A Summer Dress – Lisa Dress from Tessuti Patterns

Aka the Little Big DressLisa Dress, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

Old Banjo makes his blog return

This is one of those patterns that seems to have been floating about in my head forever. I loved it when I saw it but spent…. years… wondering if it would be too shapeless on me. It’s safe to say, I like to make well considered decisions!

The best way to figure this out is to try it. Thankfully Tessuti Patterns are mouth more affordable than many independent pattern companies so I threw caution to the wind, along with $12, printed off the A0 sheets at Officeworks and got sewing.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

It’s debatable if this is flattering when I am standing still – but what is flattering anyway? It’s such a subjective concept. Garments that showcase our curves? I don’t think they always need to ‘nip in’ at the waist etc. I think we should all consider our clothes as how they sit on our bodies and how they move against and with us when worn. I believe this is where ‘sack dresses’ come into their own. When sewn in a lighter fabric with some drape, sack dresses hint at what lies beneath without clinging to curves. And as a result, loosely fitted, feminine dresses will always have a place in my wardrobe.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

I topstitched all the seams – with the exception of the waist seam. I did topstitch it, decided to it looked odd and then unpicked it.

Likes

  • I like the cut of the armholes.
  • I like the neckline and the loose fit of the bodice.
  • The high-low bodice waistline is cute.
  • I like how Tessuti sew their pockets, it’s neat and also helps the pockets hang forwards, rather than flapping about.

Changes

I cut 4 inches off the length – it would be have far too long at the drafted length. For reference, I am 5 foot 4 or about 164cm tall.

I didn’t make any other modifications, however I would like to make this again and I would pinch out at least 1/2 inch in the bodice as the bust darts are crazy low.

Depending on my future fabric choice, I’d consider shortening the skirt again and adding a deeper ruffle to the hemline. Both Kylie & The Machine and Lisa of Tessuti Fabrics have done this.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Thoughts

It’s a loose summer dress. Perfect for those long steamy summer days. An added bonus is you will also have plenty of room for lunch!

Pattern: Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Fabric: Tencel denim, Spotlight Australia (from the bargain table, fabric cost $12)

Claudia Dress – Tessuti Patterns

And now for something completely different.. and quite a large departure from my ‘usual’ style – whatever that is these days.  Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea on me, that’s OK.

Claudia Dress by Tessuti Patterns

Claudia Dress by Tessuti Patterns. Note to self, take hands out of pockets for photos! – ruins line of dress!

I fell in love with this dress when it was released by Tessuti Fabrics.

Described on the Tessuti site as: this stylish, pull-on sundress features narrow shoulder straps, bust darts, stitched-down pockets and above-the-knee side splits with wide hems and topstitched details. Suitable fabrics include medium to heavy weight linens or linen blends and cottons. Not suitable for lightweight or drapey fabrics.

Excuse creases and wrinkles - that's linen for you - and I took photos of four different garments in this lunch break! You have to make use of spare time when you can find it. Let's not talk about the ten surfers that came and jumped into the water as I took the photos...

Excuse creases and wrinkles – that’s linen for you – and I took photos of four different garments in this lunch break! You have to make use of spare time when you can find it. Let’s not talk about the ten surfers that came and jumped into the water as I took the photos… a beautiful late autumn day and the water was warm.

I measure slightly above the Tessuti XXS sizing chart – however this is too large on me. Perhaps I could scale down the pattern when printing if I make it again.

I took up the straps a lot (sorry detail escapes me as I sewed this a few months ago – bad blogger – must blog faster).

Thoughtful design details

The pockets are beautifully inserted. I guess they are called ‘single welt side pockets’? They are much more complex to construct than the simple side pockets you get in many patterns – however the instructions are excellent (illustrated by photographs) and they are sewn to the front of the dress which is a nice detail. I did topstitch in a lighter topstitch thread around the pocket opening but then opted to make all the other topstitching less obvious as I rather like the denim-y plain look of this fabric.

You can perhaps see all the potential top stitching in this line drawing from Tessuti.

Claudia Dress - line drawing courtesty of Tessuti Fabrics

Claudia Dress – line drawing courtesty of Tessuti Fabrics

I love the mitred hem finish. My fabric is so dark it’s hard to see all the details so please visit the Tessuti blog post for more detail shots – and a much better model!

I wish more patterns had thoughtful detaqils like mitred hem finishes. It really does make the dress so much nicer!

I wish more patterns had thoughtful details like mitred hem finishes. It really does make the dress so much nicer!

The neckline is lovely, square with narrow straps.

Claudia Dress, front view

Claudia Dress, front view

The simplicity of this design really appeals to me. It can also be worn with a tshirt on cooler days.

Thoughts

An absolute sack on me. Perhaps not the most figure-flattering shape on me… but does everything have to be? Some days you much want to mooch about in an extraordinarily simple linen dress.

I’m fond of it anyway. I have no desire to ‘cinch it in’ at the waist or belt it in any way. I prefer it as it is.

There is something lovely about slightly crumpled linen sack dresses that makes me feel happy.

A fun pattern, a classic shape and highly wearable on a warm day.

It’s hard to beat a Tessuti PDF Pattern at $12 – and the PDFs come with an A0 copy shop file – always a thumbs up from me!

Pattern: Claudia Dress, Tessuti Fabrics
Fabric: described as “Italian Linen” purchased many many years ago on Goldhawk Road, London

Claudia Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Claudia Dress, Tessuti Patterns