Finished: Jennifer Lauren Vintage Felicity Dress

Pattern Test Review*

You may have noticed it's been a while since my last post (over a year!).  Things, health, life, got in the way.  But, while I haven't been blogging, I have been creating!  In fact, it was necessary ;).  During my unplanned hiatus, I had the opportunity to be a pattern tester for Jennifer Lauren's new dress release, which has since been named Felicity.

I choose view 1 - a perfectly swishy 3/4-circle skirt

With the first glace at the line drawings, I knew this was going to be a great dress.  It's vintage inspired, of course, as all Jennifer's designs are but, it wasn't over the top.  The little details make it easy to put either a vintage or a modern spin on it.  The subtle shaping of the armscye in particular caught my attention.  It's slight, but it's clear this dress was made to be sleeveless, rather than a dress with removed sleeves.  Always a good sign for the drafting.  The pattern overall was very well done and Jen was great about receiving and responding to feedback so even the tiniest of issues were addressed before the official pattern was released.  Actually, testing for her was a breeze!  I should also note that, while Jen doesn't use symbols to assist with pdf assembly, this one is the easiest I've put together.

I changed the grainline of the pocket piece to allow for print matching.
I won't go into fit changes this time, because my pattern was a draft but, I can say the dress went together easily.  It sewed up perfectly in muslin and was relatively easy to fit (and there are now fitting posts on the JLV blog).  I do have to admit though, from there things did get a little tricky.  The lovely neckline gathers lend themselves better, particularly to someone like me with limited bias binding experience, to a thinner, lighter fabric.  But, as someone who doesn't want a lot of show-through, it had to be the right thin fabric.  First, I got a refresher in proper muslins - testing in a fabric similar to your fashion fabric - though we worked and achieved a near-perfect the fit in the muslin/calico, the fit in my first fabric was way off.  I'd chosen a medium weight rayon challis in an effort to balance the neckline/show-through issues but, as the fabric was so much less stable, the whole garment drooped and stretched.  The poor thing is still in my sewing room closet waiting to be corrected. After a few tweaks in throwaway fabric, I moved on to this beautiful Art Gallery voile from Fabric.com.  My thinking here was that the voile would be less droopy while still easy to gather at the neckline but, the higher quality and thread count of this line would keep things a bit more modest than a typical voile.  To help avoid disappointment, it tried the dress on a few times during construction. There are still a few things I'd like to tweak since the voile isn't a perfectly stable cotton and my weight has fluctuated since I finished it but, overall, I'm very pleased.

This was my first Art Gallery fabric purchase and I quickly understood the hype.  It was a dream to work with.  Though voile is notably less stable than other cottons, it cut and sewed much like normal.  Of course, I used a smaller needle and adjusted my tension for the thinness but, it went through both my regular machine and serger perfectly.  (A little hint: I'd recommend using a mesh tape zipper with the voile if you can find one.)  It's also wears beautifully!  It feels almost like a silk/cotton blend and is so light and airy, it feels almost scandalously minimal ::blush::, which is a godsend for summer here in Georgia (it was 93F when we took these photos!).  I can easily see this dress being in regular rotation through August... and I may just need a darker voile version for the early fall :)

 I highly recommend both this pattern and the Art Gallery voiles.  Now, time to catch up on the rest of my posts ;)

Happy sewing! x

*Full disclosure: I received a pre-release version of this pattern in exchange for my honest feedback.  No blog post was required and all opinions are my own.


  1. This is a super cute dress, and I love the fabric that you chose. Good to see you blogging again, hopefully it won't be a year before your next post ;)

  2. Thanks, Annabelle! Now to keep my new interest in Art Gallery voiles from becoming an addiction! I'm sure I won't be blogging weekly yet but, I'm planning to make it a semi-regular thing again :)

  3. What a wonderful dress. I love the shape and how the fabric falls. You know I love pockets. Well done!! :)

  4. So pretty!! Welcome back!

  5. Thanks so much!! I love this fabric - such perfect drape. Can't take credit for that :)

  6. Thanks, Margo!! I'm so excited to be more thoroughly rejoining the sewing community :)

  7. It's so nice to see you here! And I love this dress on you- it really suits you!


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