There is something about sewing that makes me attracted to certain fabrics or patterns that I wouldn’t rush to buy if they were RTW. Maybe it’s because the price point for a really well-made fun print is higher than I want to spend? Or that I feel like I need to unleash some creative energy on a project? Whatever it is, that desire led me to finally buy this fabric from the Loominous line by Anna Maria Horner last month after coveting it for years. The problem was that I had no idea what I was going to make out of it that would do the print justice. Once I saw some cool striped dresses after stalking #fringedresspattern on Instagram I knew that I had found The One.
Since really getting into sewing for myself, I am trying to be mindful of buying patterns that I wouldn’t mind making more than once. I love the potential of the Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch because it is a very basic wardrobe staple, but it can be transformed in so many ways—not just with the different pattern views but with your selection of fabrics and a little bit of imagination. Adjust the curved seam? Omit it altogether? Make it a maxi dress? Make it a blouse? The Fringe is your gal!
I like my dresses to hit a comfortable knee length since I’m bending over to pick up a baby or running after a 4 year old every day, so I added 3″ to the hem and then another inch to the curve in the hem to err on the side of caution. You can’t really tell in the photos but the curve is still there and adds to the personality of the dress. Most of my height comes from my torso (I’m 5’9″) so I was wondering if I needed to add to the bodice, but I left it as is and I’m glad I did. For future versions I might change the placement of the buttons since the V flaps open a bit to give people a peek of my teenage boy chest.
I liked the idea of keeping the top loose without cinching it so I left the waist ties off this version. I was stressing about how it would look to have the stripe matching slightly off with the gathering at the skirt so I made a last minute decision to cut the fabric across the grain for the bodice pieces so that the stripes would be going in a different direction on the bodice and the skirt. I spent one of my nights just matching stripes and it was actually quite soothing and turned out perfectly.
Overall, I love this pattern and the detail of the instructions because I’m still at a stage where I need quite a bit of hand-holding (like, please tell me to stay stitch the collar because I’m just going to forget otherwise). Everything was clear enough for me to enjoy the process of constructing the dress and I’m looking forward to making more versions!
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P A T T E R N : Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch
M O D I F I C A T I O N S : Made View A with cuffs instead of button sleeves; omitted waist ties; added 3″ to hem and another 1″ to the hem curve.
O V E R A L L : Well-written instructions and well-drafted pattern; wardrobe versatility is a huge bonus; very minimal swearing due to stupid mistakes on my part.