This is not the first dress I’ve made, but it’s only the second that I properly finished (and therefore will actually wear!).
I’m more of a separates person, I think it’s that due to my height dresses in the shops often hit me at the wrong point in the waist, so I never really feel like they fit properly. I realise that of course now I can sew any dress, but somehow it’s taken me this long to find one that I really love. Meet my Ready to Sew Jolene dress!
I love all the details on this: the pointed collar with the additional button, the way that the buttons are spaced out two by two, and the gentle gathers for a bit of shape but not too cutesy. The shaped hem is just perfect too; not too high at the sides but with a nice rounded shape.
The collar has separate upper and under pattern pieces, which is great although with this fabric it was harder to make sure that the under collar pulled the outer tight, so next time I may cut it just a little bit larger to avoid the slight rippling (it’s not all that noticeable luckily!).
The fabric I used is a lovely cotton shirting, which gathered like a dream! I can’t remember where I read the tip, but I used 2 lines of gathering; one inside the seam allowance and the other outside of it, which kept the gathers nice and even as I sewed. I also made my own bias binding from a grey chambray I had lying around and I also cut the inner collar stand in the same fabric for a nice contrast (although the collar looks so good buttoned up all the way that you can’t even see it!).
I am wondering whether I ought to lower the waist a little or perhaps lengthen the whole dress 5 cms or so. It might just be that it feels a little short because I’m not so used to wearing dresses!
Of course I made this a little late in the season, but I reckon I can definitely wear this with tights! And the pattern has several lovely variations – I think I might try the top version next, which has a lovely peplum, and try out the 3/4 sleeves. I’ve got a really nice purple Liberty lawn in my stash that would be perfect – let’s see if I manage it for week 4!
As a bonus, this is my first Jolene dress, which I made for my PhD graduation 😀 This one is made from a thin silver denim, which makes the gathered shape stand out a little more (not that you can see it under the gown! Check out my Instagram @astridsews for some more pictures).
Happy Indie Pattern Month!