This new linen dress was inspired by the challenge on Instagram, the #So50Visible, created by the #SewOver50 gang. The idea of the challenge is to find a pattern where the photo features a model who is over 50. Sounds easy, Right? If only…. In my search for a pattern, I couldn’t find any over 50 models in McCalls, Butterick, Vogue or Burda. Simplicity had only two. I was shocked.
When I turned to the Indie patterns, I found a few more, and I’m so pleased that my search led me to this fabulous pattern, the Perth Dress and Top by Carolyn and Cassie (Carolyn is from the blog Handmade by Carolyn). The photos of the pattern include Carolyn herself as a model…fabulous!! I haven’t made a pattern by Carolyn and Cassie before (Cassie is her daughter), so this qualifies this make for the #BGchallenge (Breaking Ground Challenge) too!
The Perth dress is a shirtdress that includes some classic menswear details like a traditional collar stand and generously shaped collar. It has all the trimmings of a shirt dress, but without all of the buttons (yay) so if you’ve postponed making a shirt dress because of the buttons, this option is clearly for you!
Details: My favorite detail on this dress is the button and the front pleat. It’s so cleverly designed because, by buttoning the collar, you create the lovely pleated front of the dress. There’s also a back yoke, a black pleat and lovely in seam pockets. The style looks structured but it has the ease and flow of a flouncy, fun dress. Because the dress is loose fitting, you choose the size by your bust measurement.
The pattern is expertly crafted with some great constructions details that are carefully explained by Carolyn. The back yoke is constructed burrito style. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a fabulous way to get a clean finish on the inside. The front pleat and collar and stand look much harder than they are. There’s one button, but two buttonholes, and it was fun to see how, by buttoning the dress, you suddenly have this wonderful pleat in the front. The only modification I made was to the dress was to shorten the collar points by about a half of an inch, just because I like a smaller collar.
The success of this dress depends in large part on the fabric. In order for the dress to have some lovely movement, you need a fabric with the right amount of drape, but also with enough body to support the precise construction required for a collar and stand. Linen is perfect for all of these tasks, so I chose a lovely mustard linen from the Mill End Store here in Portland as well as a contrasting white linen for the collar. This fabric was amazing to work with – – it has a slight texture to it, a rare find that I wish I had more of.
I love my new poufy dress and am so happy that this challenge led me to a new, fun pattern. Thanks to Carolyn and Cassie for bringing this pattern to life with a real life model who is over 50. And I’m so grateful to everyone involved in the #So50Visible challenge. It’s fun, and informative and it made me much more aware. Let’s hope pattern companies take notice…
Happy Sewing and thanks for stopping by.