Lately I have sewn a few garments that I complete, try on, then think YES! Do you know what I mean? This is one of those garments. Something that feels just right – in fabric choice, in pattern choice, in the combination of the two, in fit, and in meeting my style.
The Liesl + Co. Gallery dress pattern has been in my stash for a while. I’ve seen lots of versions that I rather like, but also a lot that look to me a bit like grandpa’s nightshirt. I think that fabric choice is vital when sewing this pattern – especially if you are sewing the dress rather than the tunic.
From the pattern website: Relaxed-fit pull-on tunic (View A) or dress (View B). The tunic features cuffed three-quarter-length sleeves and a one-piece collar. The dress includes in-seam pockets, button-cuff full-length sleeves, and a band collar. Both versions include an inset front placket with a fun pleated detail, an inverted box pleat at back, and a curved shirttail hem that’s slightly longer in back. Effortless and feminine, this flattering classic-but-contemporary piece can take on many different looks depending on how you style it. And, really, isn’t that the fun part? Suitable for drapey or lightweight woven fabric such as sateen, double gauze, shirting, voile, lawn, rayon, and silk.
The fabric is hand-woven cotton that I bought in Chiang Mai in January. It’s a medium weight, so I decided to sew view B as illustrated with the long sleeves and band collar so that I could wear the dress now with layers underneath and over it and in Spring and Autumn without. I love the variations in colour through the fabric as well as the textural qualities of the stripes.
As with all patterns from Liesl Gibson (her brands include Oliver + S and Lisette patterns for Butterick) it is beautifully drafted and the instructions are superb. I think they have the perfect amount of illustration and text, and find that they always have a lovely finish. I think that I sewed size 12 with size 14 body width, but need to double check that to be certain. I could possibly have gone down a size.
This was an enjoyable garment to sew. Construction was on the sewing machine. I finished the edges on the overlocker, but otherwise it didn’t get much use! It was a slower sew than many of my clothes, which was a very pleasant change. I really wanted to get all of the details right, so didn’t rush anything. I don’t deliberately rush as a general rule, but I am a pretty fast sewer. This dress had no deadlines hanging over it, so I took my time. There was even hand-stitching involved to secure the neck band!
The buttons on the sleeve cuffs are also from Chiang Mai. I think they work perfectly with this fabric! The sleeve cuff isn’t a traditional one with a placket. Rather, the cuff is attached to the sleeve with a “gap” that then becomes part of a fold when the cuff is buttoned to close it. I don’t actually need to undo the buttons to get the dress on and off (small hands).
There are in-seam pockets in the side seams, and the back hemline is longer than the front. I did take a fold out of the pattern to shorten it about an inch and a half before I cut it out. It’s still a bit longer than I would often prefer to wear, but not significantly so. The neckband and placket instructions are excellent and the end product is very neat.
I’ve already worn this dress a few times, and have felt terrific in it each time. It’s definitely a YAY garment for me. I will possibly sew it again with the three quarter length sleeve in a lighter weight fabric for warmer weather.