My sister is going to a wedding in May and asked me to make her a dress for the occasion. She complains that RTW clothes don’t fit her properly – so she wanted a dress that fits the bill. After trawling through many patterns, we finally decided on the Charlotte Dress by Sew Over It (which is ironically my sisters name!). The dress is a PDF only pattern, which I am not a huge fan off, as they take such a long time to tape together. I also wanted to try another Sew Over It pattern as I was quite disappointed with the 1940’s Tea Dress pattern (which I will post about soon).
According to the website, the Charlotte Dress is aimed at intermediate sewists. It has a number of features including kimono sleeves, lapels, pleats and facings.
The pattern calls for a medium weight woven fabric with plenty of drape and recommends crepe or viscose linen. My sister wanted a more structured dress which held the pleats well and therefore we opted for a cotton poplin. The material I used for the dress was a blue leaf pattern cotton poplin. I brought the fabric from a stall at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London, it was £6 pm. You can get the same fabric in different colours from here (at £7.99 pm). I brought and used 4 metres.
The pattern is not lined. It has facings for the front and back and a self lined waistband. As the fabric was slightly sheer, I wanted to fully line the dress. This also gave it some much-needed weight. I used the same fabric to line the bodice and some white sheeting from John Lewis to line the skirt.
I was a little disappointed that I ran out of material to line the skirt, however I actually quite like the contrast between the pattern and plain white fabric for the lining.
I ended up grading down the pattern by two sizes. This is because my sister wanted to have a much tighter fit on the dress – especially at the waist. As the waist does not have much ease, we decided to omit the tie waist. This ended up creating a much sleeker silhouette. However, If I was to make it in a softer fabric such as crepe I would definitely add a tie to the waist.
Best parts of the dress
- The instructions were very good and well laid out.
- The fact I didn’t have to insert any sleeves!
- How easy it was to change the facing to a fully lined dress
- The neckline is extremely flattering for larger busts
- It has pockets!
- I had to reduce the shoulder seams by an inch and reduce the back neckline by an inch.
Other than that I had no other challenges. The dress was a simple cut and the neckline design makes it a very flattering dress. My sister is really pleased with it and she will look amazing at the wedding 🙂