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Oh, sack dresses, how I love you. Especially sack dresses with interesting details.
Yes, it’s another Style Arc dress. This is the Style Arc Hedy Designer Dress. From their website: HEDY DESIGNER DRESS: Hedy is a simple, unstructured shaped dress that has cleverly constructed design lines. The asymmetrical neck pleat drapes to the side seam and creates the hidden pockets and the fabulous cocoon shape. The Hedy pattern comes in 2 lengths – a knee-length dress & mid-calf length dress with side splits. FABRIC SUGGESTION & DESCRIPTION: Knit Jersey, Stretch Silk or any fabric with a stretch component and drape.
I used a printed stretch fabric that a friend gave me a while back (thanks Nikki!) – and I think it matched beautifully with this pattern. I did pay attention to where the large motifs would fall when I cut this out – I really didn’t need a huge exploding flower right on my stomach! I think that I pretty much succeeded in that regard.
It is a little difficult to see some of the style lines in the print, but they are quite clear in the line drawing. There are princess style seams at the back, and at the front. The front princess style seams have pockets hidden in them. They are nicely constructed, with interfaced pocket bearers. After under stitching them as per the instructions they sit very nicely in those front seams.
The shoulders seams are actually shifted to the front, in a slight curve, that adds a nice point of difference to the top. The sleeve edges are hemmed before the side seams are sewn. By doing this there aren’t issues with turning a sleeve hem over an acute angle, and it’s easy to match up the sleeve edges at the underarm. The shaping of the sleeve and side panels gives a really nice drape from below the arms to the hemline in addition to allowing plenty of room for movement.
I chose to finish the front neckline with self fabric binding rather than a wide facing. I topstitched it down around the neckline from one edge of the pleated centre front section to the other, and secured the binding on the inside with hand stitching over the pleated area. This allowed the fabric to drape easily from the pleats. This is also quite a thick area with multiple layers of fabric once the pleats are sewn in place. In a thicker fabric I’d just use a wider facing for the neckline rather than the narrower binding.
There are diagrams to help with the trickier bits of the dress construction, and I didn’t really have any issues with putting this together. I did take things slowly when putting together the front folds, and the markings are really important in helping to align everything properly.
I sewed straight size 12 in the shorter version of the pattern, without alteration. I am considering making the longer version in a warmer knit for winter. I’ll just need to make sure that I don’t choose anything too thick – it’s important that you consider the neckline pleats and that this needs to drape nicely. Most construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used just as needed. I used a simple straight stitch for hems.
as well as the Maris top that I blogged a week or two ago. More patterns will be added as they continue to trial the site as an alternative to their Etsy store. If you prefer paper patterns they are still available from their website as usual.
I love this dress, and know that it will get loads of wear. It’s interesting to consider all the elements that go into something being a “YES!” garment versus an “okay” garment. It really is a combination of style, colour, print, scale, and shape – as well as how much I enjoyed the construction process. There are so many elements to get right! Now I’m thinking about whether I “need” to sew that Alegra jacket….I think it would work beautifully over a long winter version of the Hedy…