Polka dot Hadley dress

Just before Christmas Lansdown Pattern launched a call for pattern testers for their first pattern release. At the time this blog wasn’t born yet, but I really wanted to be part of the process behind the scene of launching an independent pattern. I applied for the test and Rachel, the designer of Lansdown Pattern, selected me as part of the tester group. I received the pattern for free to test in exchange for a feedback, no request to write this blogpost, but since I really like the end result I want to share my experience.

The pattern

The pattern (I’m in the pictures!!) is available in a wide size range, from 1 (waist 25 1/2”) to 12 (47″) and in three cup sizes (B, C, D). It has several variation so it’s a pattern that can be made in every season: sleeveless and with elbow length sleeves, closed back or open back (which is still bra-friendly). The skirt is gathered, with pockets, and with elasticated waistband on the back. The bodice is fully lined, with princess seams and a boat neckline. I made mine in a size 4 B cup, graded to a 3 at the waist and bottom, totally inspired by a pinterest picture of a polka dot dress (below).

Inspiration for the dress

I had to increase the seam allowance in the bust area, because I’m actually between an A and B cup, but I didn’t make any other alteration to the dress, except for reducing the length of the elastic on the back. I particularly like the lines of the bodice and on me it fits very well! I probably choose the wrong type of fabric for this dress though. I bought it from Stylemaker fabrics, but I didn’t pay much attention to the weight (and it was described as shirting rayon, so totally my fault). While I think that in a viscose fabric this dress looks great, I should have chosen a thicker/heavier viscose, mainly because this was a little bit of a nightmare to sew since it’s superdelicate. Also, while I love having pockets, the pockets drag the skirt on the side because the fabric is very lightweight. But I really wanted a navy polka dot fabric and this looks exactly how I imagined it. And here’s the dress!

It has a retro-chic feel from the front, but the back is definitely more modern and fun! It’s very comfortable and breezy, so perfect for summer.

As I said I really like the fit of the bodice, and I’d like to make a version fully covered on the back, and maybe in a maxi-tiered length skirt, like the one in the reference picture. I’m thinking maybe a linen viscose blend or a cotton viscose blend. I really like the movement of viscose for this dress, but I think that having a more stable fabric blend would work well for the lines of the bodice.

I had a very good experience working with Rachel, and I hope to be able to pattern test more, because I really enjoyed it!


Here’s a cost breakdown for this project:

  • Fabric: I used 2 yard of polka dot viscose $25 (58”wide) and 1 yard of lining (rayon batiste) $9.
  • thread: $2
  • pattern: free as part of the testing group.

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