I have something very exciting to share today: my first pattern test!
If you don’t know what a pattern test is (I didn’t a few months ago!) it’s when pattern designers put out a call for volunteers to test their sewing patterns. Testers sew up the pattern several times, give feedback and photos, and then help the designer promote the pattern. It’s such an honor to be chosen, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. It allows me to have a more small part in shaping how the pattern turns out, and to really connect with the designer and other testers. So, without further ado, I give you the Scarlet Swing Dress (affiliate link).
I’ve been a fan of GreenStyle Creations for a while (stay tuned for some hacked stride tights!) but I have to be honest, when I first saw the pattern, I wasn’t sure how it would work on my body shape. I’m a pretty defined hourglass, on the short side, and am used to wearing fitted clothes, so I was curious to see how it would turn out on me. Spoiler alert: I LOVE IT! I’ve already made three versions, and I have plans for several more (if only the baby would take consistent naps!). With options for over 100 different looks (short sleeves, tank, long sleeves, cold shoulder, various lengths, etc). this dress is perfect for any occasion. It’s very on trend right now, but also timeless too- this pattern will quickly become a staple. But don’t just take my word for it- check out the versions I made below and also visit the Facebook Group to sew more of the fantastic versions sewn by the other testers (side note: some designers are more responsive than others in their groups. I LOVE that the designers behind GreenStyle are always super helpful and responsive to questions in their groups, so if you’re not a member yet, you should be!)
My first version was in green rayon spandex from knitpop. I cut the above the knee length and the 3/4 sleeves. Rayon spandex is always a bit of a beast to sew with, but the simplicity of this pattern made it doable. I paired it with suede booties and a long necklace and BOOM! instant sexy casual.
My second version I did a bit of a hack, color blocking the bottom. This is easy if you want to do the same: Just cut at the tunic line, and then cut your color blocked bottom piece at the above the knee line. You can add seam allowances if you want: since I’m a shorty, I didn’t bother and the shorter length works just fine on me. (I did end up shortening my pattern 2 inches overall to accommodate my 5’2″ frame). I cinched it in with a belt, and when I showed it to my husband he decided a date night was in order! The blue fabric is rayon spandex (undetermined origin) and the black is double brushed poly.
My final version was another little hack: I sewed up the tunic length with bell sleeves. I used lace with minimal stretch, lined the bodice with double brushed poly from So Sew English, and added a little keyhole opening in the back. The sleeves were left unlined and un-hemmed (yes!). The keyhole allowed it to fit over my head easily, and I still had enough ease even without the stretch (being small busted helps here- if you want to use a low stretch material and are larger busted I recommend sizing up a bit).
I love this version as well- it’s just the right amount of boho/victorian. As a bonus, I can breastfeed in the two rayon spandex versions- if you are nursing as well, you might want to lower the neckline a bit, but I was able to use it as is.
Well, that’s it! Are you convinced yet!
Go get your copy and sew one up! I’d love to see it! (Affiliate link)