When Sew Over It released the Heather Dress I was totally smitten with it. The style of it is right up my street and those curvy hip pockets looked oh-so practical and great for keeping my hands warm on cold winter days in the shop. When they did a 20% Black Friday discount on their patterns I caved!
The Heather Dress is a princess seamed jersey dress with unique curved front pockets. The princess seams front and back give a flattering fit, and make this a great dress to give colour-blocking a go.
The pattern is available in UK sizes 8-20. I made a straight size 14 although looking at the finished garment measurement this would be an inch or so of negative ease at the bust. Because of the design I wasn’t too sure about how to alter the pattern so I hoped that my ponte would have enough stretch for me to get away with it.
Heather works best with a more weighty jersey such as a ponte roma. I used a black and white houndstooth ponte rome for the centre front panel and solid black ponte roma for everything else. The houndstooth / dogtooth ponte was a piece that I’ve had in my stash for some time so it was good to finally put it to use. I still have enough left over to colourblock it into something else.
Because of the unusal design I would have appreciated some of the basic reference points to be shown on the pattern pieces – bust apex, waistline, and lengthen / shortern lines. I don’t think Sew Over It normally include these; however, on this pattern it would have been good just to make sure any adjustments got carried through onto all the other relevant pattern pieces. It would also make doing a full bust adjustment a bit easier. On the plus side, there were plenty of notches to make sure you got everything lined up properly which is great when you’re working with curved pattern pieces.
I sewed the sleeves in flat rather than in-the-round. Otherwise I did everything as per the pattern. Seams were sewn on my machine first and then finished with the overlocker. Hems were sewn up with the triple zig-zag stitch. You are left to decide the length of your neckband based on your fabric choice – I found I needed to sew mine with a 2cm seam allowance to get it to lay flat.
Sew Over It design for fairly neat fitting garments so it is best to check the finished garment measurements before selecting your size. In particular I find that their sleeves are particularly snug fitting – depending on the stretch of your fabric this might not be a problem. It was for me so I sewed the sleeves with a 1cm seam allowance and could probably even do with going a bit smaller as there really isn’t any ease there at all for me.
This is actually the second version I’ve made for myself (the first was in our forest green ponte roma), and I also made one for my sister-in-law for her birthday (in our claret ponte roma), so I guess the pattern gets a big thumbs up from me! I’m quite keen to make a short-sleeved version in a lighter colour to wear on cooler days through the summer. It is such a comfy dress to wear and those pockets are just fab.
Because this ponte isn’t very stretchy I do think it is a bit tight around the shoulders and upper back – there are quite a lot of drag lines that I’m seeing in the photos that I hadn’t really noticed before (some of it is down to my terrible posture!), but I think the shoulders could do with being widened? The pooling in the lower back I’ve noticed on other people’s versions. It isn’t too bad to bother me. Maybe I’d do better with a 16 at the bust and grade back to a 14 at the waist/hips for future versions.
Total cost: £32.05
Fabric: 1.9m black ponte roma @ £12/m = £22.80
Fabric: houndstooth ponte roma from stash
Pattern: Sew Over It Heather Dress PDF = £7.50 (full price)
Notions: thread = £1.75