The only clothes that I want to wear during these hot Atlanta days are dresses. If you follow this blog you’ll see a trend for the type of dresses that I like to sew and wear: midi or maxi and in natural fibers. I guess my favorite colors are (as for the rest of my wardrobe) blue, white and red and while I have something like 4 red dresses, I actually don’t have a white one.
Looking for inspiration for my spring summer wardrobe last winter I pinned a lot of breezy, linen white dresses, and all of them had a V neck or wrap closure, but one in particular got my attention (below) with the pleats detail on the top.
Last winter Atelier 8 Avril released the Victoria dress for the winter collection, and I loved the pleats detail to the point of asking my sister to give me the pattern for my birthday, Thanks!! The dress has a deep V neckline with pleats that run parallel to it, and with an additional collar. The midi length skirt follows the same pleat detail of the top, and there is an elasticated waistband on the back, no zippers or other closures. There are two sleeves option and a blouse version as well. The pattern is available in french size 34 to 48 with included seam allowance of 1 cm, as well as a step by step youtube video. For american readers the pattern comes in A4 or A0, there’s no US letter size available. That’s why I sent mine to print in big format for the first time. While I really like the original version I wanted a summer white linen breezy one so I changed a couple of details on the pattern.
Here’s what I changed:
- First I removed the sleeves and collar and I finished the neckline and armhole with bias binding.
- I stitched the pleats both on the top and on the skirt, mainly because I didn’t want to have issues when I’ll wash the dress. I also stitched down the wrap of the skirt for the first 4-5” to avoid flashing incidents while walking 😀 .
- I lengthened the skirt by 4”, because I wanted it longer than the reference picture.
- Since I choose a white linen I interlined the skirt with white cotton. I didn’t do it for the top, because the pleats are covering enough for me.
- Finally I cut the waistband 3/4” higher because my elastic was wider than the one recommended and because I have a long torso.
And here it is! I’m very pleased with how it turned out! It gives me greek holiday vibes. The only negative is that it’s quite a pain to iron 😀 . But worth it!
I love the pleats, to the point of already thinking about a top version with some leftover fabric. This is a picture that I took once the bodice was finished. I think that a top like this would be very interesting ! I just have to figure out how to change the elasticated back. Another idea that came to mind is to use the top of this dress and draft a semicircle long skirt in a flowy fabric. That in my mind would be a very formal dress….I just need the right occasion 🙂
I made the pattern as is in a size 40, without fitting adjustments other than widening the waistband, and it works really well. The fabric is a white chambray linen purchased on FabricMart and the white cotton lining is an old bedsheet 🙂 For this version I used 2 1/4 yards of fabric (58” wide).
Here’s a cost breakdown:
- Fabric: $24
- Pattern: birthday gift, but the full price is 10€
- Elastic and thread from my stash