I fell in love with a beautiful pattern by Style Arc, but was super confused when I learned that you bought one size when you purchased the pattern. Even though they send you the size up and down with it, it really weirded me out since I couldn’t find finished measurements and I don’t always trust size charts. So, I asked Instagram for alternatives and the sewing community definitely delivered!
I got a lot of recommendations, but the one that kept coming up was the MimiG Jessica Dress, which actually ended up being better as there is no shirring AND it’s free! Get ready for a lot of love as this pattern is ACTUALLY THE BEST. Seriously, best overall pattern I have sewn for a long time.
I had originally planned on making a little sundress out of a sort of caramel and turquoise gingham check (trust me, it’s way cuter than it sounds), but I realized I did not have enough fabric (Sigh. Story of my life.). So I reached deep into my stash and pulled out a super busy brown-y, beige-y and turquoise-y print that I wasn’t entirely sure I liked anymore. I figured if I hated it, I would pretend this was a muslin and just toss it.
Even with this fabric, I struggled to fit all the pieces. As a result, my pattern matching is not ideal and I had to make the pockets smaller. The pockets on this pattern are huge, so this wasn’t really an issue. I did, however, have enough fabric to cut the straps and button band on the cross grain and got to sort of make them out of one stripe of the pattern. I very, very much like the effect, though I wish I had centered it better and planned the buttonhole distance to match the pattern.
I don’t remember what size I cut, but it was the one recommended by the envelope, graded up two sizes from bust to waist, which is pretty typical for me. I generally do a muslin for any kind of semi-fitted bodice, but threw caution to the wind and just cut. I did not realize, however, that the seam allowance is on 3/8″, and promptly panicked that it would be too small and that I would consequently be screwed.
The rest of the construction was uneventful as this is the most straight-forward dress to make. The instructions are pretty concise, but this whole dress goes together so intuitively that you may not even need them. Seriously, I give this pattern 5/5 for instruction clarity and 5/5 on construction techniques.
It also gets 5/5 on fit. I expected there to be as much ease as a typical Big 4 pattern as I know that Mimi G also designs for Simplicity and I find their fit somewhat inconsistent and pretty weird. After making up this pattern, though, I would definitely buy anything she’s drafted as this lady GETS EASE. I had to make ZERO adjustments from the size dictated by the size chart. The bodice is fitted without being tight and is the exact right length. The ease between the bust and waist is consistent (which isn’t a given – more on this in a later post) making this the easiest, breeziest dress to wear.
Because I know Mimi G is short, I decided to keep the original length and see what happens. I understand that she likely drafts for a person who is 5’6″, which is standard, but I was curious. I am SO GLAD I did. On my 5’2″ frame, this dress becomes the loveliest, calf-grazing midi-dress you’ve ever dreamed of. I love this length because it actually does look good on short people (I find it makes my legs look longer!) and it is still easy to move around in. I can bend over to pick up my daughter without worrying I’m flashing the whole playground. I also love this dress because I can throw a blouse over top, tie it at the waist and have a look that is 100 per cent appropriate for school.
This dress was never part of my vacation wardrobe plan, and in no way fits in with my capsule colour palette, but I’m bringing it anyway because I love it and pretty much want to wear it every day.