Jennifer Lauren Handmade Sorrel Dress

This cute shirt dress pattern from Jennifer Lauren Handmade was released in December 2018 as part of a Kickstarter campaign to produce paper patterns. I received the paper pattern in June 2019 by the time the Kickstarter had finished and all the patterns went to print. I was determined to make this from the paper pattern to give that first pattern a good test. It’s been a while since I’ve made one of Jen’s patterns, but all those I’ve made so far have been a great fit and style.

Off I went to shop my stash, well then I couldn’t find the perfect fabric in my stash. Of course! So why not plagiarise in the best possible way, I went to the Miss Maude website and purchased some of the beautiful Atelier Brunette cotton double gauze. This is Stardust Amarante, the two sample versions on the JLH website are in different colourways, so not completely copying, but imitation in its sincerest form 🙂 It is the most beautiful fabric to sew with. Well worth the cost!

This pattern comes in a great size range and I’ve seen versions on many sizes which is great. It also offers cup sizes, so the bust sizing ranges from a 6A (bust size 74cm or 29″) all the way to a 24D (bust 126.5cm or 48 3/4″). There are also two different versions, one with a grown on placket and the other with a separate button placket. It also has pockets! 🙂

I chose to make the version with the grown on placket which is view 2. No reason behind this really. It could have been a bit of laziness, in not wanting to cut out more pieces! I’ve also managed to just about hide the Atelier Brunette bows under the plackets, but they’re still visible if necessary.

I didn’t have any problems making up this pattern. I made up a size 16 D cup, based on my bust and waist measurements, also based on the finished measurements too.

I lengthened the bodice by half inch, which is pretty standard for me for many patterns. The best thing is, this pattern has pockets! They’re also a great size. Plenty of room for all sorts of rubbish in these pockets!

I love how the grown on cap sleeves fit. I’ve some other patterns with grown on sleeves, but they just don’t fit as well, these have a great fit.

The buttons, I didn’t follow the button diagram on the pattern. I noted where my bust line lay and then used my SimFlex sewing gauge to give the positions of the other buttons, ensuring one is also at the waist. The buttons themselves look expensive, but these actually came from Pete’s Emporium in Lower Hutt. Their button wall is one of my fave places to look for buttons! I think I originally looked at five different buttons, whittling it down to two and bought them both finally deciding to use these gold buttons!

The deets
Fabric:  Atelier Brunette cotton gauze, Stardust Amarante colour from Miss Maude NZ
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and buttons
Pattern:  Jennifer Lauren Handmade Sorrel dress, view 2, size 16D.
Changes made/recommendations:  This is a lovely dress. The fit is great. It may be a bit loose in the waist, but actually it doesn’t need a tight waist. I put a belt on this once and never again. Sacks of potatoes done up in the middle spring to mind! I love the fold out collar giving a great V neck. I think this pattern would look great made up in a viscose giving more drape. If I was to make this up in a viscose I would definitely take the waist in more. Actually looking at these photos, it looks like there’s excess in the back bodice, perhaps I might do with going down a back size to the 14?

The paper patterns from JLH have very fine tissue. There’s quite a lot with this pattern with the different bust sizes. The JLH fantastic instructions which we’ve got to know are in a booklet. The layout of the booklet is great, there’s no trying to fit lots on a page to save paper, etc. As usual the instructions from Jen are clear and easy to follow. They’re broken up into sections with headers. The booklet also includes a glossary and space to write your own notes in the back. The pattern is then in an envelope about the same size as a big 4 envelope, so it will fit with all your other printed patterns in storage.

The Atelier Brunette fabric is also fantastic. It was lovely to cut and sew with. Very well behaved fabric, beautiful to the touch and works perfectly for this pattern.

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