Three Versions: Darling Ranges Dress

PicMonkey Collage-7

I’m back from my wonderful trip to France (more about that later) and am trying to ease back into the real world. So far, between jet lag and the growing awareness that daily life is not *quite* as stimulating as vacation life, it’s been a bit of a struggle. Lethargy and lack of motivation has been the mood. However, I do have a plan. This weekend I’m going to take a quick trip to a fabric store to peruse the new Fall patterns and see where that takes me.

In the meantime, I want to share with you a pattern I’m quite in love with!


Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges dress pattern has been around for a while so it’s easy to find inspiring makes on social media to cheer you on. It’s pretty versatile, with two options for the dress (with or without gathered waist) and a top. Before I left for my trip,  I made three of the dresses in quick succession. I hoped to blog it before I left, but alas…that didn’t happen! I love them all, but have a special place in my heart for the two linen versions, because, well, LINEN!


My first version is made from a striped linen/rayon blend that I found at Joann’s early this Spring. I didn’t have quite enough to make the sleeves, so I had to modify, but I’m happy with the result. It’s easy to wear as is, or, with a tee under it, it will work well for Fall. The in seam pockets are great…very convenient without a lot of bulk. This dress went to France with me, and it did its job well. The tie is meant to go in the back, but I can’t stand the feeling of a tie when I lean back, so I extended the length so that it can be worn in front.


This green version is made from plaid cotton shirting (ModernDomestic) so it required a bit of pattern matching. I eliminated the waist tie on this version to keep the fit loose. The sleeves are lengthened so that they’re easy to roll or push up. The pockets are self drafted and are cut on the bias.


Version three is made from a lovely embroidered striped linen I found at Mill End store here in Portland. Here’s a close up of the fabric.


The only changes I made to this version was to hem it about a inch longer. I also made the waist tie an inch wider so that it would look more substantial when I tied it in the front.

Fit and challenges: 

  • Shoulders – – Usually I have to do a narrow shoulder adjustment – – not here! So if you have wide shoulders, the fit on this dress may need some adjusting.
  • Fabric required – – Yes, this takes a lot of fabric! I tried to skimp a bit because I’m short, and ended up with a sleeveless version when I didn’t plan on one. Yes, the dress turned out fine, but (as usual), I should have respected the stated fabric requirements to avoid that situation.
  • Button placement – – The way they were positioned on the pattern would have left gaps where I didn’t want them, so I had to do some significant repositioning.





All three versions are really wearable. My favorite is probably the last one, the embroidered linen, although I’m fond of the green version too. My husband has a strong dislike to that one – – his reason? “Some dresses aren’t meant to be made in green!” Hmmm…interesting and, well, thought-provoking. I hope he’s wrong, because I predict that version will be in heavy rotation this Fall. Will I make this dress again, or is three enough? Not sure…I’m tempted to make the waist less version, although I wonder if it will be too boxy. Thoughts? Please share.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!!


27 thoughts on “Three Versions: Darling Ranges Dress

    1. Do you know how long you needed to make the ties to tie in front? Also, did you insert at side seams or at back like pattern?

  1. This looks terrific on you! I wish I could wear something like this (experience has taught me this style just does not work for me) especially in linen. My favorite is the striped one and yes – I would love to see the waistless version too. Hmmmmm…I’m thinking I need a linen dress too this fall…..

    1. Thank-you, Helen! I’ve always thought that oNe of the great things about sewing is that you can really figure out what styles work best for you, then tailor your pattern stash accordingly. Linen’s such a great all weather Fabric, I say go for it:)

  2. With the pockets, they all look very comfortable and wearable. I almost can’t imagine them without pockets–and I really like the green. I seem to have opposite tastes to what I hear of your husband’s on this blog! Good for you to get to take them on a fun trip too.

    1. Ha! It’s nice to know green works for someone:) The pockets are pretty perfect, I have to say…just the right size so that they work but aren’t too bulky, always nice to have in a travel dress!

      1. I do think the proportions are nice on you, although I personally wear longer skirts, probably because I always did and am too lazy to change now! The green looks cosier and evokes flannel to me, whether it is or is not.

  3. I love them all! But then I LOVE the Darling Ranges dress.

    Thanks for sharing yours…two new pattern hacks for me to try! The stripey sleeveless linen version is so cute! Did you raise the neckline?

    Weirdly, or not, I made the dartless version as a long sweater and I love it! I plan to sew a proper dress sometime in the future. AND….I don’t think I’ll ever tire of making the waisted version.

    1. Oh, thank-you!! I’m totally a fan of this dress too, and think your idea of making a long sweater from the dateless version is brilliant! I’m going to have to give that version a try! I didn’t raise the neckline on the striped version, btw. I’m sure there will be many more dresses for me from this lovely pattern.

  4. I would really love to buy the Darling Rangers pattern if you make it in larger sizes. That is a style I have been purchasing in RTW so I got really excited when I saw this post. Went to order it and had to back out because the size would have been to small. Hope extended sizing is planned for this pattern. Thanks, Cathy

    1. Thanks, Cathy! Yes it would be great if the pattern designer, Megan Nielsen would make this available in extended sizes. Maybe you could email her and suggest it?

  5. I have always adored the Darling Ranges dress and your 3 versions of it just reaffirmed my pattern crush! I’m wondering if maybe it’s the shade of green your husband doesn’t like? Men really aren’t very good at explaining a dislike, especially when it come to clothing. 🤣

    1. Thank-you! I think I have a crush on it too! You could be right that it’s the shade of green that he doesn’t like. As you suggest, he doesn’t really seem sure as to why he doesn’t like the green. I’m glad he told me, but it won’t keep me from wearing it:) I guess green is a color that Doesn’t work for everyone, unlike BLUE…my personal favorite!

    1. Thanks, Diane! Yes, the stripes one seems to be the overwhelming favorite:) I’m going to try to make it work as the weather cools by wearing a tee shirt under it. Hopefully it won’t look too ridiculous.

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