dress, handmade wardrobe, pattern runway, sewing

Coffee date dress…finally!

I’ve been intending to make the Coffee Date dress by Pattern Runway for years.  Then, I finally broke down and bought the pattern, and it has taken me months to figure out what fabric to make it from.  Once I determined I’d use some less-expensive fabric to give the pattern a go, it took me ages to start.  And then once I started sewing, all the numerous fitting issues stalled me for a while.  So in short, this dress is way too long in the making!

So let’s talk about this pattern.  I love the idea of this dress (fitted waist!  pockets!  kick pleat!), but I struggled with the fit a little and the end product isn’t really flattering on me.   For the fit, I tried to reduce the volume of the pleats on top by essentially not grading out at the bottom of the bodice like I normally would, and instead using some of the pleat volume to “stretch” the bodice to fit the waistband (does that make sense to anyone but me? 🙂 I think it could use even more reduction of pleating for my shape (both at the top and shirt parts).  I shortened the bodice while adjusting the paper pattern, again while sewing, and finally took in the shoulder seams by 1/2″ to get the waistline to fall at the right spot and avoid a really wacky blousing effect.

I didn’t care for the longish short sleeves, so they were shortened as well as removing some of the gathers at the cap.

I wore the dress to work yesterday and it’s a solid, professional-type garment (I wore a cream colored cardigan with a defined waist most of the day), but I felt like it was unflattering.  The pleats below the waist are a little voluminous and don’t hit quite right.  The photo above looks pretty good only because my hands in the pockets are pulling them down a little! I don’t know…maybe my belly fluff is the really culprit 🙂

The back is fitted nicely, at least!    The back kick pleat is very cool and functional!  And I do love the pockets (especially since putting your hands in them pulls the pleating down in a slightly more flattering way 🙂

The fabric was a new one for me: peach skin.  I bought heaps of this pretty cheap fabric thinking it was stretchy and it most definitely is not (my fault completely!).  Benefits: wrinkle resistant, fairly easy to work with, and cheap.  I also totally love the print (and there are loads of others!).  I can imagine it being hot in the summer, it is polyester after all, but it also feels light and airy, so we’ll see when it gets steamy.

I may try this pattern again, but with a ponte knit.  I have some lovely Boden dresses with a pretty similar style, but in a weighty knit. I’d love to recreate those and wear them constantly.  Anyhow, I’ll wear this one again, so I guess that counts as a success!

Fun fact: I bought my awesome orange necklace from a jewelry vendor at the farmer’s market in Homer, Alaska.  $6!

2015 Resewlution, April garment #1 (I need to do more sewing!)

12 thoughts on “Coffee date dress…finally!”

  1. I've always tempted to buy this pattern. It has been sitting on my Craftsy's wishlist for the longest time because I'm afraid the fit will be too loose on me. I experienced the same issue with the drop-waist shirt dress plus had issue with the button band (I emailed the girl at PatternRunway but never received any response). After reading your review I may not purchase this pattern as for my limited skills, it may not be a good idea for fiddling around too much. Thank you!


  2. Sorry to comment as Anon, but I'm a blog reader not a writer. After all your fiddling you've got a lovely fit but the neckline has shifted up. It would be far more flattering if it was lower, as per the pattern illustration. I also think your fabric might be the problem. The recommended fabrics are soft and drapey – beware ponte! Bridget


  3. I think it looks lovely on you! I have sewn this dress three times and I think its very important to use a very drapy fabric to make sure the pleats doesn't stick out to much in the stomacharea. I have one in chambray, rayon challis and a business one in black wool. You can see them on my blog if you like – sewbluedresses@blogspot.com


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