It’s summer here in the northern hemisphere and to me, that means lightweight summer dresses to keep cool in the sweltering California heat. I do wear dresses about 95% of the time year round, but my daily wardrobe switches to lighter fabrics when the heat sets in. This dress is cool and comfortable and not overly fitted, so it does the job and stands up to the heat.
The pattern in question is the Felicity dress from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. It’s a sleeveless dress reminiscent of the 1950’s/early 1960’s in a less full shape that’s fast and easy to sew. It has gathers on the neckline, exposed binding on the bodice, pockets, and has the option for either a gathered skirt or a circle skirt. Jennifer Lauren recently expanded her size range and this pattern goes up to a size 24 (49-42-53).
Pattern Name: Jennifer Lauren Vintage Felicity Dress
Size Range: 6-24
What size did you make? 22/24
What are your….
- Measurements: 48-41-52
- Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
- Height: 5’8″
- Bra Size: 44D
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? First off, it was so nice not to resize this pattern. My measurements are in the middle of two sizes, so I graded between them. I did a swayback adjustment and added about an inch in length to the skirt. Neither of those adjustments took much time. I opted not to expose the bias binding on each of my dresses and used invisible zips rather than the suggested lapped zipper. (On the photo below with the navy dress, I hadn’t yet sewn on the hook and eye closure on the top of the zip)
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? The construction of this dress is fast and easy and the instructions are simple to comprehend. The designer walks you through sewing on the bodice binding and creating a lapped zip, two methods that I did not follow. A beginner should have no problem sewing this dress.
How did you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think that the design works well for your body shape? I love the fit of this dress and always get compliments when I wear it. The waistline of this dress is lower than my natural waist and at first, I considered shortening the bodice, but I think the lowered waistline gives my full tummy a less pronounced shape than if the gathered skirt sat higher on my frame. Initially, I wasn’t certain how I would like the gathers on the bodice and the center seam in the front, but I really like the look now that I’ve made the dress. I’m not sure how it looks on bustier gals and I know there has been some apprehension by some due to that design feature.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? Well, I’ve already made this pattern twice, so I’m sure that I will make it again in the future. I’m happy with the design and fit changes that I’ve already made to these first two and would do them again. I also like a little more ease in the bodices of my dresses, so I will keep that going with any Felicity dresses I make in the future.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources or materials that helped you sew this piece up? The only problem that I had with this pattern is that the pattern suggests 1.65 yards for 45″ width of fabric. That might work for the lower sizes, but it does not work for my size. I bought 2 yards for my first dress and I could not squeeze the pattern pieces on no matter how I adjusted them. Thankfully, they still had this fabric at the store and I was able to purchase more. It took more like 2.5 yards for the gathered skirt version in my size.
The pattern suggests lightweight woven fabrics and I used a cotton voile for my second version (the red one) and I feel that fabric is just a little bit too light for the pattern, even though it is one of the suggested fabrics listed on the pattern. My first version (the navy one) in the embroidered cotton worked perfect for this dress, so I’m going to stick with similar weight fabrics when I sew this again in the future.
I opted not to expose the bias binding on the neckline and armscyes due to my personal taste and instead tucked it under. My navy version has pre-made bias tape and for my red version I used rayon seam binding. If you’re purchasing your bias tape for this pattern, I would suggest packaged pre-made tape like the pattern suggests and not the rayon tape as it’s too lightweight.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
- Size range: 5
- Instructions: 5
- Construction process: 5
- Final fit: 5
- Overall rating: 5
Note: I received this pattern in exchange for a review on my own blog (Mrs. Hughes). These are my honest thoughts and opinions.