Bust darts on dresses and comfortable fits, bright fabric and pretty bell sleeves, necklines that make our friends go ‘wow!’ – these are a few of our favourite things! Dresses are a must-have in every seamstress’ wardrobe, and when we find the perfect pattern and fabric, it can feel like we’ve won the lottery! To make picking your next gown a little easier, Sew has put together a short quiz to find out which dress is right for you – we’ll even suggest the material to use and the occasion to wear it. You can thank us later…
Daywear or night-time?
A- Definitely daytime casual
B- Evening glam!
C- I want a dress that transitions from day to night
Comfort or style?
A- I have to be comfortable
B- If the dress doesn’t stop traffic, then I won’t wear it!
C- A little bit of both
A- Yes, please!
B- No way
C- I’m not fussed
A- The more challenging, the better
B- Easy peasy, please
This six-step Nadia dress by Julia Claridge oozes femininity and can be sewn in a soft linen or a rich blue denim to give it a refreshing twist! The shift will test your skillset as you need to add bust darts, a bold notch neckline and three-quarter sleeves, but these details mean that the frock is perfect for day wear. Sew HQ would wear this garment to a BBQ – just watch out for the hot sauce!
Are you ready to put your dressmaking skills to the test? Not only will Julia Claridge's gorgeous Nancy frock develop your technical sewing as you add facings, darts, pleats and bias binding, it will also provide you with a figure-hugging garment – perfect for any evening out! Create this make in a lightweight cotton and wear it to a garden party when the weather brightens up.
The beautiful flowery Florence dress by Fiona Hesford incorporates a timeless shift shape, stunning bell sleeves and a flattering V-neck to give the garment a retro feel. This challenging make will enable you to practise sewing pleats and work with silky rayon challis. As the make falls to the knee and is loose-fitting, we suggest you wear it layered with tights and a cardigan on a spring stroll.
The Belinda frock is the new wardrobe superhero for those 'I have nothing to wear' days! Amanda Walker's loose-fitting number in ponte roma jersey flatters your figure in all the right places, and can be whipped up in just four simple steps so you can stitch it in the morning and wear it out that afternoon. Plus, the soft, double knit material means that it'll keep you nice and cosy when you're out for a winter stroll.
If you're pining for that definitive wrap dress to enhance your natural assets and to encourage you to explore your sewing machine, then this Clara pattern is the perfect opportunity! Amanda Walker elevates the modern classic with sweet cap sleeves and a sewn-in waist tie – the Sew team plan on stitching this number for our Valentine's Day date night.
Whatever your day has in store, the Eden dress is designed to deliver. Combining short sleeves with a trapeze-style body, Amanda Walker's piece is guaranteed to be super comfortable, but it also packs a punch with its drapey rayon material. Sport this outfit while out for a casual shopping day, then pair it with nude flats and metallic jewellery for those post-shop cocktails!
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