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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lisette Traveler Dress Review

Pattern Description:  From the Lisette web page - A trio of contemporary takes on the classic shirtwaist dress. All three versions offer interesting styling options and are seasonless when worn with tights and boots in cooler weather or belted in warmer weather.

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 22
If you've never sewn Simplicity before and you are a 2 or 4, do not be afraid to go ahead and try it.  A 6 in this dress is like 2/4 in stores.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did with the exception of my own alterations. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Excellent instructions! This dress is the most involved I've tried and there were several things I'd never attempted before, but the "Lisette tips" and just clear overall instructions made me feel like Leisl was there guiding me through it.  I really felt, as I got to about the halfway point, that there would be nothing but success waiting for me at the end.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? To be honest, a shirt dress is really not my style, but the photo on the envelope of a belted View A totally inspired me.  I don't have anything like this in my closet, so it seemed the perfect candidate.

I love the curved hem on View B. the one I made, and I really like the dainty gathers at the shoulders for all three Views.  Thank you soooo much Leisl for allowing me to not be nervous as to whether or not my sewn sleeve piece was going to be exactly the same as the armhole on the body. The gathers are forgiving and cute.  What more could you ask for? 

Fabric Used: I got some light blue chambray from Fabric.com for $5 a yard.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I graded from a size 6 on the top to a size 10 at the waist and below.  I hate it when buttons pull, so I wanted plenty of ease around my derierre.  I can sit in it without anything pulling and that's exactly what I wanted.  I think I lucked out with the sizing and the cutting of the pattern because I really wasn't very scientific about it.
I don't care for banded collars, so I made a substitution by using the Flour Pleated Collar Tutorial found at Sew Mama Sew, recommended by Made by Rae.  The instructions for this were few and assumptive.  I made it work, but I had lots of questions.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! I already have the dress partially sewn in View C and can't wait to post the finished product here and on Flickr.  I could also see a cute flannel plaid in view B for winter.  Can't you see it?  with leggings, boots and a chunky scarf?

Conclusion:  Versatile, classic wardrobe builder, advanced beginner level with professional looking results if done carefully.  I had a really great experience with this dress and I am so thankful to have a pattern that teaches while you sew and creates a feeling of success for me.  That's what keeps me motivated to learn more and sew more!



  1. Cute! I love the look of these kind of dresses, but I never seem to be able to pull it off. You look great!

  2. Turned out totally adorable! I love the flour collar, but I'm not sure I'm up for a hedgy experience. I want clarity! I am also a little nervous about all those button holes. I guess I'll practice a little first and it will be fine. This is in my summer sewing Que.