Friday, May 15, 2020

MariaDenmark's Sewing Life 00: a Four Seasons Dress

I'm getting ready for summer days with this quick cocoon style dress from MariaDenmark! 

This is a free pattern that you can get when you sign up for the Sewing Life magazine newsletter, run by MariaDenmark. It's a very useful, versatile dress, with four views - one for each season.

I decided to give this one a quick trial to see if the shape worked for me. I chose the Autumn version. And I used a sheet from my stash to give it a try. It's a lightweight cotton-poly percale sheet, and has the perfect weight and body for this pattern.

I cut it with the hem on the finished edge of the sheet, but found I didn't like the length when it was done, so I folded up the sheet edge and hemmed it. The extra bulk means that it puckers a little at each of the side seams -- it was too hard to gather in the already bulky edge of the folded sheet. A proper hem would not do this.

But since this was just a wearable muslin I went with it, and tried it and loved it! In fact, I love this print so much that I will definitely wear this dress as a dress!

How did I find the pattern? Well, it was very straightforward in shape, and nothing too difficult. The full instructions for each view are only given in the Sewing Life magazine, but you can download the mini-mag with the pattern when you sign up for the newsletter, as mentioned. In any case you shouldn't really need much instruction with this one unless you are a very new sewist. It is a basic 3 seam dress with a back walking slit (I shortened mine significantly) and bias facings on neck and armhole.

One big change -- I added side seam pockets. The fabric I'm using has the body to stand up to pockets well -- if you are making the knit Winter version it might not work out. I graded out a tiny bit over the hip area to give it a little more of a cocoon shape to fit my body shape as well.

The bias facing was the only part of this project that gave me trouble. The angle of the underarm made it quite difficult to attach the bias neatly. It took some manhandling to get it on nicely. But the shape and fit of the armscye make it worthwhile. I love the fit of this dress.

The walking slit is just turned under and stitched, and a plain hem is all that's required -- mine is a little bulky because of the layers of sheet but it does give it a nice weight at the bottom!

This is very comfortable and airy to wear, and I am sure it will be perfect for those hot days, once we get some (the day before these pictures it had snowed briefly!) This pattern has a great shape, and this is only one of the four views in this pattern, which are all different enough to make a distinct dress with each. Definitely good value here, check it out.

Another fun upcycling project and one that is both thrifty and surprisingly successful for me as a real, wearable garment. I even used the scraps of the sheet to make a couple of matching Boomerang Bags! The Stratford Boomerang Bag group was scheduled to have our first meeting/sewing bee on the day after the shutdown began, so we haven't really got going yet. But I am still making bags and looking forward to the day when we can all meet and sew together.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Linda! For a first attempt, I am pretty happy with how it turned out!


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