Ok. I have been DYING to share this dress with you. Seriously, the minute this pattern came out I wanted to blog all about the pattern, and my experience being a pattern tester and how awesome this dress is. But, I had a bit of a snafu with the snaps – let’s call it a snapfu. Unfortunately, this snapfu left my dress less than securely fastened, which in turn left me unable to get any good pictures. Well, all that has been resolved now, and I can finally share my version of Closet Case Patterns’ latest pattern, the Fiona Sundress. Woohoo!!!
Let me start by saying how much I love Closet Case Patterns. One of my all-time favorite makes is their Clare Coat. Their patterns are so well drafted and go together easily. It doesn’t hurt that they have some of the best instructions I’ve seen. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was contacted about being a tester for their latest pattern. There was probably smoke coming off my fingers, from the speed with which I responded.
I was even more excited when I saw the Fiona Sundress. You all know my love of 70s inspired fashion, so this dress was a home run for me. I think it’s the ultimate cool-girl dress. Honestly, I’m still not sure if I’m cool enough to wear it, but I’m going to anyway. The pattern has two back options – a low crisscrossed back and the bra-friendly (hallelujah!!) back I made – and three skirt lengths. I decided to make a straight view A, with the midi-length skirt (I’ve really had a thing for midi length dresses lately). From the snap front to the utility pockets, there isn’t a thing I don’t love about this pattern.
The pattern recommends a medium-weight woven, and I immediately knew I wanted to use denim. I felt it would give me the most versatility. I selected this Navy Cotton Denim from Mood. This fabric has a great weight to it, with no stretch. I had to wash it several times before it softened up a bit, but after that it was super easy to work with. This fabric is only $7.99 a yard, but the cheap price doesn’t at all reflect the quality.
I fell in between sizes for this pattern, so I made an 18 and took it in where necessary down to a 16. Heather and her team at Closet Case Patterns made a few fitting adjustments to the final pattern, and I think the grading between sizes will be even easier with the next version. Trust me, there will definitely be a next version.
As I mentioned above, I wanted my dress to be as versatile as possible. To that end, I opted to use matching, opposed to contrasting topstitching. I felt the contrasting topstitching would make it look a bit too casual. The pattern gives you the option of using snaps or buttons down the front. I chose snaps, because I love the look of the brushed gold against the denim. I must say, however, I won’t be sneaking up on anyone in this dress. Any snap left unsnapped provides a symphony of jingle jangles when I walk…ha!
I would have posted this dress sooner – the pattern launched on June 26 – but, as I mentioned, I had an issue with the snaps. I purchased heavy duty snaps, so they would hold up to the denim, but the snap fastener I had wasn’t quite as heavy duty. Some of the snaps wouldn’t snap, and others started falling off before I even had a chance to wear the dress! I was barely able to keep the darn thing fastened long enough to get photos to send in for my tester response.
Well, I got a new, heavy duty snap fastener, and ta-daaaaa – my Fiona dress is finally wearable! I don’t need to worry about snaps falling off or popping open mid wear…phew.
I guess having the right tools make all the difference. Who woulda thought?
This was my first-time pattern testing, and it was a wonderful experience. It was so much fun to be one of the first to make a new pattern. It was also really rewarding to provide feedback that affects the final product. I hope I get to serve as a pattern tester again in the future, but in the meantime, I’m already planning another version of Fiona.
This fall, I’m thinking this dress will look great with a turtleneck and some booties. I suspect I may even get more wear out of it styled for cooler weather.
Until next time,