So I’m going to be a bit of a grump about this dress.
I jumped on Colette‘s pre-sale of the Dahlia dress, mostly because I always need work dresses (especially wool!) and I love raglan sleeves. But when I received the pattern I was immediately disappointed…first off, the dress isn’t lined (wool dress – lining = itchy and static-y). Second, the neckline and sleeve hems are bound with bias tape. I don’t dislike bias binding, but on a dress suggested to be made out of wool? Third, the description definitely says 3/4 sleeves (my fave!) and this sleeve is definitely not 3/4 length. I know, I know…look at the photos and whatnot, but descriptions are there for a reason. Grr…
I could have drafted a lining (or used an underlining)….could have made facings instead of using bias tape….but I’m lazy (and have plenty of pattern drafting to do for class at the moment). So, I used a baby wale cotton corduroy, which makes it slightly more acceptable to not have a lining.
My fabric choice doesn’t help this dress at all, since all style-lines are completely hidden. My husband took one sour look and said, “That looks like a sack.” I can’t say I disagree! Even though I love the fabric, it definitely pushes the dress firmly onto the frumpy side of the line (though extremely comfortable! Just like a nightgown!)
My biggest gripe, though, is with the neckline. When I first tried on the dress, it all fit nicely (with my standard pattern changes, of course: petite adjustment and small bust adjustment), except the neckline. It was bafflingly wide! I ended up gathering the back neckline a bit, adding darts to the top of the raglan sleeve, and adding elastic to the front neckline to pull it in even more. Much better, but I’m not sure how it was supposed to have worked without those changes!
The dress pattern includes a back kick pleat. This feature is completely unnecessary, since the skirt is fairly wide and certainly doesn’t hinder movement. So, since it looked a bit odd, I sewed down the seam (you can see the remnant of the pleat above).
I used Hug Snug on all the seams, which makes the inside look better in the absence of a lining. I definitely still need some practice with this product, but I really like the outcome–it give the garment a vintage-y feel which matches the fabric pattern.
Okay, so that was a rough critique of the Dahlia pattern. While I’ve liked many of Colette’s other patterns, I’m definitely not a fan of this one. I’m sure with a different fabric it could look a bit more stylish, but with all the other issues, I won’t be making another. I’d like to wear this still, so I’ll be on the lookout for a scarf, or bold necklace…something to make it more modern.
Also….I’m considering chopping off the sleeves to make more of a cap style. What do you think?
Anyone out there have any luck with the Dahlia?
Sewing Resewlution 2014, November garment #1. Self-drafted trousers are the likely next project…