I really enjoy sewing a pattern for the first time! With so many Closet Case Charlie Caftans in my closet, I’ve been looking for something different for a summer shift. Enter the Style Arc Adeline Dress. I ordered the PDF version on the Style Arc Etsy site, because shipping cost and delays for a printed version challenge my pocket book and patience 🙂
It’s such a nice design: Cocoon shape, big pockets, lovely V-neckline, and easy dolman sleeves. Plus it has an intriguing high-low hem that is finished with facing bands. All in all, lots of elements for an interesting project.
A few sewing notes:
- I sewed size 10 based on my measurements (I’m 5’7″, 33-29-38.5). And a great surprise – the length is perfect!
- I used cotton shirting that is only 43″ wide, so I had to trim a couple inches off the sleeves. That wasn’t an issue for me, since I did not plan to use a cuff (my iron is strictly for sewing, not for pressing cuffs).
- As on my Charlie Caftan, I changed to pitch of the shoulder/upper sleeve, and eased the underarm curve to prevent bunching.
Thoughts on the pattern: it’s rated as Medium difficulty/sewing skill level, and I think that’s about right. If it had anything really helpful in the way of instructions, I’d rate it as Easy. A few tips that might help if you’re on the fence:
- All the pattern pieces fit together perfectly, which means the curved hem facings are easy to sew.
- Be sure to staystitch the neckline before construction – sewing up the front edges, from the point to the shoulder, on both sides to combat the natural stretch of the fabric bias. If your fabric is shifty, you might want to staystitch the neckline edge of the facings as well.
- Facing the V-neckline… Here’s a link to an excellent tutorial by Fashion Incubator – it covers both one-piece and two-piece facings (the Adeline has the latter) and includes instructions on the direction of the stitching and management of the turn of the facing to the inside.
- Stay sane! Mark the neckline topstitching line with a soluble pen or marker. I used a Roxanne Quilters Choice chalk pencil that just brushes off. Roxanne markers are great – I have both the white and the silver pencils and usually pick them up at JoAnns. BTW, I love Frixion pens for marking inside seam allowancess and so on, but I’m wary of using them in an exposed area of a garment.
- And don’t forget to finish those pocket edges before making them, to avoid raveling on the inside when they’re used.
- Fabric yardage requirements are provided for 58″ wide fabric only. I used 3 yards of this 43″ wide shirting. Also – I like the weight of the cotton, it maintains the shape of the dress and sleeves really nicely. I doubt I’ll ever sew it in anything lighter, such as the suggested silk or crepe.
Well, I enjoyed this and have a piece of calico waiting for a second version. Before I sew it, I’m going to wear this dress a few times to address those burning questions: do I really like the dipped hemline, is the dress actually catching on my flat booty, is the bottom width (only 41″) too constricting for an easy stride.
Meanwhile, it’s Friday! I hope everyone enjoys a safe and peaceful weekend.
For now – Coco