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

Modifications:

  • 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.

Darts 

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!

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