My latest completed make is the PollyAnna Pocket Dress from Gina Renee Designs. This was a new pattern design company for me, and I honestly can’t remember how I stumbled upon this pattern. However, it came to me as I was trying to come up with the perfect use for my Siesta Beach Lady McElroy Fabric (the link will take you to Blackbird Fabrics which is where I bought the fabric, however I have seen it on many fabric sites). I was looking for something that would be light and summery, and this dress fit the bill on all counts. When I saw it, I knew it was the right pattern to go with!
The pattern features princess seams, a gathered skirt, and buttons from the bodice that run all the way down to the skirt. There is separate button placket piece, and – though it’s hard to tell from the picture above – two large, square pockets on the skirt. The skirt itself is about mid-calf length, so more a midi style, but I did shorten it just slightly (as I tend to do with just about everything!).
Once I had everything cut out for this pattern, it took me a little while to get started. There was nothing that was challenging for me as far as skill level goes, but I found myself wanting to avoid the step where you attach the pockets to the skirt. Confession time: I hate doing anything that requires me to line stuff up. However, the guide provided very clear instructions and measurements so my pockets did not end up super-wonky and crooked!
I can never decide if I prefer darts or princess seams for bodice shaping. They both have their benefits, and at this point in my sewing journey neither pose much of a challenge for my skills. Lately I think I’ve preferred the princess seam since I’ve been working with darts for a while, and this changes it up a bit (notice the Kitty dresses I’ve been making all have princess seams rather than the darts option).
As far as I’m concerned, there were no cons to this pattern. It’s flattering, I didn’t need to make any pattern adjustments and the instructions were clear and detailed.
Challenges for beginners? The aforementioned princess seams (it can be tricky to master the curve needed to form it), and the button placket. There are thirteen buttons on this dress, so it’s a lot of buttonhole making and button sewing (which is probably my least favorite part of any given project).
I’m looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of the dress as we enter the second month of the summer vacation, and am already thinking ahead to how to layer it for the fall and winter!