The Sorrel Dress Tester Makes - Part 4

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Ahhh, the final set of beautiful Sorrel Dresses from my Testers - I hope you've enjoyed seeing these just as much as I have sharing them. It's lovely to see such a big batch of dresses when a pattern is released, because it really showcases all the different ways a pattern can be made up and styled.

If you'd like to catch up on the other three parts, you can find them by clicking on the links here: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

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Size 8





1.  What is your current favourite sewing technique and your current favourite fabric to work with?

I currently LOVE blind hems - they just feel so couture to me (even though they're fairly simple once you get the hang of it). My current favourite fabric... it's so difficult to choose. I truely love anything with a lovely drape,but I get very frustrated with how many of them easily distort while working with them. But I do have a cut of Atelier Brunette that I have been drooling over forever - I can't wait to cut into that!

2. What features do you like about Sorrel?

I love the style of the collar and the feminine shaping that the darts provide. I feel this is quite a versatile pattern that could be worn dressed up, dressed down and in warm or cold weather.

3. What pattern changes did you make to your particular dress?

I shortened the bodice by 2inches and lengthened the skirt by 1 inch (I'm 5'3" with a shorter torso for reference). In making these adjustments, I also had to adjust the placement of the snaps to accomodate the length I removed from the bodice. I think I also need a swayback adjustment, which I've never done and did not do on this version, but I am planning to do it on the next one.

4. Who would you recommend Sorrel to?

I think an advanced or adventurous beginner could definitely undertake this project - the instructions and illustrations are clear and even though there are buttonholes to deal with, there is no collar stand, no yoke and no set-in sleeves. This is perfect for someone who has wanted to tackle a shirtdress but hasn't found the courage yet. 

I feel the style is classic and feminine while being versatile enough to suit someone who wouldn't typically wear a dress.


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Size 22





1.  What is your current favourite sewing technique and your current favourite fabric to work with?

I love making my own bias binding. It is a great way to use up scrap fabric and it can add a pop of contrasting colour where it is used. It is also a great opportunity to use much loved fabric more than once in a garment.

Fabric wise, I am loving using linen or cotton linen blend. I live in a really humid climate and prefer to use fabrics that are light and breathe. I try to ignore the creases that happen.

2. What features do you like about Sorrel?

I love how the pleats give shape. It makes the dress feel both relaxed and dressy. Any excuse not to insert a zipper is also appreciated. I used buttons from my stash - my khaki linen blend dress used buttons which used to belong to my grandmother and it adds a sentimental touch.

3. What pattern changes did you make to your particular dress?

I added an inch at the hips to accomodate my curvy backside. I also added about 15cm to the length to make it a middy length, which I find to be most flattering on me. I also used contrast bias binding I had made from fabric left over from a previous make to finish the sleeves and hem.

4. Who would you recommend Sorrel to?

Everyone! I like the versatility of the dress. I could wear it to work or on the weekend and I can dress it up or down. It has a classic silhouette which can be made to look more vintage or not, depending on how it is styled. I plan on wearing it with chunky earrings and sandals or with my while converse sneakers (I love the look of a dress with cons).


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Size 20





1.  What is your current favourite sewing technique and your current favourite fabric to work with?

My favourite sewing technique is inserting a lapped zipper (they are like magic!) or a fly front zipper. My favourite fabric to work with is wool, which is sad considering I live in Florida so I don't have much call to sew with it, lol. I'm also a big fan of the satisfaction I get from successful pattern matching, though I don't really enjoy the actual process much - but the results are worth pushing myself through the cutting!

2. What features do you like about Sorrel?

I like the button front and kimono sleeves - both things I've wanted to try for ages and never have! I always thought kimono sleeves would make my arms look big, but this pattern made a believer out of me. I really like how they look. I also have no idea why I put off making a shirt dress for so long, especially since I've made button front skirts and tops many times. I also love that you have the option of a button placket or none - I personally love the placket look, but I think it looks nice either way.

3. What pattern changes did you make to your particular dress?

I added 1" of length to the bodice and extended the darts by 1" on the bodice and skirt.  I also did my standard 1" forward shoulder adjustment to the bodice and facings. I added 1/2" to the side seams at the hips just to give a little more ease.

In the end, I got the waist seam sitting on my natural waist, but I think the style would look better sitting slightly above. I did not want to unpick the entire finished waist, so I made a sash to cinch it in a bit. This helps the bodice to blouse up just a bit and bring the waist a little higher.

4. Who would you recommend Sorrel to?

I think this is a great pattern for an advanced beginner who likes a slight nod to vintage style. There really isn't anything particularly tricky about the sewing, but I find fitting needs to be accurate since it's a slimmer silhouette. If you are willing to make a muslin and take your time with the detailed instructions, I think anyone could make this dress.


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Size 8




1.  What is your current favourite sewing technique and your current favourite fabric to work with?

My current favourite sewing technique is adding snaps. I had awful trouble when I first started using snaps, but soon established that it was due to purchasing substandard pliers. Once I purchased some newer and more expensive ones, I wanted to add snaps to everything. I used antique brass ones on my Sorrel as the colour is just perfect for denim, which is my absolute favourite to work with. I can't get enough of it.

2. What features do you like about Sorrel?

I really love the wide button placket on the Sorrel as I think it is a really nice feature and gives it a proper shirtdress feel.

3. What pattern changes did you make to your particular dress?

I didn't change anything. I made a size 6 with a C cup and my measurements are B33", W25" and H36" and the fit is perfect. I love the shape the tucks give and the slightly A-Line skirt. 

The only think I did differently was to use heavy weight fabric. I note the recommendations are for light to medium weight woven fabrics but I love the structure this fabric gives.

4. Who would you recommend Sorrel to?

I would recommend this pattern to a confident beginner with a couple of projects under their belt. The instructions are really clear, especially with regard to measuring yourself and picking your size. All steps are easy to understand and are accompanied by illustrations and you can even use snaps like I did if you are not confident with buttonholes.

I love the vintage style and I think my versions has a nod to the 70s due to the denim like nature of the fabric I chose and the snaps. I would recommend it to anyone looking to venture into making dresses who like a vintage style.


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Thank you SO MUCH to all of my Testers - I really couldn't have made Sorrel the pattern it is today without all of your helpful feedback, thoughtful questions and the time and energy you put into making your dresses and letting me share them with everyone here.

You guys really are the best!




Next week I'll be sharing an easy tutorial on how to turn your Sorrel Dress into the breeziest, comfiest, lightly gathered shirt dress you've ever worn.

xx
J
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Jen

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