The Gathered Dress – pattern review

The Gathered Dress is the first Avid Seamstress pattern that I’ve made but not the first I’ve bought. I picked up the Shift Dress at a sewing fair over a year ago and every time I’ve visited their stand since I’ve promised to make it. But I saw a few versions of the new Gathered Dress pop up online and Kate at The Foldline described it as perfect for pear shapes and those with a large bottom so I knew it had to be next on my list!

Since my sewing renaissance just over a year ago I’ve mostly sewn Sew Over It patterns. Their pattern instructions are now so familiar to me that I wasn’t sure how I’d get on with a new set. I didn’t need to worry though, I found the instructions really easy to follow. There are clear step-by-step pictures and helpful cards explaining the sewing terms for beginners and how to measure yourself accurately. I bought three metres of a polycotton from a stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia and had just under half a metre left.

I cut a size 14 on the top and 18 on the bottom but ended up removing 3cm either side on the bottom half. Note to self to check the finished garment measurements.

It was really quick to sew and make up, comprising of just a front, four back pieces, a zip and two sleeves. And, POCKETS! I really liked the technique of overlocking each piece first and of sewing all the pieces on each side before putting front and back together. You sew pockets on the front side then attach sleeves and pockets to the back before putting the two halves together all the way round from sleeve cuff, all the way down round the pockets and to the hem. Had I not had to make the alteration I would have completed the whole thing in two sessions. Lesson learned to make a toile because it was a total arse to take the pockets off and put them in again after I’d removed the 3cm either side.

I didn’t do the elastic gathering method purely because I didn’t have any of the right width and am quite happy doing two lines of gathering stitches and working them to look even.

I really like the finished garment and got some nice compliments today at work. I’ll definitely be making more of these.


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