Style Arc’s Adeline Dress is described by Style Arc as a “Great designer style dress which is easy to sew and wear. The slight cocoon shape and its roll up sleeve makes give this style a casual but trendy look.” It has a v-neck with a facing, a high-low hem with a topstitched facing, cut-on sleeves with a built-in cuff, and patch pockets at the hips.
I was attracted to the pattern because I love casual, easy to sew/easy to wear dresses and Adeline had a lot of features I love, including a v-neck, the hem facing, cut-on sleeves (I find they’re the coolest in hot weather!). Lately I’ve found myself gravitating towards cocoon and boxy dresses (see Inari, Blaire and Mila, among others). They’re just so effortlessly modern and stylish, in addition to being super comfortable! No defined waist = no need to suck it in after a big lunch!
Size range: 4-30, up to bust 58.25”, waist 50.5” and hip 61”
What fabric did you use? Style Arc’s recommended fabrics are linen, silk and crepe. For my first Adeline I went with a medium weight linen; for my second I chose a soft Japanese barkcloth. Both fabrics had enough drape to keep things looking nice and feeling comfy, but also had enough structure to highlight the slight cocoon shape of the dress and maintain sufficiently crisp cuffs.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Bust: 42”, Waist: 36”, Hip: 45.5”, Bra: 38D, Height: 5’7.5”, Pearish shaped
What size did you make?
Although my measurements put me at a size 16 bust and 18 hip, I went with a straight size 16. The waist measurement doesn’t matter much here because of the loose, cocoon shape of the dress. Size 16 worked out well for me, although I will say, for those with hips generously sized relative to bust, be careful! The hem is slightly smaller than the hip, so I have to shimmy it over my hips to get it on. Once it’s on, though, it’s fine.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern, fit-wise. I did cut both versions with no center back seam, though. The center back seam could help for shaping if you like, but I find the cocoon shape doesn’t really warrant it.
For my second version, the barkcloth fabric was too narrow to fit the pattern pieces on, so I cut the cuffs separately. I divided the cuffs from the main bodice along a line drawn between the notches closest to the bodice. I cut the cuffs on the straight grain even though they would have been on the bias if I had cut them in one piece with the bodice. I didn’t run into any issues with them.
I left the patch pockets off the second version, only because I was too lazy to pattern match them perfectly and didn’t want to disrupt the large-scale geometric print.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
Construction-wise, Adeline is quite an easy sew. Nothing particularly complicated here. Style Arc rates it as a medium, but I would say it would be fairly easy for a confident beginner; provided they have a base knowledge about things like seam finishes and staystitching, as those are not covered in Style Arc’s minimal instructions. Style Arc provides a few construction diagrams, but with only two main bodice pieces plus pockets and facings, numerous complicated diagrams would be unnecessary.
I think the only part that gave me pause was piecing together the high-low hem facing. I had to pay close attention to the notches and think a little bit about it to get it right. Also, pay attention to the smaller seam allowance used for attaching the facings to the neckline and hem (it’s 1/4″ for those and 3/8″ for the main seams).
The instructions include no discussion of staystitching, which I think is very important to ensure this v-shaped neckline doesn’t stretch out (it did for my first version because I forgot to staystitch until after I had sewn the pockets on). You might consider staystitching the hemline, too, if you plan to try the dress on before adding the hem facing.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I love the fit! It’s so comfortable and I love the slight cocoon shape. The style is definitely one that you either love or hate. Because it doesn’t help define the waistline and it exaggerates the hips a bit, I’m not sure it’s “flattering” in the traditional sense, but I don’t think it’s meant to be.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I’ve already made it twice! I’ve noticed that, so far, many of women who’ve sewn the Adeline have sewn it at least twice, which I think says a lot about the pattern. The second time I sewed the dress, I left the patch pockets off and modified the cuffs to fit on my narrow fabric, but otherwise I didn’t make any true design or fit changes.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
Jean from Sew Jean Margaret posted about how she did a forward shoulder adjustment on her Adeline, which is helpful if that’s an adjustment you typically make.
This pattern is great in a solid: it’s the perfect backdrop for a cool necklace or scarf. It’s also awesome for all those large scale prints in your stash because there are few seamlines to break up the print. Check out Nicole’s gorgeous geometric print Adeline.
Size Range: 5
Construction Process: 4.5
Final Fit: 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 I love both versions of the Adeline dress that I made! It’s a lovely pattern with simple but interesting style lines, along with several great details that make it special.