Friday, 17 June 2011

Pattern review - Cowl neck jersey dress (plus a bit of Me-Made-June action)

Dress: Me-Made (reviewed below) / Belt: eBay / Earrings: Accessorise / Shoes: M&S / Jacket (also worn that evening, but not seen in this picture): Me-Made

I'm going to catch up on my Me-Made-June outfits with a couple of review posts - unless it's something new, then daily outfits aren't terribly interesting! However, this is actually the Me-Made outfit for 16 June, that I wore last night to my husband's work summer party - I unfortunately forgot to get a photo taken so had to recreate it this morning (well, actually this afternoon - it was a very good party).

Pattern description

Self-drafted casual dress, a modified version of a previous dress. Loose fitting with cowl neckline, elastic waist and side seam pockets.

Fabric used

Smooth jersey, I think it's probably polyester.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope/sketch/idea when you were done?

Pretty much, I think I was wanting the cowl to drape a little lower, but I'm happy with it as a first attempt at drafting and making one.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Quick to sew, and I think the cowl neck is flattering.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made

The skirt is exactly the same as the previous dress. I took the extra length out of the bodice, and apart from that, the back bodice is identical to the previous dress. For the front bodice, I kept the dart excess in the shoulder area, but put in pleats instead of gathers. I then slashed and spread the bodice along three curves from the shoulder area to the centre front just above the bust point until the top line was at right angles to the centre line, and added a cut-on facing. The facing is caught in the shoulder seam (but doesn't have pleats in order to reduce bulk), and in the top of the armscye.

Construction details

Construction was pretty much the same as the previous jersey dress. I used narrower elastic on the waist (about 6mm I think), and made sure I trimmed enough from the armscyes before applying the binding. When I tried it on the cowl wasn't sitting quite right. I think one of the reasons was that it's cut on the straight grain rather than the bias (as it's jersey), but I was expecting this. I think the other reason is that the fabric isn't quite heavy or drapey enough, so I decided to add some weight to the bottom of the facing. I wanted to add some proper lead weights or chain, but couldn't find any, so added three metal buttons, which works pretty well.

Would you sew it again?

Entirely likely, but I will almost certainly be adapting it again - well, definitely, as I'm currently working on a dress with a lace overlay based on this bodice.


I'm very pleased with this dress and have already worn it several times. The combination of this fabric and style has meant it's a little dressier than I intended, but that's actually ended up being a good thing, as it's a perfect summer party dress, and can be made more or less dressy with choice of shoes, accessories and hairdo!


  1. Oooh this is super lovely! I really like the idea of adding weights, I never thought of that, though sometimes I add a little bias tube of fabric to the bottom, inside edge of a cowl neck. I put the tube under the centre of my bra and it helps to keep the cowl against my chest when I lean over.

  2. Thanks! And that's a great idea to tame cowl necks - this isn't too low so I don't need it here, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for future cowl necks.