Sometimes you don’t realise at first what a winner a pattern will be. You sew it up, wear it, maybe sew another one, then a few years pass and you realise that you are still regularly reaching for that garment. It just works for you. So you make it again.
I first sewed the Pattern Fantastique Celestial dress back in 2014! That dress is still in my wardrobe (although a little snug at present). I then sewed it again in 2015. I am a little surprised that it’s taken me this long to sew it a third time, especially because there have been both a sleeveless and this 3/4 sleeved free pattern expansions released since then.
Oh, I love those sleeves. Wide elastic in a sleeve cuff has really taken my fancy over the past year! They’re very easy to sew too. The whole dress is actually quite straightforward. Sew the bodice shoulder seams, face the neckline and topstitch it down, sew in the sleeves, make the skirt, attach the skirt to the bodice. Then it’s just the finishing details.
I sized up this time to the largest pattern size as I really didn’t want this to pull around my bust. I possibly overdid it a tad – one size smaller than this would have been okay. The fabric is tencel from Clear It. Tencel really does have a magnificent drape. It’s the shade of blue that wanders toward purple with a greyish cast but somehow remains blue. I wasn’t sure that it would suit me, given that it’s rather cool toned and I am usually drawn to warmer tones, but when I tried on the finished dress I liked it!
It does show the sitting wrinkles a bit, unfortunately, but it’s so nice to wear. The tencel flows and moves and is incredibly comfortable against my skin. I have some of this fabric left, and suspect that my daughters may battle one another for it.
I think that I need to keep this pattern beside my cutting table. I need to sew all the versions! The pattern website describes it as follows: The Celestial Hack #2 maintains the appeal of the original trapeze dress. The new sleeve billows with glamour giving this super modern style a touch of 70’s romance, whilst keeping true to its original simple, utilitarian, beginnings. The new sleeve, length, volume and gathering ratios have been carefully considered to keep in balance with the skirt.
The free sleeve hack (I don’t like the term ‘hack’ as applied to sewing patterns, but it appears to be a generally accepted term so I just need to accept it and move on) only works in conjunction with the original Celestial dress pattern. From the Pattern Fantastique website: The Celestial Max Dress (Pattern #102) is our super-femme space age gown. Strong lines and careful shaping give this dress major volume and an 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. RECOMMENDED FABRICS All wovens excluding super-heavyweight 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.
I think that I need some more of both dress versions, in a shorter length. I also need to give the sleeveless/pinafore version a go. I feel that these are fashionable patterns that will remain fashionable for years and years – they’re not ‘trendy’ but have interesting shapes and details that make them both interesting to sew and to wear.
You already know that I have sewn myriad Pattern Fantastique Aeolian tees. The other garment of Nita-Jane’s that I especially love is the Falda jacket (my version of it is here). I sewed it back in early 2016, and still wear it regularly. It is very versatile, and is another pattern that I know I will be sewing for years and years. Many of you have already sewn the Genoa Tote, a collaboration with Blogless Anna (I have made multiple myself), and I am currently eyeing off the Calyx Smock. I love the look of the Terra pants and Cove pants but know that I am an elastic waistband woman, so I’m unlikely to sew either of those. I’m definitely looking forward to the dress pattern that I know is in the works because Anna recently wore a prototype to Frocktails. Don’t you love it when you find a pattern that works well for years and years?