Lovely Reeta (in Spoonflower)

My current Named pattern streak continues: this is my first take on the Reeta midi shirt dress pattern from their latest spring-summer collection. It features a lined back yoke, camp style collar, a drawstring waist, pleated patch pockets and side splits.

Before I talk about the pattern, the excellent fabric: it’s Spoonflower‘s poly crepe de chine, which they sent me for free to review. Spoonflower describes this substrate as “a sheer, lightweight 100% polyester crepe fabric ideal for projects that require a soft drape and a delicate weight. This exciting fabric features bright colors that hold up very well to multiple washings”. My own impressions are that the colours are indeed how I expected and the print is sharp – it didn’t fade in my prewash and I wouldn’t expect it to in future washes. It’s opaque enough for a dress and drapes very well, yet isn’t overly shifty and difficult to handle. You will want to use a fine needle and silk pins as it does show stitching marks/holes quite clearly.

It feels just a a little plastic-y (I’d be interested to try their silk CdC sometime), but it took a steamy medium-heat press very well and doesn’t feel too sticky to wear, especially in this breezy style. The major benefit of Spoonflower of course is that you have access to a huge user-generated library of prints to pick from: I went for this Mudcloth-inspired print by domesticate. They ship directly from Berlin now too, so it’s much cheaper to order and get delivery to the UK (and no customs charges, for now at least, hurrah). Thanks to Spoonflower for sending me the fabric; I’ll definitely be ordering more sometime soon.

Onto the pattern itself: as you might have noticed, my version actually eschews a lot of these lovely features that attracted me to the design in the first place. I made the silly mistake of starting this project on Saturday morning hoping to have it ready to wear for a friend’s birthday drinks in the evening. Cutting it took an age due to all the pieces and the grudging desire to match this print I chose, so I was generally trying to rush and ended up getting quite frustrated and slapdash.

For some reason my collar piece ended up a good inch too short to fit between the notches on the neckline – I need to check if that was user or pattern error (likely me in the aforementioned rush). But the pattern luckily works just fine with no collar and just the folded-back lapels. I made up the pleated pockets and pinned them on, but decided they were too much fuss for this print. I ended up shortening the skirt about eight inches which made the splits look a bit silly, so I sewed the entire side seams closed. It was close to maxi length on me before I chopped it, which actually looked rather nice, albeit a bit much in this print.

In terms of fit, I made a straight 40 and it’s spot on. I especially like the sleeve drafting, they’re very comfortable and eased-in very nicely. The waist and hips are blousy and open so overall as long as the shoulder and upper back is good this should be an easy one to fit.
Fit aside, this is actually rather an involved sew and has some tricky steps, hence why even speedy sewer me did not get it finished in a day. The instructions are good but I did end up deviating a bit to finish the enclosed yoke and sleeve cuffs my own way. I sewed real buttons and buttonholes but feel obligated to point out that it does slip on over the head, so you could definitely be lazy and sew the buttons straight through both layers. It’s not my neatest work overall but the design and fabric are quite forgiving luckily!

23 thoughts on “Lovely Reeta (in Spoonflower)

  1. Meg

    I love it! It reminds me of a dress my mom had in the ’80s (I mean that in a good way!). I just gave in and bought this pattern earlier today…

    1. Katie Post author

      Yes, it’s very 80s – this feels rather like wearing a vintage dress! Look forward to seeing your take on it.

  2. Manju

    I saw this pattern and thought it’s a bit too retro-esque for me but seeing your version might make me change my mind! The prints a great success too.

    1. Katie Post author

      It’s definitely got 80s shirtwaister vibes, but I like that about it – removing the collar and adjusting the length helped it feel a bit more modern I think.

  3. Alex

    I love your shorter version and the neckline is lovely on you. I wasn’t sure about this cos of the maxi length but I may well give it a try now and copy your length. Thanks Named ambassador (or you should be!)

  4. Robin

    I really like the dress and fabric. I was surprised to read that it was polyester. I’ve seen African fabric s with same/similar print patterns. Great fit as well.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks – yes, it’s definitely inspired by African cotton mudcloths – I would love some real mudcloth some day.

    1. Katie Post author

      Good to know it wasn’t just me – it was quite far off from fitting! I will redraft longer too and probably let Named know.

    1. Katie Post author

      Yes, I think you could apply the same idea and basically leave off the top collar and let the front flap open naturally. I’m not the biggest collar fan either.

  5. Kelsey

    I love how this turned out, especially with that fabric! The maxi length looks great but I like this length better. I’ll have to try this pattern when I’m a bit more experienced (I’m not quite ready for “tricky steps”!) thanks for sharing :)

  6. Georgia Williams

    Hi Katie,

    Lovely dress! I just finished my Reeta on Monday, and had the same problem with the collar, it took me ages and a whole tub of pins to try and get the collar into the neckline. Even after I basted it I had to gently ease out loads of little gathers. It was a nightmare so it definitely isn’t just you! :)

  7. Shauni S

    Love your Reeta and your Spoonflower fabric! I’ve had an olive green/cream striped crepe queued up for this pattern for agesssss, but just gearing myself up for potential pattern matching!
    Hope I can make it turn out as lovely as yours :) x

  8. Fiona

    It doesn’t look slapdash at all Katie! It’s really lovely and that print suits you down to the ground! I’m very intrigued by this pattern so it’s great to see a review

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  10. Marie Koupparis

    I love this Katie! Didn’t even realise the collar was missing, it looks great with just the lapels folded back. It may not be your neatest work, but no one else can tell…it’s ace from here!!!

  11. Monica

    Hi Katie,
    I admire your sewing skills, ability and dedication. You put so much work, effort and time into your projects.
    I saw a post where you made a red winter coat (a while back). The color looked great on you. Would you consider more projects in a similar color as well?
    Happy sewing, thank you.
    I’ll keep reading your posts. : )

    1. Katie Post author

      Hi Monica, thanks for the message. I did like that brick red/brown colour, I’ll look out for more similarly coloured fabric!

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