The ultimate day dress?

Day dress

The fairly new pattern company The Avid Seamstress sent me their Day Dress pattern to review a little while ago. It formed part of my winter sew plans and I actually finished this a little while ago, but finally got some time at home in daylight to take some photos. You can probably tell from my face that I am pretty happy with it!

Day dress

Firstly, it’s in my preferred format of paper patterns. The packaging is really pretty and all top quality materials – a nice bellows envelope with string tie (making it easier to pack away), sturdy waxed pattern tissue, and an extremely comprehensive instructions booklet. It’d be a perfect pattern for beginners because the instructions are very clearly illustrated and also give you the all-important ‘why’ on each step, something that’s so often missed and is key for understanding exactly why certain techniques are important and how they can be applied to other patterns.

Day dress

Secondly, the fit and drafting is muy bueno. This is a straight size 3 pretty much out of the packet, and I would barely change anything at all. That’s partly down to fortune of their design block being similar to my body type I guess, but also small thoughtful design decisions like a well-sloped shoulder, a nice jewel neckline and good proportions all over. It’s got front bust and waist darts and back waist darts too.

Day dress

I especially like the sleeves, which fit 1:1 (no need for easing stitches around the cap, hurrah) and have a little curve in the hem for flattery and comfort. And it’s a rare pattern that works great in quilting weight cotton – this is a Robert Kaufman one I picked up in Purl NYC last year.

Day dress
Day dress

The one design tweak I made was to scoop out the back into a v shape just to give a bit of interest. I drafted a new facing piece to match. Yes, I used a facing for once, and I like it! By some force of magic it doesn’t want to flip to the outside at all. There’s an invisible zip to fasten down the centre back.


So overall, got say this pattern is a real hit for me. The design elements are basic overall sure, but anyone who’d like a well-fitting basic dress block could do worse than picking this up – it’s clearly ripe for hacks and design mods and it definitely won’t be the last time I pick it up. I think it fits me better than my actual dress block!. I think it’d be especially good for beginners too given the good directions and simple construction. The Day Dress pattern quite pricey as patterns go at £17, but the luxe edge of the packaging and top-notch drafting does make it feel worth the money to me. Thanks very much to The Avid Seamstress for sending it along to me.

30 thoughts on “The ultimate day dress?

  1. AvatarMargo

    I can see why you love it so much, Very cute! It’s nice to know that it works so well with quilting cottons, I am always drawn to the beautiful prints but refrain from using them for apparel.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I agree – this one might be great for some of those lovely Cotton & Steel prints I’ve been trying to resist…

  2. AvatarLisa Falconer

    Wow this dress fits you like a glove! We love that you have adjusted the back and it looks great! Thank you for the great comments and we are so happy you love this dress!

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      1. AvatarKristel

        Hello Katie, beautiful dress and blog! How similar would you say it is to Papercut’s Sigma dress? I already have and love that one but the day dress is speaking to me too!

        1. AvatarKatie Post author

          Thank you! I have both too and I do find them subtly different (in the skirt, neckline, sleeves and overall fit). You could probably alter Sigma to this style if it already fits you well.

  4. AvatarDiana S.

    Very cute dress. I just bought a sewing machine for my granddaughter who has never sewn before. I wish it didn’t have a zipper in it as they aren’t so easy for a newbie.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      True, but with the good instructions it’d be a good chance to learn if she is interested in dressmaking :)

  5. AvatarElle

    I love this! I am still searching for my perfect day dress pattern– there are so many boxes to tick! Style, comfort, professionalism… the list goes on! I’ll have to give this pattern a look, I’d never even heard of this company before. Loving this dress!

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  7. AvatarHeather

    Ummm…how did I miss this post? Such a lovely dress! The fit looks amazing and it looks like a great pattern for showcasing fabrics. I love the v at the back too!

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