there was no way I was going to live with how loose it was.  I had to partially undo the neck yoke, take the zipper off, and then taper out from the center back upwards, almost 1 1/2 inches.  To date, I think that is the most I have ever had to take out of the back of a dress.  (I do almost always have to take some out from the center back of dresses.)

Number 3:  And this only has to do with me and my lack of measuring skills apparently, but my red bias strip addition to break up where I added the hem band was too short.  I was just shy of having the ends meet, and after taking pictures wearing the dress, I seam ripped it all off.  I am undecided as to whether I will cut some more and add it back on at this point.  I just hate messing with dresses that I consider as being done.

Now for what I like about the dress.

Number 1:  Not many pattern pieces, and it was a quick make.

Number 2:  I have had no problems with the instructions that come with the Serendipity Studio patterns, and this one was no exception.  They are easy to read with pretty decent illustrations.  And, as always, there is a variety of ways to make the dress.

Number 3:  The armholes turned our pretty good with this one.  That has been one of my only issues with this particular brand.  I was happy with this one even after taking in so much of the back – it didn’t affect the fit here that much at all.

back view

Number 4:  I made a neck yoke!  This was new to me, and I was a little intimidated by it.  I am happy to say, it was very easy, and makes for a perfectly clean looking top with straps that rest nicely on my shoulders.  Very happy about that.

I will probably make this one at least another two more times, I tend to always make dresses in threes.  By then I should now if it’s a keeper or not.  My future fabric choice may have something to do with how I feel about the next make as well.  I loved the main fabric I used, but once the dress was all put together, I wasn’t too sure about my choice for the contrasting yoke.  I will try for a better match next time.  My fabric, by the way, is cotton that I got from last summer’s Wal-Mart clearance.

That is all I have to say about this one.  What are your thoughts?

17 thoughts on “A Dress Named Ava

  1. Thanks, I appreciate the comment. Interesting to hear you had trouble with the length on the one you made. I’m gonna look into that before making my next one. (I bought several patterns from her when I bought this one.)


  2. I like the colour choices of this dress – sorry to hear you had so many construction issues but the final result is lovely. I also really like Sew Serendipity and want to make a few more of her cheery dresses (though I am only 5″2 & found her Sally shirtdress fairly short on me as per pattern length for the above knee view)

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  3. Good for you persevering with getting the fit right – it looks fantastic! I agree, Sew Serendipity instructions are excellent – a good choice of pattern to go for if you are trying something new construction-wise. I have a jacket pattern which I love.

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    • At least I will know what fix right away on the next one. If only I had the patience/time to make Mullins… I prefer wearable muslins and I guess that’s what this one really is.


    • The length did surprise me. Yes, I will make this one again for sure. There is potential here for another favorite from this pattern line for me.


  4. Well I really like this dress on you. I think your fabric colors are a great match!!! You did a wonderful job of adjusting the pattern to your fit. ❤❤❤

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  5. Pair it with black leggings and it would make a nice fall outfit! With a little cardigan or something for cooler days. I do like that print!

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