{Pattern Review: Sew Over It London Siena Dress}

At the beginning of June, Sew Over It released their third ebook, Summer Dreaming. I knew immediately that I needed to have the Siena Dress in my wardrobe. It’s the perfect sundress. Granted, I have absolutely nowhere to wear it right now, but I love it just the same.

I used fabric from the new Atelier Brunette collection. The summery leaf patten in pinks and blues was so beautiful and I knew it was screaming to be a sundress. The Siena Dress pattern actually called for more of a cotton lawn, and this was a viscose, but I went with it anyway and hoped for the best. I think my sewing skills are at the point where I can do things like that but if you’re a beginning, then I definitely recommend the more stable lawn over the super-drapey viscose.

However, I loved this fabric so much, and was so proud when I found the perfect matching blue buttons!

In general, I don’t know if I would recommend this pattern to a first timer or a really early on beginner. If you’re good at visualizing, you’ll have no problem, but if you’re not used to the way pattern pieces fit together, you might struggle a bit with how to polish off the lining. Even for me, a seasoned sewist, I had to think about it and double check a few times to avoid any mistakes.

When it came time to do the shirring, I got a little frustrated. I have never shirred anything before other than a waistband with clear elastic, so I was a little nervous about getting right. I knew I needed to test it out first to avoid ruining this precious fabric. The pattern has a template panel to guide you the right size, and I just wasn’t getting my fabric piece to the same size as the template. However, I didn’t realize that the more it got shirred, the more it would pull. I think in the end it actually came out a tad smaller than the template, but it was plenty stretchy so I put it in anyway and it worked out just fine.

I was completely in love with the bodice when it was done:

Once you’ve gotten past the shirring step, the rest of the pattern seems like child’s play. I’ve done tons of button down dresses so it was just a matter of following through with the steps for me at this point. I was also really eager to finish it up once I had such great success with the bodice… and thus there are no pictures of the skirt sewing process.

So I present the final product!

I’m so happy with how it turned out, and it’s made me want to experiment even more with shirring!

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