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!
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.
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.
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.
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.