A very belated Christmas dress: Dolores Batwing Pattern

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a relaxing break. I had a few weeks off in which I meant to post this, but then my parents’ internet decided that I needed some non-internet time, and that went by the wayside. So, with any more delay, here’s my favourite not-so-new dress: The Dolores Batwing Dress!

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When Zoe released this, I was a lucky non-tester, i.e. one of the people who got this pattern to spread the word about it truthfully. So, truthfully, I will now tell you that this is my new favourite dress. I definitely always need one of these in my wardrobe, since it fills a gap I didn’t know I had, and has a different shape to my usual Ladyskater dresses and big skirts, which makes it interesting.

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I hate taping things together, so I timed that aspect. It took a grand total of ten minutes. So, if you have ten minutes, you can start this. I trialled this in different configurations – T-shirt first, then a jumper (trials with a few errors), and last a dress, but the dress is my absolute favourite, so I’ll talk about that here. After my first two items from this pattern, I settled on a mixed size with the arms in a size 12, the neckline in a size 10 and the waist a size 8, and I added an extra 5cms to the sleeves as they were a bit short.

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At first I thought I wouldn’t ever make the dress – it being a different style to what I wear and all that, but after the jumper, I could totally see the potential, so I made it up from a fabric in my stash (yay, stashbusting!). I needed all of 115 cms (but had to cut the lower arm in two pieces instead of on fold) and maybe, um, two hours maximum? That probably is a conservative estimate. It’s seriously quick.

As you can probably tell, I absolutely love it. The fabric is quite a chunky cotton-knit, so it’s pretty stable, but still drapes well. I could have probably tapered the skirt slightly further, but I’m not too bothered. The dress is an absolute staple now – it’s supercomfy, took a felt three seconds to make, and is really easy to dress up for the office with a nice necklace and shoes. For the weekend, though, I can wear it with comfy boots and be snuggly all day. It doesn’t get more comfy than this dress, a chunky cardigan and some nice warm socks. I’m so sold on this that I’ve already cut out another one. (Same fabric, different colour, and I cut it easily from 1.25ms – I thought I’d splash out on the extra 10cms to avoid cutting the sleeve bottom in two pieces).

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Overall, for the dress, I would say – great success! You might want to watch out with sleeve length and the tightness of the sleeve band, but apart from that, this is a great pattern to make. Also, if you find any fit issues, or want to make the jumper and the dress, it’s really quick to re-tape and print thanks to the good layout. The only change I made apart from lengthening the sleeves is that I topstitched the neck bands down to keep them lying nicely flat (the fabric didn’t take to the iron kindly).

Stylewise, it’s a bit of a departure from my usual style, but I really love it. I feel really put together in this at work, I’ve also trialled it travelling and lounging around and it’s just a great all-rounder for me. This is definitely sewing cake, but of the best kind. My only gripe with my dress is that I wear it so often it’s already starting to pill. Sniff. At some point, I might also experiment with cutting the front of the dress a bit lower – sometimes I catch myself getting irritated at the front neckline being quite high up, and fiddling with the dress, so maybe in the future I’ll try to fix that. If I do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, for 2015, this was my last revelation – a superquick dress I didn’t know I was missing, that’s supercomfy. This was the dress I wore on Christmas day. Which meant I put on a dress which looked like effort, but felt like pyjamas. Hoorah!

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