Style Arc Patricia Rose dress variation


This project has been in thinking mode for a long time! When it first came out, I bought the Patricia Rose dress because I had pinned a really pretty dress with a front and back bodice fold. The Rose seemed a possible starting point for something similar.

top 2

My stash is pretty thin right now, but I did have a cute linen/cotton/rayon shirting I picked up on a whim from Fabric Mart. It’s called Traveling Bananas, by the mysterious Better Hawaiian Dress Manufacturer. Does anyone know who this is? Tori Richards maybe? Anyway, it’s a beautiful fabric, a pleasure to sew and wear.

back 2

My drafting process.

Of course I wanted my back bodice fold to match up with the front fold. So I used the front to draft the back.


bottom 1

Next, the skirt. I’m not fond of inverted pleats in skirts – they just don’t wear well. So I took some width out of the front skirt, leaving just enough width for soft gathers. Since the bottom widths of my front and back bodice are the same, I used the same draft for the back skirt!

skirt mods

A few more sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 8, based on my bust measurement plus some ease.
  • The pattern has 1/2″ seam allowances everywhere except the neckline and facings, which are 1/4″. That is totally contra-intuitive given the risk of stretch and ravel on the neckline bias curves. I drew my tissue with 1/2″ SA everywhere, so much safer.


  • I added 1″ to the length of the bodice, just above the area of the fold.
  • And added an additional 1 1/2″ to the length of the skirt.
  • My short sleeves are based on the original sleeve.
  • I used 1 3/4″ hem allowances on the sleeves and skirt, just to echo the bodice fold.
  • BTW, my fabric was 44″ wide by 3 yards. I had enough to cut pockets and long sleeves.


I happened to take a snap of the front before I folded the bodice. It’s actually rather nice.

before fold

Closeups of those pretty folds:

close front

close back

close side

This project was so much fun that I was sorry to see it finished! Not really the end…I have a piece of striped fabric that has me back in the thinking mode.

Parting shot: David and Preston are in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for ski week. Preston is almost 10 and has been skiing for 3 years. Amazing, my little athlete, he actually does the expert slopes (moguls this year?) with his dad!

preston co

Bye for now – Coco

14 thoughts on “Style Arc Patricia Rose dress variation

  1. I have sewn two of these dresses and have been contemplating one with the fold on the back as it looks more finished. I also shortened the sleeves because of hot summers but I can see it could work as a winter dress!

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  2. Yes, it’s Tori Richards. When FabricMart first carried fabric from this line, they identified it, but now they’ve moved to the generic “Hawaiian designer.” Just like Maggy London’s fabric is now “Famous Dress Designer.” Sometimes I’ve been able to google and find Tori Richard clothing from the same fabric. I know some of her cottons are manufactured in Japan, where nice cottons are made.


  3. Yes, I’m sure that “better” designer is Tori Richards. I have some of the Tori fabric from FM. Very nice! Your dress came out just perfect!

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  4. Traveling bananas? Perfect for yet another Coco creation. I continue to be amazed at your productivity. This new dress is a keeper. Thanks for including some photos of your adjustments.

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    1. Thank you, Fran, and you’re so welcome. I have to admit that I’m not happy with my print placement on the front, it’s better on the back, but it’s a challenging print. In the end, Imy pattern is do nice, I love it, and I’m working on another version!


  5. You are correct. Better Hawaiian dress manufacturer has always been Tori Richards when I’ve been able to research a match. Beautiful changes and result.


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