Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Project 5: The Darling Ranges Dress

Remember back when I was making rudimentary InDesign collages of fabric choices and going on and on about Valentine's Day?  Well, as much of a nightmare as you may have thought that was, I followed my fabric dreams and made a Valentine's Day dress.  It added about 1000% extra stress to the weekend and I am still not convinced I don't look pregnant, but I did it!

Before I get into the pattern review, I want to say that I'm tired.  Really, really tired.  For the past month or so, I've been going on overdrive, working really long hours and weekends, cooking and baking out the wazoo, and just generally trying to hold it together.  My breaking point almost came last night, when it was 8:30 and I was still working and Nick was trying to unclog our tub drain.  I'm really looking forward to leaving this place for the weekend to eat good food and shop in New York.  I'm also already planning a trip to southern Virginia for Memorial Day.  Seriously, I need as many trips as I can get.

Anyway, onto the show...
The white wall is blinding
Pattern Description
Megan Nielsen's Darling Ranges dress.  From her website, it's a "button-front v-neck dress with elbow-length sleeves and gathered waistline."

Pattern Sizing
XS - XL.  This is a medium.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope when you were done with it?
Generally, yes, but I made a few changes.

Is the leopard too much?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Oh my gosh, yes!  Megan is a great pattern writer--even if it looks confusing, it always turns out well.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
What first drew me to it was the modern styling--it's very casual but it's still a dress.  It didn't seem like something I'd find in the Big 4 (and I love that).  Plus, Megan is such a sweetheart, I'll buy anything of hers.

I agonized over these buttons for days.  And they're boring.  What gives?
Fabric used
Raspberry red dotted Swiss from Denver Fabrics.  It was like $4 a yard--get yourself some!

Pattern changes or any design alterations you made
I fully-lined the dress, resulting in an extra poufy gathered skirt.  I also omitted the back ties, because I was exhausted by the time I came to those.  The hemline is 1" instead of 2" because I prefer a work-appropriate length.

You can see the pouf here.  My hips aren't that big, I swear.

Would you sew it again?
Yes, but I wouldn't sew it with something that needs a lining.  I feel like the midsection is just too much the way I lined it.  I was expecting something a bit slimmer, but that's on me, not Megan.  I'd love to sew a summer version with the high hemline and no sleeves--something I can wear on the weekends.

It's really comfortable and I recommend it!  Also, buy yourself a belt--can you believe I don't have one?  I'm embarrassed for myself.
Valentine accessories: Marc Jacobs necklace (bought in Savannah for $10), J. Crew pin
I don't have any new sewing plans on the horizon; I'm looking forward to NYC instead, and I'm sure I'll come back with ideas and thoughts.  What are you working on?


  1. Thanks for you comment on my Flickr page, Emily! I was actually admiring your Darling Ranges dress so I figured I'd let you know here! I pinned it to my Pinterest board- to two boards actually. What a great pattern!! : )

    1. Oh thanks! Have you made it yet? Also, can you believe I still haven't made a Birthday Party dress? It's shameful.

  2. Nope. Not yet. I still have to get the pattern. :/ That will be next on my list. It's so hard to keep up with all of the great patterns out there- you seem to be doing a great job of it!

    1. She's doing a sewalong this week, so maybe that will inspire you :) I tend to throw myself into things instead of being more moderate, which is both a blessing and a curse. However, my sewing machine (the nice one, anyway) is currently in the shop, so I'm at a stopping point for the moment!


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