Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress
The Adele Apron dress was love at first sight. You know when you see a pattern and want to make it immediately, well I fell hard for the Adele Apron Dress. As soon as Alice and Co Patterns posted that they needed pattern testers I jumped at the chance! The Adele Apron dress is a cross between and apron and a wrap dress, cleverly cut to fit like a dress but with the traits of an easy to wear apron.
Why I Pattern Test
I really enjoy pattern testing; I enjoy the whole process. Recently, I was involved in a discussion online with some other seamstresses, where some felt that when you test you are taken advantage of. I don’t feel like this at all, in fact it makes me feel special! Alice and Co were more than lovely to work with, encouraging and enthusiastic about everything I did. They, like most pattern testers don’t put pressure on you, they understand you are helping them and sometimes other things can get in the way. I love seeing a pattern early, and giving my feedback and ideas.
Adele Apron Dress Process
So, this is a fairly simple, cleverly designed pattern, made up of 5 panels. All the darts and shaping over the bust and hips is built into the seams, which makes for a slick design.
I bought this fabric from Ikea some years ago, waiting for the perfect project. Side note – Ikea does high quality, vibrant and usually bargain priced fabric – I always buy lots when I go. For this pattern I decided I wanted to pattern match the check design of the fabric. I did this but picking a horizontal line on the print and lining the waist notches up with it, quite simple. I them slightly adjusted when sewing the panels together to get a perfect match.
For this pattern you sew all the panels together – encasing the pocket as you go. You also leave holes in the side seams to thread the ties through. I left all the holes so I could have different wrapping options. You end up with a large flat 7 panel piece. You then sew you ties and straps and turn them through. Luckily for me I have a really long metal ruler that was the perfect width for turning. At this point you can pin your straps on in different places and test the fit. This was a bit of a fiddle, as there was a lot of work with, and I was on my own. I’d recommend having another person here to help with the pinning and fitting.
Once I got it sorted, I topstitched all the seams and hemmed the top and bottom of the dress and attached the straps.
Adele Apron Adjustments
Once I topstitched everything and tried it on, I realised I’d done a bad job with my fitting, or stretched it top edge while sewing. So, I had to unpick a load and shape the top better across my high bust. So again, I will recommend taking it slow with the fitting part and getting some help. I also shortened the dress a bit to make it more of a mini.
Would I make it again?
One of the design features I particularly like is the topstitching detail on every seam. With the fabric I chose I think it got a bit lost. I’d love to make a plain version maybe in a linen or denim so you can see details more.
The Adele Apron dress pattern lauched last week and can be bought from the Alice and Co website. Has anyone else made the Adele Apron dress?
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4 thoughts on “Pattern Testing – The Adele Apron Dress”
I think it turned out super cute! I love topstitching so I can see this being a fun part of the pattern 🙂 But I think you fabric choice is so fun! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m really pleased with the finished dress too!
I just finished making this. I have a bit of a pinafore dress ‘thing’ going on at the moment so this fitted perfectly into my sewing plans.
I love your fabric – it works so well for this dress. I found some Seasalt linen/cotton blend in my stash that I bought last year and thought it would be perfect. In hindsight it was not quite hefty enough so I would recommend going for a 100% heavyweight linen or a cotton twill or a lightweight denim for this – or something similar.
I had the same gaping problem across the side panels – I think the instructions should tell you to stay stitch the top edge FIRST – there’s little point once you’ve handled the fabric extensively sewing all the panels together (BTW I only had 5 panels – did I miss some out?). I ended up sewing some 6mm elastic into the folded over edges of those panels and that worked well to bring everything in by 2-3″ and get rid of the gaping.
I’m not sure the inseam buttonholes would work in a lighter weight fabric either – I’ve sewn mine up and will put real buttonholes in just as soon as my buttons arrive from Textile Garden (love their buttons)
If I was making this again I would chose a different fabric and maybe make a facing for the top edge and centre back edges. Of course this would require a lot more fabric but if you had some to spare would be well worth it.
I have seen some made from linen, which look fab – but yes heavier fabrics do seem to work better. Yes thats a good tip with the stay stitching first.
Also it is only 5 panels – my mistake – I’ve changed it in my blog now, thanks for pointing it out.