Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Dolman Dress: Success!!

After a sewing fail, there is nothing better than an amazing success! Case in point: the dolman-sleeve top I keep making. 

This time, I took it a step further, and turned it into a dress.  It may be my favorite make yet: super cozy, quick to sew, and still nice enough to wear to work.  Does it get any better?  You be the judge...

Pattern: Cation Design's Dolman Sleeve Top.  Available for free!  Do it!

Sizing: I stuck with a size small again, but took out 1/2 inch from the center to help correct some of the gaping I had when I made the top.  I think it's MUCH better this time!  Look at how nice and flat that neck band lays!
Did it look like the picture/drawing? No! Because I turned it into a dress...mwahahaha!

Fabric Used: I used 2 yards of stretch jersey that I bought at my local fabric store.  I didn't notice until I got it home that it was Esprit fabric from 1993.  Does that count as vintage?

Instructions?  I completely ignored them this time...typical Ashley.  But, I'd say it worked in my favor (for once)!

What I love most:  The hem.  I sewed the whole dress on my serger (which I am in love with by the way).  I fiddled with the settings, and figured out how to do a rolled hem.  I really like the way it drapes, and it was so fast!  Also, I love the pleats.  How could you not love pleats?

What I would do differently if I made it again: Probably nothing.  I'd like to make a shorter version for a more casual look, but I wouldn't change a thing about this make!

Alterations:  I moved the band up to waist-level, and widened it to 3 inches.  I also increased the width of the neckband to 2 inches.  I felt it was just too tiny before.  Oh, and I added a skirt.  Duh.

Recommended?  I already have, but I'll say it again: yes, yes yes!

Final thoughts: Seriously guys, I love this pattern.  I love this dress.  I love it so much, I want you to make one for yourself.  I'm going to try to get a tutorial up for making my changes and turning this into a dress by the end of the week.  Then you'll have no excuse for not showing me all your pretty dolman dresses...


  1. It looks great! Good job making the pattern into a dress. Sergers are the best! I love doing rolled hems on mine. Glad to see you experienced success after you were so disappointed by your last make.

  2. Me too! I love my serger! When I first got it, I figured I would just use it to finish seams, but it's really so useful for so many things.

  3. Definitely a win! I love how you cut the waistband. Beautiful dress!

  4. Thanks! There was no hope of me matching up all those stripes, so I just went with the opposite. Much less offensive!

  5. Wow, that dress is stunning on you! I love it and I love how you lined up (or designed?) the waist so the pattern matches. It looks amazing!

  6. If I do recall, you too have fallen prey to the delights of the Cation Top. I bet it would look cute with a bow on it :)

  7. This looks great on you! Nice work!

  8. Gorgeous! I really need to sort my serger out - it has come un-threaded and I have put off attempting to re-thread because it will involve trawling through You Tube as I have lost the manual. This would be a good project to motivate me though.

  9. What kind of serger do you have? Mine is pretty easy to thread, I just run into trouble when I change the settings. It definitely takes a bit to get things sorted out when I change the settings, though. Yay for motivation!

  10. I kept mine on the "out of the box" settings for a while! Every time I change them, I read a tutorial--I'm way too lazy to actually learn the reason for changing the dials, and what each one does...can't wait to see what you come up with!