I was attracted to this Seamingly Smitten pattern immediately when I saw the teaser photo, a simple, quick and easy dress with no zips or buttons which could be made in knit or woven fabric, potentially very versatile!
This pattern comes as a 29 page PDF file, 16 of which need to be printed for the 4 included pattern pieces. It is not layered and although each size line is a different colour the line dash styles are the same for them all. It is designed as a no trim pattern for US letter size paper which makes printing on A4 tricky, I needed to add paper to the sides of each page to make A4 paper wide enough to work and trim the length to 11". The pattern covers 7 sizes between XS-XXXL (approx 31-49" bust) and has 3 length lines on the bodice and skirt allowing you to easily cut the pattern pieces without adjustments. You can also choose between a high or low scoop back neckline and even horizontal or crossed straps in the back neck scoop. There is a 'petite' width line printed if you wanted a slimmer fit. It requires between 1 1/4 and 2 5/8 yards (approx 1.15 and 2.4 metres) depending on size and fabric width as well as some 3/8" elastic and bias binding if you wish to bind the neckline.
I made the XS size with petite bodice, regular length skirt and regular width. I used a rayon lycra knit for this black and pink floral, I didn't use the optional sleeve cuffs, I hemmed them. Rather than bias binding, I made a band from the main fabric for the neck by measuring the neckline and making it 80% plus 2.5cm (approx 1") I also made a version in cotton using the 'petite width' but as yet haven't been able to get a good fit.
How does it fit?
The Carolina is described as an 'empire waist' bodice and 'A-line' skirt. It is my belief that an empire bodice ends just below the bust and in this case it is a good 3.5" below which means the elastic hits between my natural waist and under-bust, a particularly unflattering place for me. To make it a true empire style I would need to take 3" out of the petite length bodice and add it onto the skirt to keep the overall length the same. I also find it very wide in the bodice, both under the arms/around the bust and at the elastic casing, which together with lots of gathering makes me look wider and less shapely than I am. I have looked through the other tester photos now which seems to show the fit is better with less extra width and less gathers in the elastic in the larger sizes and the bodice is much more 'empire' on those with fuller busts. so I will take some of the excess width out of this, raise the elastic by around 3" and play with getting it as flattering as possible as a tunic.
I used 1m (approx 1.1 yards) of 60" wide fabric and it took around 1.5 hours from printing to finished.
Pattern Cost, Full price - (£5.50) $8
Fabric Cost - £5 ($7.20)
Notions Cost - £1 ($1.44)
Total cost £11.50 ($16.55)
The pattern has 50% off today and tomorrow only so you can get it for $4 (£2.78) and you can join the Seamingly Smitten Facebook group for an additional 10% off
I really like the style of this dress and once fit is perfected for me, I can see it becoming a very used pattern in my stash this summer, nice and comfortable for chasing my boys around yet pretty, quick and easy to sew. I will also try and get the cotton version I made to fit as that will open up my future options. Until fit is perfected, I don't know the future of this pattern but I'll keep you all updated on my progress!
Dress Pattern - Carolina Cap Sleeve Dress
Fabric - from my stash.
Hi! I'm Sarah and I live with my 2 boys and my Husband in East Anglia, UK. I enjoy sewing for my family and it is my aim to have a completely MeMade wardrobe for us all!