Pattern Parcel #3: April Rhodes Staple Dress

Pattern Parcel is back! It kicks off today. Until 13 June you will be showered by bloggers across the world sewing up endless variations of five (actually six!) different patterns (see the end of this post the tour schedule!) tempting you to buy Pattern Parcel #3 – a package worth $68+.

Pattern Parcel #3

So what’s in Pattern Parcel 3?

Pattern Parcel #3 includes:

  • Poppy Tunic by Make it Perfect
  • Water Bottle Tote by Radiant Home Studio
  • Jorna Tank Dress by Jenna Brand
  • Staple Dress by April Rhodes
  • Bombshell Swimsuit by Closet Case Files

AND a Bonus Pattern!
Pattern Parcel #3

Choose a price of $28 or greater for Parcel #3 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! “The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made with Moxie. This shorts pattern has a retro trim, loads of pockets, two inseams and are so comfortable you won’t want to take them off. Includes sizes 0 – 24. Exclusive launch on Pattern Parcel. Be the first to own this pattern!”

Buy Pattern Parcel #3

I love Pattern Parcel. There is the feel-good factor of your purchases contributing to charity. From a selfish sewing point of view, you get five patterns and perhaps some you’d never considered sewing before. I actually love that part the most – sometimes you decide to make something unexpected and it turns out great! I’ve worn my Summer Concert tees from Pattern Parcel #1 a lot – my lace back one in particular!

When I saw what contents of the Parcel, I printed and assembled the Shorts pattern, I also printed the Bombshell and Jorna. Then just days from Pattern Parcel 3 deadline… I desperately wanted a simple autumn dress to wear with boots… and the only pattern I had never considered making suddenly rocketed to the top of my must-sew list – the April Rhodes Staple Dress. Thank you Pattern Parcel!

I’ve sewn this up in a lovely soft rayon twill. I have a ‘thing’ for paisley and tartan together. I also love navy for autumn wear – so much softer than black.

We took these photos in a desperate rush – as I’m actually standing in misting rain! I was in such a rush to take the shots that I forgot to put my cream lace scarf on with this which really makes it look cute. I got loads of compliments wearing this today… which always surprises me when I’m wearing such a simple make.

April Rhodes Staple Dress

April Rhodes Staple Dress from Pattern Parcel #3

This is a delightfully simple dress to sew. It probably took me less than four hours to assemble the pattern, cut the fabric and assemble most of the dress. It has a just five pieces. Front, back, neck facing and two armhole facings.

What had me bamboozled, and took four tries, was the waist shirring!

I’d heard shirring was the easiest thing in the world to so. So I did my internet research, watched YouTube, wound the bobbin three times (loose, with slight tension, looser again), tried different stitch lengths – you name it. Every time the shirring was too tight and it was a DISASTER. So I heaved the Heavy Duty Singer out of its box, threaded it up and… perfect first time. Personally I suspect it’s the size of the hole in the Bernina bobbin case that the elastic has to pull through that is the issue or I need to release the bobbin tension screw (which freaks me put – stupid I know)… then again others find they can’t shirr with a top loading bobbin… it’s a mystery.

I would argue if you have had issues with shirring, it really might not be anything you are doing or not, simply that your machine is just not into elasticised waists.

I’m really glad I found a shirring solution as I love the regular gathers it provides to the waistline – even though I might always wear a belt with it, I much prefer the look of even small gathers, the dress falls much more nicely with them. It is also an extremely comfortable waistline! Not to mention it transforms a rather sack-like dress…

April Rhodes Staple Dress dress - pictured flat, no shirring (and yes, no hemming)

April Rhodes Staple Dress dress – pictured flat, no shirring (and yes, no hemming)

April Rhodes Staple Dress dress - flat with a shirred waist

April Rhodes Staple Dress dress – flat with a shirred waist

I think I will return to my old Jiffy dress – from the Pattern Pyramid and add shirring to it. I’ve worn it a lot but the bunching at the waist bothers me a little. Shirring is the perfect cure.

The Facings
The neckline and armholes are finished with facings – which are in essence just bias strips which are slightly longer on one side and they fit perfectly. This is such an easy dress to finish. If you are a beginner stitcher or even an experienced one, the very comprehensive instructions and finish of this dress is very satisfying.

The Pockets
I love the pockets on this dress. Yes, they are just pockets but I love that the instructions have you stitch them in such a way that they are attached to the dress front seam allowances – hence they always face forward.
The only thing I found odd was that the instructions do not have you understitch the pocket edges at the dress seamline – which I think makes for a neat finish and keeps the pockets tucked neatly into the dress – no rolling out.

April Rhodes Staple Dress, front view - OH LOOK! POCKETS

April Rhodes Staple Dress, front view – OH LOOK! POCKETS. And yes, I have a yacht mast springing from my head.

Overall Verdict
I love the kimono sleeves, the loose fit and ease of this dress. I know I’ve been blessed with a lean build but I don’t feel the need to showcase my shape or legs with everything I wear. Some days I just want to slouch about and relax.

I can see this being a great dress in many types of medium to lightweight fabrics – and I certainly think there will be many more in my wardrobe – I’d love one in silk or silk cotton for spring/summer. The patterns states 2m of fabric for 150cm wide fabric. I got my dress out of a lot less but then I do cut the smallest size so I can fit more across the width of the fabric I guess.

About Pattern Parcel: “Here at Perfect Pattern Parcel, we believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s our opinion that indie patterns are just, well, better than big box patterns, and we’re pretty sure our customers think so too. So, we allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel. We also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. Together we’ve raised almost $4,500 towards eliminating educational inequality.”

Buy Pattern Parcel #3

Parcel #3 Inspiration Tour Schedule:

Friday, May 30
Sew Busy Lizzy ||
Pienkel ||

Saturday, May 31
Design By Lindsay ||
the Brodrick design studio ||
Cookin’ and Craftin’

Sunday, June 1
Diary of a Chainstitcher ||
a happy stitch ||
Disaster in a Dress ||
sew Amy sew

Monday, June 2
Idle Fancy ||
Casa Crafty ||
Kadiddlehopper ||
Dandelion Drift

Tuesday, June 3
Our Family Four ||
Casa Crafty ||
Cookin’ and Craftin’ ||
a happy stitch

Wednesday, June 4
Lexi Made ||
The Quirky Peach ||
Stitched ||
a happy stitch ||
Casa Crafty ||

Thursday, June 5
verypurpleperson ||
Casa Crafty ||
sew a straight line ||

Friday, June 6
Shawnta Sews ||
Mama says sew ||
a happy stitch ||
Cookin’ and Craftin’

Saturday, June 7
Casa Crafty ||
sewninestitches ||
‘So, Zo… What do you know?’

Sunday, June 8
oonaballoona ||
A Stitching Odyssey ||
Sew Charleston

Monday, June 9
Sew Sweetness ||
True Bias ||
Ozzy Blackbeard

Tuesday, June 10
Welcome to the Mouse House ||
Sew Caroline ||
Adventures in Dressmaking

Wednesday, June 11
Peneloping ||
YoSaMi ||

Thursday, June 12
la inglesita ||
La Pantigana ||
Sanae Ishida

Friday, June 13
Seamster Sewing Patterns ||

This is me giggling as the marine mechanic stands patiently watching for us to stop taking pictures. And when you see my hand bunched over like that… it means I’m stressed… I need a sleep… later peoples… oh and buy Pattern Parcel #3, it’s a ripper.

April Rhodes Staple Dress

April Rhodes Staple Dress

Disclosure: there is a gift for the blogger with the most blog referrals and for participating. Honestly I’m not motivated by that at all, really I’m not. I get more than enough from all over the world not to feel the need for giveaways or competitions – in fact I’d probably donate it back to Pattern Parcel or buy something to giveaway to my readers. I simply love Pattern Parcel because I think it’s awesome initiative. I’ve been involved in several fund-raising events for my own kids’ school this month, charity is something that’s important to me… and I just LOVE to sew. I just wanted you to know. Tis all πŸ™‚

43 thoughts on “Pattern Parcel #3: April Rhodes Staple Dress

  1. I love the idea of the Perfect Pattern Parcel, but have yet to try it… maybe this will be the time! Almost all of these patterns are new to me. This dress looks great on you, simple shapes are often the most lovely!

  2. Ah I love Pattern Parcel time, amazing to see what different bloggers do with the patterns. Just bought my copy!

  3. Suggestion – I too was freaked out at the idea of “messing with” the bobbin tension. My solution was to buy a second bobbin casing which I marked with nail polish. Now I happily play with the tension on the marked case and never touch the unmarked case.

  4. This is gorgeous Lizzy! It looks great with those boots. I’m debating this pattern parcel, although I already have the bombshell, and the Jorna was the only other one that really appealed to me…you might have just sold me on this one though…

  5. I fiddle with my bobbin casing tension all the time! (Woops, was I not supposed to do that. lol) The Staple Dress looks lovely on you. And I agree that the paisley/tartan combo is awesome. Plus, it’s a great way to use a plaid and not have to sweat matching up the patterns!

    Thank you so much for sewing along with us and the kind words. We’re so happy to have people as passionate about assisting for better education as we are. πŸ™‚ You rock.

  6. That isn’t a fabric that would have caught my eye on the bolt, but I love how it turned out! That’s the great thing about seeing what others make with a pattern. The Staple Dress is on my to-sew list, here’s hoping I get one done for summer! Great work!

    • It took me about three to four hours from start to finish so I’m sure you can squash that in somewhere… I saw this fabric in store for about 8 months before I found a pattern to match… I went back and bought more… I think I’ll make some PJ pants next.

  7. Ohh, autumn! Thanks for making this one up, and your fabric choice (& drizzle) are perfectly seasonal πŸ˜‰ I really popped in to say thanks for the heads up on your shirring solution – I think this will be a job for Necchi rather than my everyday machine – much appreciated πŸ˜‰

  8. Wow, that dress looks so effortlessly chic! Fabric choice is sooo difficult: this fabric for example would have looked a bit scary to me on the bolt, but I love it as your dress! I agree with the navy blue – it’s something I have decided that I need more of in my closet too πŸ™‚

    • I loved the fabric for months but didn’t know what to make with it – then it suddenly seemed obvious as a winter dress. I went back and got more and I think I might try the Kate & Rose Giselle dress in it.

  9. That is just wonderful, as usual. I love the mix of paisley and tartan and blue is, as you so rightly say, a much kinder alternative than black; softer and more flattering. But, you know, even with the drizzle, you’re still in short sleeves and there aren’t any goosebumps! Today it’s been wintry here, so maybe winter will arrive in your neck of the woods fairly soon. πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you so much – I do need a rest… and I will get one soon… patience! And thanks… I love this fabric too, I was amazed at how many compliments I got in such a simple make.

  10. Pingback: A Couple Quick Things | Radiant Home Studio

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