Oh, how I love this dress! The fabric is rather striking – it’s a cotton/linen blend from Spotlight, bought during one of their clearance sales last year. I think that lots of people have it in their stash but are not quite sure what to do with it. I do have to complain about the colourfastness of the fabric – or rather, the lack of it. When I pre-washed this fabric it left lots of dark smudges on the lighter areas. Grrr. So I figured that I had nothing to lose by using it to make what would hopefully be a wearable muslin of a new-to-me design.
The pattern is actually quite straightforward. One pattern piece for the front and back skirt (cut slightly higher at top of the front skirt), one pattern piece for the sleeves, one pattern piece for the front yoke, one for the back, and pattern pieces for front and back neckline facings. That’s it. The pattern comes as a pdf, and is tiled to use minimum pieces of paper. BUT – and for me this is a big but – you still have to trace the pattern pieces after assembling the pdf, as they overlap one another (apparently in order to save paper). My first thoughts when I discovered this were not very kind ones. If I am sticking pieces of paper together, I want to then just cut them out and go for it. I don’t want to then have to trace them! But in reality it wasn’t a very big deal, because of the relatively small number of pattern pieces. I got over my grumbles. And construction sped along.
The sleeves are self lined, and I chose to wear them folded back. They are a bit too flange-like for my liking if just left flat. The neckline facings are topstitched in place as a feature, and the in-seam side pockets are also top-stitched towards the front. I usually leave pockets out of dresses and skirts as I really don’t use them, but I will include them if they are a feature, and in this case they are.
The dress was very quick to sew – there’s not a lot to it, no gathers or tucks or anything else like that to fuss around with. Every pattern piece fitted together perfectly. The pattern suggests a variety of length options. I decided to go with the maxi, but shortened it about three inches to accommodate my 158cm height. By the way, I used size 12 throughout, without any alterations. The instructions that came with this pattern were excellent.
I can’t seem to copy any line drawings from the website, Here is the line drawing from the website and their blurb about the pattern:
Our super-femme space age gown. Strong lines and careful shaping give this dress major volume and elegant fit. The Celestial comes with length options from maxi to top lengths. It can be made in most woven fabrics. Perfect for getting married on Mars or becoming your favourite no-fuss dress.
8-16 multi sized pattern
All wovens excluding heavy weight thick fabrics. Crisper fabrics will enhance the garment shapes, making the skirt hem appear wider. Lighter fabrics will provide drape, movement and a softer sleeve.
17 page pattern
11 page instruction booklet
All downloads are A4 PDF documents
From their website I have worked out that they are a new Melbourne based pattern design company. So far they only have three designs available. I’ll be interested to see what else they come up with. And I am very likely to use this pattern again. I wore this dress all day Saturday and loved it – it will definitely be a summer favourite for me.