The Helen’s Closet March top and dress has become one of my tried and true patterns – I have three variations already but have been pretty slow to share! So here’s another. I loved the pattern as soon as Helen shared a sneak peek – I even messaged her to find out how much fabric it needed, as I knew it’d work really well with this Cousette fabric – I’d been looking at it on Good Fabric.
The pattern has a top and dress variation. It has a bib detail that you sew on top of the bodice, and it’s sewn in a way that creates the vent opening at the front. It’s a little more involved than a simple top, but the impeccable instructions make a multi-step process feel very simple.
The fabric combines two of my favourite elements – cinnamon colour and broderie anglaise. So of course, when I first saw it I felt I had to have it. But, it hasn’t turned out quite as I’d hoped. I wish I hadn’t interfaced the middle panels, as you can see the white of the interfacing in the little eyelets within the fabric. It’s probably not that noticeable, but I know it’s there and feel a bit disappointed by it.
It was also a bit more difficult to work with because of the nature of the fabric – the ties and neckline are made using binding that you make from the pattern, so cutting and sewing with the cut out sections of the broderie was a little more challenging than other versions I’ve made in simple cottons. It was more difficult, but definitely doable and worth it.
I unfortunately had to leave out the pockets as I didn’t have enough fabric. The width is less than I realised, and the broderie pattern only kicks in after about 10cm on each side, further reducing the fabric available to use. So, the pockets were out, and the skirt is also shorter than it’s designed to be, as i just had to use what I had.
All in all, these little niggles I have with it mean it hasn’t been one of those dream pattern & fabric pairings that turn out exactly as you want them. But it’s still cute, I still enjoy wearing it, and I’ve made more versions since.
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