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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jamie Dress Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

The description from the pattern itself : "The charming Jamie dress is universally apealling and perfect for all occasions... It complements the female figure sporting a flattering waist and beautiful neckline. The full, flowing skirt is definitely a throwback to the best of 1960's fashion."
My first thoughts when I saw it were that it was a pillowcase style dress with a waistband. Of course, you know if you've made this or read other reviews that it is much more complex than a pillowcase dress and that it is a brilliantly designed dress that is surprisingly easy to complete.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

No envelope because this pattern is delivered via email attachment. I am completely in love with pdf patterns and adobe patterns that you print out at home. I wish all patterns had this option.
As for looking like the picture on the pattern, I'd say absolutely it did!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions are clear as day with many diagrams to help along the visual learners. I know clarity of pattern reading sometimes comes with the experience of the person sewing, but I think this pattern in particular is very well written with clear, precise language.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I liked how the finished product looks like something I'd see in a store on a rack, but the steps to completing it are few and straightforward, making this a very attainable project that you can be proud to wear.
I love the neckline, both front and back. Very flattering and girlish in my opinion. I have to wear a strapless bra with it, but I expected that after seeing others' finished dresses and I'm totally fine with it.

I've read lots of differing opinions on the skirt and I think it's just the sort of thing where you either prefer that full gathered look on your body, or you don't. I so appreciate that the model on the pattern is not a twig. She has curves and this dress accentuates them. So, if you have curves, you have to be ready to show them off. It's certainly not slimming to the lower half.
I didn't care for one particular part of the original design, just a personal pet peeve really. I don't buy things that have trim or waistbands or any sort of design that stops at the side seams and leaves the back plain. If it has a waistband, that band needs to go all the way around for me to like it. Now that many talented ladies have already completed this dress, you'll be able to find blog posts about how to extend the waist band if you prefer. I just kinda figured it out for myself.

Fabric Used:

Something or other that is not quilting cotton and is very slippery that I got for $5/yd. at Hancock Fabrics.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

As mentioned above, I replicated the ruched front waistband in the back. I used an invisible zip, only because that's what I thought the pattern called for and that's what I bought. I had recently installed an invisible zip in a dress I made from Kay Whitt's book, Sew Serendipity and used the same method. I would love to try the glue stick method after reading all the rave reviews about it, but, alas, I didn't get the opportunity for this go 'round.
I did cut the dress one size bigger than suggested, but because I had so much trouble matching all my edges up and with fabric fraying, I made the seam allowances larger and probably sewed it right back down to the smaller size. Fortunately, the fit is perfection. As a side effect of larger seam allowances, I think I may have also shortened the bust area, which is why I think it fits my small bosom so well. :)
I did the hem differently. Because I couldn't get this fabric to hold a good crease, I just used the presser foot as my guide and turned the hem under once 1/4 of and inch and sewed and then again 1/2 inch and sewed.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I do want to sew it again. I'd love to try it with a couple different fabrics. I'm so curious what it would be like in knit and with the originally intended fabric, quilting cotton, as well. For one thing, I know the pressing of creases and seams would actually WORK with quilting cotton. That did NOT work with the fabric I chose, make it hugely frustrating to sew.
I would recommend this to others because there are so few patterns out there for ladies that are this simple and attainable and allow you to have a figure and can be worn by so many figures.


Sewing up the Jamie Dress was a great experience for me. Being new to sewing clothing for myself, I was certainly concerned that the finished product would look obviously handmade and that's not the look I want. I'm just giddy with the thrill of completing something for me that I feel good in and that no one else will suspect I made myself. This is a dress I will actually WANT to take out of my closet and wear over and over.


  1. Your version turned out great! I really like the fabric you chose, too bad it was such a pain to use. I've been thinking about making one in knit as well, after I finish up the one I'm working on.

  2. You look so happy wearing this dress, lol!! I am so glad it turned out okay, I know you were concerned about the slipperiness. It looks WONDERFUL on your body too, just perfect! Great review of the pattern too, I think it would be really helpful to someone thinking about making this dress. Oh! and I forgot to mention that the band in the back looks perfect!

  3. Your photo on flickr is where I found you, but your review is what made me decide to go ahead and make this dress :) I actually made it in a jersey knit first because I had some lying around, and I LOVE it. The second dress I'm doing is a quilting cotton though, and I also don't like that the band doesn't go around the back, so I'm fixing that - but instead of just having the band go around the back, I'm going to make a tie for a bow :)

    Thanks for your fantastic review :D Your dress is perfect!

  4. Maybe I missed it, but where can one purchase this pattern. I love this style of dress.
    Completely unrelated, but were these pics taken at The Destin Commons by chance?

  5. I would love you to post this in our Sis Boom Sightings Flickr group most items from there our folks that love seeing and hearing about others experiences..We appreciate you taking the time to writing a review and sharing your honest impressions it helps us !!