"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Socialite Dress - Pattern Review

I was never interested in sewing this dress and now it has become the new favorite in my closet. I think a big factor in why I didn't want to buy this pattern was the styling of the finished product on the pattern jacket. (You can see it here.) No offense to the stylist or to Anna Maria, but the fabric chosen, the gray tights and the seeming lack of shape to the dress were all unattractive to me. I'm starting to learn to catch a vision for things and really make them fit my own personality and figure needs. This dress is a perfect example of that.

Pattern Description:
All the sophisticated swank, but none of the suffocating seams. This little number will graciously flatter your sewing skills and your sense of style.

Pattern Sizing:

I chose an XS since I read the pattern runs pretty true to the sizing guide on the jacket (as it should).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yep... only better. hehe.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is where I have to gush about Anna Maria Horner. The first pattern I sewed by her was the Multi-Tasker Tote. That thing is crazy amazing in it's design. It's complex and simple at the same time. I was soooo impressed with her pattern design and instruction skills and that made me excited to see what the design and instructions would be like for the dress. Suffice it to say that she is definitely in my top three on my list of pattern writers that I admire. In my opinion the steps to making this dress couldn't be one bit clearer.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I WOULD have disliked the armholes if I hadn't known from reading other reviews that I should add at least an inch at the shoulders when cutting out the pieces. That means adding to the front and back of the dress pieces AND to the front and back yoke pieces AND their coordinating facings. If I make this dress again, I won't hesitate to add a little more length even than I did this time. The armholes are just ALMOST too tight.
I particularly like the fact that the inside of this dress looks almost as pretty as the outside. Well, not really, but it's the most finished looking inside of a garment I've made to date.

Fabric Used:
2 yards of Amy Butler home decor fabric in Trumpet Flowers. (found for $10/yd on Etsy) I have had a love affair with this fabric from afar ever since the LOVE collection debuted. I have nowhere to use it in my home, so I decided to swath my body in it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The shoulder lengthening mentioned above was the only change I made.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't know how many of this style dress I want in my closet, honestly. I HAVE to belt it, because I don't really go for the sack look and my derriere sticks out considerably in the back causing the dress to gather and sit on top of it after any bending or sitting. What I'm saying is, it might not be that versatile. I could make it in a solid color to get a completely different look, but I've got other dresses to sew before I resort to that.
PLEASE, if you are an intermediate sewer and you are looking for a new pattern, try one of Anna Maria's. You won't be disappointed.

This dress turned out to be the perfect easy-to-wear option for the event it was worn to and I'm very proud to have it in my closet.



  1. It looks gorgeous on you! I love the fabric that you chose and I love seeing it styled with a belt!

  2. Looks great belted....I would have never chosen that pattern based on the "jacket" photo...but it looks fabulous finished!

  3. Great info! Looks really good on you. I always wonder if regular old cotton would work for something like this.

  4. A HA! I knew this dress would be flattering! I just knew it! It's on my list for next Spring/Summer because I loooove Anna Maria Horner's patterns - I've made the Proper Attire skirt, and the Study Hall Skirt, and I really love how she drafts her patterns, and that's coming from the larger end of her pattern spectrum.

    I think with my wide hips I might be able to wear it in its sack-like guise, but I totally love it belted on you, and I love the Amy Butler print you used. Great use of a big bright repeat!