I love a ruffle, I cannot lie, so shall we just have a moment to appreciate the ruffle collar on this Dixie Dress. Thank you 😉
Ok then, this is the first pattern that I have sewn from The Dressmakers Closet. It’s pretty cute right? The Dressmakers Closet is a great small business selling sewing patterns, handmade dresses, crochet patterns, haberdashery and fabrics. Owner and designer is the lovely Jayne who is creating a beautiful range of patterns which have a classic style with a modern twist.
The Dixie Dress has a button front fairly relaxed fitting bodice (which I can slip over my head without the need to undo the buttons), and a darling ruffle around the neckline. There are two dress lengths – maxi and smock (which is just above the knee), and a choice of short or long sleeves. You can also make a blouse version. It has pockets.
I love that you can make this dress work all year round, from using something like a viscose or cotton lawn during Summer or lightweight denim or needlecord during the cooler months.
My measurements are 36-30-40 and I made a straight size medium. I’m 5’2″ tall and the only alteration on the pattern was to shorten the skirt pattern piece by 2″ before cutting out. Looking at these pics now, I think I may need to turn up the hem a little more.
There’s a bit of a story behind my fabric choice. I had decided even before I bought the pattern that I wanted to make it using an 8oz denim.
So as I usually do, I started searching the internet for the most reasonably priced pieces. I went back and forwards between several fabric suppliers until I found one that was doing a good price at £7.70 a metre.
When the fabric arrived I realised that I had bought 4oz denim by accident. Whilst this is more lightweight than I had intended it has worked very well actually, and in fact has been perfect for those sleeve gathers and neck ruffle, where it has not been too bulky. The denim that I bought is from Dalston Mill Fabrics and you can find it by clicking here.
Jayne has rated this pattern suitable for a confident beginner. Darts, buttonholes, gathering, bias tape and elastic insertion feature in this pattern, but there’s no reason that somebody with a few projects under their belt shouldn’t be able to make it. Read the instructions carefully though as I have a bad habit of speed reading them through without taking too much notice. There were one or two occasions where I had to scratch my head to fully understand what I was doing, but when I went back over the instructions and re-read them again carefully it all became clear!
The ruffled collar is definitely the feature that drew me to this pattern in the first place. With just the right amount of gather it attaches neatly to the neckline and that edge is then finished with bias tape.
I accessorized this dress with the gold mirror acrylic scissors necklace from my shop which you can find here. These scissors are also available in silver, red and blue.
I used 4 buttons, but it’s your choice to use 3, 4 or even 5. When looking for matching thread to sew my buttons on with I came across some bronze coloured metallic thread which I have never used as it is always so tricky to use in hand or machine sewing isn’t it? But I thought this would make my plain buttons look a bit ‘extra’, so that was what I used. The thread just catches the light on a sunny day (or underneath LED artificial light) and I will certainly be using this type of thread for button sewing again.
I’m quite pleased with how the sleeves turned out. I didn’t make any alterations on the sleeve length and at 5’2″ tall I don’t consider myself to have long arms – quite the opposite. However these unaltered long sleeves have actually turned out to be the perfect length on me so bear that in mind if you are likely to have longer arms than I do. I am also very happy with the depth of the gathered cuff – I did consider adding the elastic a little lower down nearer to the hem of the sleeve to make them a little less fussy, but glad that I didn’t as I like where they sit, and as yet I haven’t dragged them through my food or dunked them in the washing up bowl by accident. If you know you know.
I hugely enjoyed making this dress and am currently trying to resist the temptation to buy others ( The Fleur Pinafore and Poppy Pinafore are super cute – check them out if you are a pinafore kinda gal).
Take care and I’ll be back soon,
Find me on Instagram at @sew_dainty