Oh my dears, I am so excited to share this pattern review with you all today! Not only is it about my new favorite dress, but it also features one of my new favorite Indie Pattern companies, Jennifer Lauren!
A few weeks ago, shortly after she had released her new Felicity Dress Pattern, Jennifer contacted us asking if we would like to review the pattern. Would we, excuse me, I ever? YES!! The Felicity Dress is one of the most delightful, fun dress patterns that I have ever seen. With an option for a 3/4 circle or gathered skirt, it truly is a dress any dressmaker could make for herself and love to bits.
So, to get down to the bits and pieces, and what I think of the pattern. Jennifer’s instructions were quite clear and easy to follow. I love how she included a guide for gathering the neckline gathers before attaching the bias tape. It made that part so much easier to do.
I made view 1 of the pattern, which is the 3/4 circle skirted version. I don’t like how gathered skirts typically look on me, so I was over-the-moon excited that Jennifer included an option for a 3/4 circle skirt! Ooh, swish! (kudos to you if you know where that came from 😛 )
As far as sizing, I am exactly a size 8 in my bust and hips in JL’s sizing, but I was just a half size smaller in the waist. All I did to remedy that was take the pattern in a bit at the waist (approximately 1/8″ both front and back at each side seam). With that little alteration, the dress fits perfectly. In fact, I think it is one of the best fitting, most flattering summer dresses that I have ever made.
I also lengthened the skirt about 6″, as the original 20-3/4″ length was going to be a bit on the short side for me. But that was quite simple to do, and the length came out perfectly.
One thing I was amazed to find out about the pattern is that the armholes were actually a bit too high for me! That never happens. Usually the armholes are practically half way down to my waist on any sleeveless dress, so I was very glad that Jennifer made them so high and modest. I ended up lowering them just a smidgen (about 3/8″) which turned out to be just the right amount.
Dress Pattern: The Felicity Dress c/o Jennifer Lauren // Fabric: Rayon Challis from Fashion Fabrics Club // Zipper: 22″ regular zipper from Joann’s Fabric and Crafts // Bias Tape: Self Made
All the seams, except for the center back seam I made up as french seams. The center back raw edges I bound with rayon seam binding. For the hem I just followed Jennifer’s instructions for folding it up, and then slip-stitched it. I also partially interfaced the center back seam where the zipper is inserted as Jennifer suggested in the pattern, since I was working with shifty rayon challis.
The best (and worst) part of the dress for me is the pockets! I love any dress that has pockets! The only problem is, when I was making the dress the notches and such weren’t aligning quite correctly, so they drape a little funny. But I’m sure that was just a cutting error on my part (it was quite a doozy cutting out this whole dress on one single layer of shifty rayon challis!), and not an error in the pattern.
Ah! My favorite part: The Neckline. When I first saw the Felicity Dress in Jennifer’s announcement post (yes Jennifer has an amazingly delightful blog, which you MUST check out if you love vintage sewing!), I fell in love with the gorgeous fit and beautiful neckline. But, I wondered, would the style and neckline fit me just as beautifully as it fit Jennifer? I am pleased to say that they do! There are no darts in the waistline of the front bodice, as all the darts were shifted to the neckline to create the gathers. This creates such an elegant and flawless fit, I don’t think I could have done it any better. So thank you Jennifer for creating such a gorgeous, feminine pattern!
Oh yes, the back zipper. For once, this is a zipper that actually pleases me completely (almost). I was so glad to see that Jennifer has you do a lapped zipper in the instructions. This is my favorite method of inserting a zipper, and it just looks so clean on a finished dress. So, why am I not completely happy with how mine came out? Well, they really are just small little finicky issues that only the seamstress who made the dress would notice, so therefore I am only going to tell you one, which was due to the relapse of my memory after a busy day. I had fully intended to do a hand-picked zip, instead of machine stitching the whole thing. But, somehow my brain went on auto-pilot and I just proceeded to insert the zip according to the instructions, until the whole thing was finished and pressed. Then I suddenly realized my mistake. Botheration! Thankfully it is just a cosmetic issue, and the top-stitching actually came out quite nice. So, I didn’t bother to take it out. I’m actually glad I didn’t do a hand-picked zipper after all. The top-stitching is so much sturdier, and will probably wear better than the couture alternative.
So, the verdict? The Felicity Dress pattern is awesome for three fabulous reasons:
- The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and the dress so simple that any adventurous beginner could make it up quite easily.
- The fit is just so amazingly gorgeous and flattering.
- The neckline and armholes are cut rather high, so the dress is very modest.
I am definitely going to have to make this dress again sometime. I just love how it came out in the rayon challis that I used. It’s so soft and drape-y, not to mention fun to twirl in. Oh, and plus it goes beautifully with my new Swedish Hasbeens and my vintage straw tilt-hat! Score!
Have you ever heard of Jennifer Lauren Vintage?
What do you think of the Felicity Dress Pattern?
Which view of the pattern would you make? The Gathered skirt, or the 3/4 Circle like me?
Brigid, the Middle Sister and Singer