Hi everyone! I am excited to finally share with you a pattern that I had a pleasure to try and test. It is called Dahlia Dress and was designed by a lovely Tanja from Glasshouse Patterns. It is her very first pattern, so I took this job very seriously and made sure to be as thorough as possible.
Dahlia Dress pattern and instruction
Dahlia is a cute wrap style dress with interesting features. A front bodice includes 3 pleats to skim over your body for a better fit and there are also long back darts. The dress comes with 3 different sleeve lenght (long, 3/4 and cap sleeve) and you can have the skirt with flounce if you wish.
The pattern comes in a range of 8 sizes, but if you fall in between two sizes just check the table with finished measurements as the bodice has a bit more ease so it is possible to go with smaller size.
What I found interesting is how the fabric requirement is presented in the instruction booklet. Tanja divided the pattern into different variations and then recommends the lenght of the fabric required for that option. Due to the skirt pattern size it is recommended that the fabric width should be no smaller than 140cm.
Instruction booklet includes a step by step photo tutorial to guide you throughout the whole process. The steps are written in an easy to understand way and the pictures are high quality.
Dahlia Dress pattern adjustment and construction
The job of pattern tester is to find any mistakes either in the pattern itself or the instruction included in the booklet and I can honestly say that I take this very seriously. But apart from some grading errors for bodice pleats and notches that Tanja resolved right away there rest of the pattern was drafted very well. Other then that there was a missing step in the instruction and couple minor spelling mistakes which were rectified during the testing process.
I chose to make a version with cap sleeves and plain skirt without the flounce.
I had sewn the pattern as it is, without doing any of my adjustments as I wanted to see the original fit. It was pretty good apart from a waist line being too low on me. It would be fine if I did not want to attach the belt, but this is such a critical detail to the design I did not want to skip it. In turn I had shorten the bodice by 4 cm. Doing this raised a small problem at the side seams. They no longer matched by 5 mm. As this was only a test version I do not mind and because there is a waist belt it is barely visible, but lesson to all….do not shorten the bodice at the hem when there are any pleats or darts involved.
The process of sewing the Dahlia Dress was very straightforward up to a point of attaching a waist tie to the bodice. The instruction was missing a step and because the way that Tanja constructed the patter was new to me I got little confused. Tanja was extremely helpful during the testing phase and answered emails within couple of hours, so when she attached extra diagrams and updated booklet it was so simple in the end. I really like it how she finishes the tie from inside by attaching short ribbon to a waist band in two places.
It took me about 5 hours and 30 mins to make this dress, which in whole honesty is not that long. Being extra thorough slowed me down a little, but it was worth it as I have a beautiful dress in my wardrobe now.
One thing I need to confess….I had not checked the fabric reccomadation beforehand and purchase 5m of cotton fabric of 115 cm width. When I realised my mistake I was mortified, but luckily I was able to squeeze it by folding a material perpendicular to the salvage end. I was glad that my print was not a directional print and you can see I can get away with it this time….another lesson learnt…phhhhfff
I like that the bodice part is lined, but was worried that it might be too bulky. The skirt is a perfect lenght for me, so I would advise lengthen it if you are much taller or add a flounce if you like that style.
Although this was a test pattern I would highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for a wrap dress that is well drafted and can be sewn from many different fabrics to give it a unique look.
~that is a wrap for today….what do you think?~