Updated: Apr 21
Overall Rating: 5/5
The instructions on this pattern are very detailed and include full picture tutorials. If you are just starting out, you can make this dress easily with their guidance! The hardest part is piecing the top together, but nothing in this pattern requires specialized skills.
The dress fit perfect in the bust, neckline, and sleeves. I didn't make any alterations to this pattern for the first time. According to the size chart, I should have cut out a 14 at the bust, a 16 at the waist, and an 18 at the hips. I had only printed the 10-14, and I'm so glad I didn't go any bigger! With the full gathered skirt, there is no reason to size up. And after making it, I would definitely grade down to a 10 at the waist. My jersey fabric was very stretchy though, so that might have contributed to it being too large at the waist.
Cost to Make: 1
Not only is this amazing pattern free, but it requires no additional notions. So the only cost to you is the fabric and thread! And if you are anything like me you might have fabric in your stash that you bought a decade ago so it feels free because you can't remember what you paid. It is also usually pretty easy to find nice knits on sale or clearance at your local fabric store!
This pattern comes with so many options, it is really unbelievable that is it all free! It features a full gathered skirt and a square neckline in the front and back. The sleeves come in sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, and flutter sleeve options. The skirt has a simple or tiered option, and even includes a faux button placket! You can make this dress again and again and come up with a different style every time.
There are so many pros for this dress. The square neckline sets the dress apart from most dresses probable hanging in your wardrobe. It sews together very quickly. The several style options make this a pattern you will you again and again. The instructions make this dress something any sewist can attempt, no matter the skill level, and the price tag can't be beat!
The only con is more of a personal preference. I would like a one pager of to-the-point directions for experienced sewists. I love that detailed tutorial instructions are available to make sewing available to the masses, but all I need is a cut and dry list to print out and use quickly!
I did not make any changes to this pattern for my first attempt. When I make it again (which I will be doing ASAP), I will go down in size at the waist. I am excited to make this with the flutter sleeves next, and want to add pockets in the side seams. I have two teen daughters who both loved the neckline so it looks like I have lots of Laurels in my future!
You can find the pattern here.