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The Tulip Dress from Sew Different

I don't often wear a dress, however with summer approaching I fancied a dress I could wear as a casual piece, out for lunch and over long sleeved vests in colder weather.

The Tulip Dress from Sew Different fitted my needs. I like that it fits over the bust, comes in a bit due to the French darts, has room over the hips and tapers to just below my knees.

Mine is made from a William Morris inspired cotton from Dolly's Fabrics in Heage, Derbyshire....5 mins walk for me! It needs a fabric with some body to hold it's shape.

It also has sleeves, which are quite big with darts to create shape into the wrist.

One thing I really appreciated is that the 1.5cm seam allowance is stated right at the beginning. As an experienced maker I don't want to go searching for basic information.

It's categorised as 2* difficulty, which is right. It's an easy make for someone who's made simple things before. There's no fastenings, but it does have an inverted pleat, Fr

ench darts and a band added to the lower skirt. The sleeve darts added another skill. The neckline is faced and does need careful marking to make sure the V sits accurately at the centre front.

The instructions have enough information without being overwhelming before starting!

The measurement chart has metric and imperial measurements and comparisons to RTW garments in different countries....but lets face it every brand has different sizing.

The finished sizes are only in centimetres, so you might need to get your tape measure out.

Once you begin sewing the diagrams are quite basic so you might need to rely on the more detailed written instructions.

The only thing I wasn't happy with was the French dart. When it was sewn and pressed own it left cut edges exposed. These really should be level with the side seams.

The solution was to press the dart up rather then down. The end of the dart stuck out past the seam, but could be trimmed off after sewing the side seams.

The neck edge is finished with a facing which works really well. I interfaced mine and finished the edge with my overlocker.

If you fancy different ways to finish facings take a look at my facings tutorial

The instructions explain how to line up the V of the facing exactly on the seam of the pleat at the centre front.

The hem is finished with bias binding which works well. However .... I decided to make the lower band with two layers. I made the dress without adding the lower band before sewing the seams. I stitched the side seams of the bands, put them right sides together and stitched the lower edge, trimmed and understitched the seam. Once folded wrong sides together and I'd pressed the hem I attached the band to the bottom of the dress and neatened the seam.

I haven't made the sleeves so can't comment on them.

Overall I'm happy with the pattern, the sizing seems quite accurate and the instructions aren't over complicated, although the diagrams could be much more detailed....I'm a visual person. I really like the shape, worth reminding you that I'm only 5'2" so if you're taller you might need to add length between your bust and the lower band.

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