I actually tested the pattern for Mel because obvs. I told myself I was going to take time away from pattern testing after the superhero Oliver, but then Mel popped up with a testing opportunity, and so here we are.
It’s such a sweet little sundress!
*Housekeeping: I received this pattern for free as a member of the pattern testing team, but all opinions are my own.*
Heidi Day Dress
From the website:
The Heidi Day Dress is a comfortable shift dress that is contoured around the bust but roomy in the body – designed to keep you cool in the Summer months. The neckline is finished with a facing. It features waist ties that are sewn into the back pleats to create shape at the waist. The waist ties can be left out if a loose fit is what you prefer.
The Wearable Studio is an Australian company so their sizes 6-22 correspond to US 2-18. It is not the most expansive size chart, but Mel is currently pregnant so that could potentially change. She has alluded to making some maternity- and post-partum-friendly patterns in the future.
I made a size 20 based on my 47″ (119 cm) bust.
The recommended fabric is: medium-weight woven fabric such as linen, cotton, rayon/tencel, cupro, needlecord etc.
I used a black gabardine that had been in my stash for ages. Yay for #makeyourstash achievements!
Here is how the PDF stacks up:
- Layered sizes: yes
- Colored lines by size: yes
- No trim pattern: no
- Prints to edge of paper: no
- Print layout included: yes, page 6 of the instructions
- A0 available: yes
The instruction packet is 15 pages long and the instructions themselves are very beginner friendly. Mel takes extra pains to ensure the instructions are as clear as possible and drops extra tips for beginners throughout. Each step is illustrated with line drawings.
Other than fabric and thread, the only other notion needed is fusible interfacing. You should interface your facings, of course. The instructions also call for interfacing the waist ties. There is even a separate pattern piece expressly for the waist tie interfacing. Two tips if you’re lazy like me:
- don’t print that piece since it’s exactly 1 cm (3/8″) shorter than the waist tie, and
- I didn’t interface the ties on either my test pieces or the final product and it was fine.
The only adjustments I made were to drop the bust dart* 2″ and shorten the dress 3″ to raise the waist—I did NOT do a full bust adjustment! The length adjustment took off a teeny bit too much length, so I should’ve added back another inch at the hem (note for next time!).
If you do raise or lower the waist, be sure to move the waist pleats too! Otherwise, your ties will look like they’re pulling up like this (please ignore the absurdly long dart, that was an accident I made in the fitting stage):
I originally found the straps too wide-set for my shoulders. I forgot to move them in for my final shots. But if I were to make this again (and obviously that’s happening!), I will move them in about an inch on each side.
*In the larger sizes, the bust dart gets really wide. That amount of fabric can be unwieldy in a dart. I recommend cutting out the extra fabric in bust dart so there is less bulk in that area. It also makes the side seams easier to sew through!
Final Thoughts on Heidi Day Dress
I love all The Wearable Studio patterns thus far. This is Mel’s third pattern and I’ve made all of them: Franki, Canary, and now Heidi. I feel like she designs specifically for my aesthetic, which is comfortable but feminine. I’m excited to see what else she releases in the future.
This is a great dress for spring and summer. I opted for black because I wanted to use up some stash fabric, but I can see myself making this in a number of pastels. I am also obsessed with adding a ruffle to the bottom, so you might see that in the future. I really should have done that to this version, since it’s my favorite way to add length back to a dress.
And what about ruffled straps?! Too much? Maybe piping? Let me know in the comments how you would make this dress your own. And be sure to join The Wearable Studio mailing list to get a free copy of the Heidi Day dress for yourself!