It seems like every summer I get inspired to make a dress that is pure icing. It’s impractical, I won’t wear it a lot, and it takes a lot of time and energy to get right. The heat, the fabric (my god the fabric), and my new-found desire to be a Schuyler Sister all got together and decided that I needed a new impractical dress in my wardrobe.
The result? Well, let’s just say I have no plans to stop sweating, sewing, or singing Hamilton on repeat any time soon because this dress is a knock-out.
The pattern is one I’ve had on my mind for ages, ever since I saw it made up by Thewallina. (Side note: how did 3 years go by so fast???) I’ve been on the hunt for a similar fabric for ages, but hadn’t found a knit that could hold a candle to hers. When I saw this striped, floral goodness I knew things were about to get real.
This was the first time I’d worked with a Ralph Pink Pattern, and to be honest, I’m glad I didn’t attempt it 3 years ago. The instructions are minimal, and fine if you know what you’re doing (or want to ignore them completely like I did) but are not very beginner friendly. I ended up doing my own thing, so I can’t really speak to their accuracy.
In terms of putting the pdf together, I had some issues. The pieces do not match up exactly, and I had to do a little thinking to see if I had done it right. In the end, I’m still not convinced I did. I was left with either lines that didn’t match up or white space that I had to connect lines over, and and chose the white space. I had to take about 2 inches out of the side seams of the bodice to get it to fit, and it was still slightly too large for the skirt when I attached them, so I’m thinking maybe I guessed wrong.
While I do love this dress, and plan to wear it, I totally acknowledge that the darts are not perfection. I’m not sure if it’s user error, drafting, or multi-layered fabric that caused my darts to be so bubbly, but I had to do a LOT of work to get them looking this good. In the end, I re-sewed them three times. Once as drafted, and then twice more after pinning out excess fabric at the bust. I usually pride myself on pretty, non-pointy darts that are not too long (and judge RTW darts like it’s my job) so they are still making my eye twitch a little. But, I have a killer dress overall, so I’m not going to stress about it.
The bodice is fully lined, and the skirt is half-lined (about 4 inches below the slit) with bamboo knit from my stash. It gave the triple benefit of making a lightweight fabric more stable, allowing me to wear underwear, and smoothing things out. You’re not getting spanx on with a slit like that, and the skirt is tiiiight. I graded out 3 sizes at the hip, and probably could have stood another!
Since I’m new around here, I’ll say upfront that I usually make a lot of changes to patterns to get them just right, so don’t be put off by my laundry-list of alterations. I really like things to fit properly, which is not easy! It’s one of the reasons I had such a hard time finding RTW I liked, and started sewing clothes in the first place. For future reference (because I find these things super helpful when I’m assessing the fit of a new pattern on someone else) I’ll also post my measurements and stuff in the details at the bottom.
That’s all I’ve got on this one. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!
Pattern: Roxy Dress from Ralph Pink
Size: 6 (US) graded out to a 12 (US) at the hip
- Graded from a 6 to a 12 at the hip
- Took in bodice side seams an additional 2 inches
- Raised the height of the back scoop 1 inch
- Took 1/2 inch wedge out of back scoop
- Took 1 inch wedge out of neckline
- Shortened dart 1/4 inch, and moved it up 1/2 inch
- Shortened skirt 4 inches
My Shape: Hourglass-y. 37/28/36. 5 foot, narrow shoulders, massive swayback, short torso, and long legs
The lighting’s weird on this one, but look at it moooove!!
Ashley has an affinity for 50s-inspired styles, novelty prints, and playing dress up. She almost never wears pants or black and blogs at craftsanctuary.com.