Indie Dress!!

It's Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch.  So that means contests!  Week 1 is dresses, which I am always up for.

Seamwork Arden
However, I have been struggling with what to make lately.  I have so many choices that sometimes thinking about all the pattern options and fabric selection ends up giving me decision anxiety.  I end up procrastinating by sketching and touching all my fabrics and I end up wasting all the time I had to sew!  I actually had another Seamwork pattern in mind to make for this contest, but in looking for two fabrics to go together, I decided that this lovely orange and navy paisley lawn needed to be featured in its own dress.  So, I picked the Seamwork Arden because it had a retro feel to it that I thought fit the fabric nicely.

I had hoped to make the entire dress out of the lawn, but I only had 3 yards and couldn't squeeze the entire thing out of it, and I happened to have some navy cotton lawn in my stash that matched perfectly.  So, it all worked out.

I made a straight size 16, which I chose due to my bust measurement.  The waist and hips of the dress are flowy, so I wasn't concerned about those measurements.  Plus, I was too lazy to do an FBA.

I made the long sleeves originally, but after attaching them, I realized they were slightly too short for my long monkey arms and also, the point of this dress was really to have a lightweight cotton dress to wear during our little Seattle heatwave.  So, I ended up chopping the sleeves off and added navy cuffs.  I definitely like the look of the long sleeves of the pattern, so it was a bit tough cutting them off, but I'm happy to have a nice, cool summer dress.  But if I make this pattern again, I'll probably keep the long sleeves and just add about an inch to their length.

My other adjustment is that I added in seam pockets!  I really do need pockets in all of my dresses.  Or at least one pocket for my phone.  And what's the point of sewing my own clothes if I can't customize them to be exactly what *I* want?

I made a small fit modification of taking in the two center front darts to add a little more shaping and to not tent quite as straight down.  I'm not 100% sure I sewed the darts correctly in the first place since I'm terrible about actually marking my fabric pieces.  But I took each of those darts approximately 1/2" deeper at the waist line, tapering out to nothing at the top and a few inches from the bottom of the darts.

Overall, I really like the look of this dress.  I hate sewing darts and this dress has 4 very long darts in the front and 4 in the back.  There is a bonus modification that uses gathers instead of darts that I might try in the future, but I like this dress enough that I might just be willing to deal with the darts.  I also didn't really know how much I'd like the bow, since I'm a little worried about adding extra bulk to my already busty figure.  But I actually really think it's very flattering, so I'm definitely glad I took the chance on this dress.

I have plans for each of the 4 Indie Pattern Month contests, but I'm already almost done with my project for week 3 (Hack it!) so I'll definitely finish at least one more.  Are you planning on entering anything for the contests this year?  I'd love to hear what you are willing to share (or tease) about your entries!


  1. This is brave and cute. The navy fabric accent hints at the current popularity of a shrug. The tie is throw-back navy (not the color). It is all very flattering to you. --Marilyn

    1. Thank you, Marilyn! I'm very pleased with it. I'm sure I'll be packing it for our visit in August!


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