Spring has sprung, which means that my sewing thoughts have turned to summer. Double gauze, rayon, voile — I want to swath myself in all of them as I lounge by some private pool in the south of France, drinking coladas brought to me by my cabana boy. He looks vaguely familiar; I ask him his name. George, he says. George Clooney. All is well. Until that beautiful day, however, I must be satisfied with summer fabrics and summer dresses. I decided to kick off the season with Sew House Seven’s Mississippi Avenue Dress, a sweet little pattern available through Indiesew with shoulder ties, a bit of an empire waist, variable lengths (I chose the longest), and a cool center panel. After last time’s epic Jamie Jeans pattern, I was ready for something a bit quicker and less time-intensive to construct, and this dress looked like a good option.
So I have a very small beef with this pattern, and allow me to get it out of the way first because it was the first aspect I encountered: the printing. The pattern itself (not the instructions) is something like 54 PDF pages, which would be fine if the printing was full-page (though the pattern pieces were generously spaced apart; maybe they could have been condensed a bit more?). The actual printed area of the pages was only 6″ x 10″, so quite narrow on the page. Expanding the pattern area to a 1/2″ margin all around would have saved some paper and some cutting time. This is petty, probably, but I live in Boulder and am contractually obligated to be a hippie. Seriously; they’d send me back to Michigan if I didn’t say anything here.
Looking past the printing issues, though, this was an easy and well-written pattern. I used some Art Gallery Indelible voile, which gave this dress a nice, super light weight. Voile is a little crispier than some other fabrics (like rayon challis), so it doesn’t have a really significant swish, but I think the dress turned out well anyway. It doesn’t feel awkwardly stiff or anything. I love the paneling, which provides a nice shape, and the elastic waist around the back was incredibly straight-forward to assemble. I was at first a little scared of the idea of doing shoulder ties, but it turns out they’re nothing fancy: 1) Make ties. 2) Stitch to inside of shoulder. 3). Tie.
I must also say that a v-neck bias facing is my Kryptonite. Has anyone else had issues with it? I feel like I need another hand or to be able to bend the laws of physics or something in order to get the point of the V exactly right. This pattern offered some great tips for increasing my chances of success, and I’ll definitely be applying some of them to the next time I attempt a neckline like this. My neck facing isn’t perfect, but it’s the best I’ve ever done — and I can’t complain about that.
So overall, I really recommend Sew House Seven’s gorgeous pattern here. It turned out really well, and I couldn’t be happier with my finished garment. Two big thumbs up! Oh, and George? MAMA NEEDS ANOTHER MAI TAI.
As an Indiesew blogger team member, I am provided with patterns in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.