I am a big fan of Seamwork and have sewed many of their garments since I started subscribing over a year ago. For those not familiar with Seamwork, it is an online magazine which has two electronic/PDF patterns per month with a subscription (editor’s note: you can also purchase the patterns individually, without subscribing). The Gabrielle dress was in the June edition and it made my sewing-self salivate the moment I saw it. I couldn’t wait to make it up!
The Seamwork Gabrielle is a skater dress with princess line shaping in front and back, a tie back that creates a triangle shape opening on the back, and cap sleeves.
What size range does the pattern offer?
XS (33”B/25”W/35”H) – 3X (54”B/46”W/58”H). In the pattern download, there are two files, one for misses a (XS-L) and one for curvy (XL-3X).
How would you describe your shape?
My measurements are 47.5”B/41.5”W/47”H, 5’4” tall, and a DD/E cup. I’m a rectangle when you look at me from the front, apple-curvy when you look at me from the side.
What size did you make?
I cut an XL, adding a 1” FBA. I freehanded the FBA by giving myself extra seam allowance over the bust and curving the line out as I pinned it. After doing the first fit in the dress, it was too big. I cut out nearly an inch from both side seams. Next time, I’ll go down a size, but still do the FBA.
What fabric did you use?
Did you make any pattern alterations?
For visible changes, I lowered the scoop neckline by 1.5-2” and left off the cap sleeves. I also did a non-visible change to the back tie by only lining the tie portion not the entire back piece as the pattern called for. This was due to a shortage of fabric more than any technical reason, but it can be done!
In addition, I found that the back drooped down low enough on me that my bra was visible. I think if I’d made a size smaller it would have fit better. Even taking in the side seams, however, didn’t fix the drooping. Instead, I pinned the back top and bottom together till my bra was hidden and top stitched it down. Hopefully going down a size will fix this in future versions. If it doesn’t, I’ll try making the elastic that goes across the back a little shorter.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions come with detailed diagrams as well as clear written instructions. The PDF pattern also has layering so it’s easy to only print the size you need. The pages lined up easily.
What was the construction process like?
Because this is a dress with princess paneling, the pieces can begin to look alike before they are sewed together, especially in the back dress pieces as there’s no armhole to clarify which is the outside versus middle. As I cut them, I made sure to label carefully so I would not get anything out of order.
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
Yes, I love this dress and will be making more. Because this is an actual tie, not a faux tie, it can have some bulk to it. I was very aware of it pushing into my back whenever I was in a chair. I may modify future versions to use a faux tie to minimize the bulk. I may also omit the tie completely, just for some variation.
I think this style of dress does good things for my shape. Because I have a noticeable tummy, I like styles that give me vertical lines and don’t emphasize my middle. I also like styles that are fuller skirts or A-line skirts. The heavier Ponte knit gives body to the skirt and helps give fullness to the skirt in a way I love.
Size Range – 4
Instructions – 5
Construction Process – 4
Final Fit – 4
Overall Rating – 5
I feel wonderful in this dress. It falls in the category of secret pajamas comfort-wise, but I also feel dressed up in it. Overall a great make!