Hallon Dress

Since I first saw this pattern, I knew I wanted to make one for summer and wear to a party or fancy-ish occasion. With friends getting engaged and married, it seemed like good motivation to look through my fabric stash and get sewing!

Pattern: Hallon Dress by Paradise Patterns

Fabric: Robert Kaufman cotton linen blend from Bolt

Size: 6 modified


  • Height adjustment for 5’4″. Removed 1″ from front & back pieces (per instructions) & 2″ from hem.
  • Removed 1/2″ from front top/arm holes (should have graded size 4 (top) to 6 (hips to hem).
  • Resewed the darts 3 times (and still kinda hate them)

I’ve been into pink, especially earthy pinks lately. I’m planning to pair this dress with the Kinikin cardigan that I knitted in a soft pink a couple season ago. I also loved sewing with this linen cotton blend from Robert Kaufman. I had this fabric in my stash, I was originally going to make some Pants No. 1 for my study abroad in Colombia. I didn’t end up getting to that project (…grad school). But that’s fine – as this fabric was easy to press and lended itself to very ‘professional’ bias and hems. With a light and breezy drape, I’m glad this fabric is a dress (instead of pants).

Height Modifications

This pattern was easy to modify – as I’m 5’4” and the pattern is designed for 5’7”. I followed the directions to pull out 1” from the front & back pieces and an additional 2” from the hem. I was a bit puzzled at not having to shorten the front & back bias pieces but it’s because you end up trimming the ends of both once attached.


I watched 3 different YouTube tutorials on how to not have pointy darts … the tutorials made sense, but I just can’t seem to get darts that lay flat. I stitched and ripped out the darts three times trying to sew them to the correct length and in a curved line instead of straight (which encourages a point). So … I’ll probably remove the bust darts if I sew up another Hallon. Darts just don’t feel necessary for A cups in this pattern.

Grading Size 4 to 6

In retrospect, I should have graded the pattern from size 4 top to size 6 armhole on down. This would have removed the excess fabric in the bust that was gathering and laying oddly, but still have given a roomy fit for my hips.

Because I didn’t grade between sizes… after I finished the whole dress, I decided to rip out the front armhole bias.  I removed a half inch from the armhole or total width across (ie. where the bias was previously attached). Then, reattached the bias (via top stitching the bias all at once as opposed to the pattern instructions). This removed the excess fabric that was gathering weird because my bust is smaller than a B cup (which the pattern is design for). I guess I can’t make everything oversized …

For reference my measurements are 34B-28W-38H and I’m 5’4”.

Overall, this is an easy pattern and comes together quickly with only 6 pieces (mostly bias). I was glad to learn how to properly sew slits in a skirt/dress. Because this dress has great drape, I want to make one in a black faux-silk and another in a fun, bright abstract print.

Extra sun for all the house plants!

Fawn Skirt

Since making the Peppermint Magazine Pocket Skirt, I’ve been thinking about the ease of wearing skirts and wanting to have more in my wardrobe. When I saw this fabric on sale, while browsing online, I knew I wanted to sew up a Wattlebird skirt.

Pattern: Wattlebird Skirt by Common Stitch, View B – modified

Fabric: Floral Crinkle Rayon fabric from Joann

Size: 10 AU


  • View B: Two sections instead of three. I did the Top Panel, Mid Panel, and Frill (removed Bottom Panel).
  • French Seams (added an extra 1cm to the width – though its unnecessary as this is a loose garment with plenty of width for gathering)
  • Elastic for Waist: 26″ and 1″ overlap (effectively 25″).  

This skirt is easy peasy to sew, even without a pattern. Though I love a pattern because it lets me turn my brain off and be in the flow of sewing and following instructions. This pattern does take a TON of thread because you baste 2 rows of stitches on the frill and mid panel to create the gathering. I found it challenging to gather or pull on the basting in this rayon fabric. I’m not sure why that happened, maybe it’s the crinkle of the fabric that creates more friction. I didn’t bother to remove the basting stitches after, as I sewed french seams – so the basting stitches ‘disappeared.’ 

Why did I sew french seams?

Because I don’t have a serger and this rayon fabric seemed prone to fraying. I also didn’t think a zigzag stitch would be enough to prevent significant fraying. French seams are easy to add to this garment. There is plenty of fabric – whether or not you add in additional seam allowance – and space for the french seams to sit (i.e. they don’t add extra bulk to the garment). While I didn’t take a photo of this, I did french seam EVERY seam, including the side seams and all the seams that connect each section of the skirt (i.e. the gathers).

Modifications to View B

It very easy to adjust the height of the individual panels or the number of panels you want to include. I left out the Bottom Panel because I wanted the total length of the skirt to hit around or below my knees. 

Hammock life is pretty good
About Sewing with Rayon

I tend towards cotton twills and linens when I sew, and I always have to look up how to work with new to me fabrics. I found this crinkle rayon to be very easy to work with. I followed conventional advice to use a new sharp needle, size 70/10. I also kept the walking foot on my machine, though I don’t feel like it was necessary – I was just too lazy to take it off from my last project. And before I even started, I pre-washed the fabric TWICE in a garment bag, on a delicate cycle (warm) and tumbled dried (warm, removed fabric from the garment bag for drying). Hopefully that prevents any uneven shrinking – though I read that rayon is significantly weakened when it’s wet, so I’ll try to keep laundering to a minimum to increase the longevity of the garment. Both of these articles were useful to me:

I’m happy with how this skirt turned out. I tend to wear it mid to high waist on my body and fitted the elastic for that. It’s a very light garment due to the rayon fabric – which I love and makes it perfect for wearing this summer. I also don’t have many floral patterns in my closet but I am obsessed with earth tones, like this ochre-mustard yellow. I hope I get a lot of use out of this garment! Happy sewing!

p.s. I’m wearing my Fawn skirt with the Blomma Tank in an olive waffle knit. This pattern is free if you sign up for Paradise Pattern’s newsletter (worth it!).