The Day Dress by the Avid Seamstress

Why hello everyone!  Hot off my first day’s wear I give you the Day Dress by the Avid Seamstress The Day Dress

made from some of the most gorgeous glazed cotton from The Fabric Godmother when I visited one of the legendary Open Days back in April. (The fabric, let me say now is sadly sold out).

So I had seen the Day Dress pattern and not really registered until I saw Josie’s version in a floral  & then my tickle was fancied.  The Day Dress is essentially a classic dirndl – fitted bodice with gathered skirt.  But then I saw Josie’s floral linen viscose version   …. how might this differ from Simplicity 2444, that classic ? I was extremely fortunate that Lisa, the Avid Seamstress herself, was there at the Fabric Godmother’s Open Day to tell me about her pattern range and she gave me this copy to review on my blog – so you know therefore that I did not have to pay for this pattern, but have roadtested it for you 🙂

The Day Dress

The objective of the Avid Seamstress patterns it seems is to provide the gold star treatment for some classic styles that are aimed at those classic style-wearers amongst us!  Aimed at confident beginners wanting to improve with full support online.  The patterns are not cheap at £17, however they ooze quality- it does not feel as if anything has been scrimped on from the sturdy gusseted envelope (that one’s for you Frances! 😉 ) with string closure to the thick cardstock instruction booklet.  the paper pattern is of tissue paper but strong yet crinkly.  There are separate cards to explain sewing terms & measurements ( presumably to save you flipping backwards & forwards through pages of your booklet or grabbing loose bits of paper), making it easier to keep to hand to refer to.

The pattern as I said is a classic dress with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt.  There are three options for the bodice – buttons, centre front seam or plain bodice, no seam (the version I made).  It has an invisible zip and side seam skirt pockets.


The fabric I bought was of such pedigree that I felt beholden to make a bodice toile, of which I was grateful since I had to make my usual adjustments: a wedge out of upper CB, a small wedge out of the back shoulder seam (remembering to compensate at the underarmand a slight swayback adjustment too.  Having done this, everything sat beautifully, even with the resonably high neckline which always gives scope to show off a bad fit.

The Day dress

So I followed the instructions and was delighted to discover some novel approaches, despite this appearing to be a classic style.  Yes it has neck facings, it has pockets inserted in the usual way…

I freestyled here, sewing the outer facing right sides together to the interfacing before fixing, then turning and then ornong the interfacing to the facing ...

I freestyled here, sewing the outer facing right sides together to the interfacing before fixing, then turning and then ornong the interfacing to the facing …

but what I enjoyed was sewing a dress like this with sleeves inserted flat before sewing the side seams in one (like I would always sew a knit t-shirt).

The day dress

Even before this was another delightful method to achieve the most perfect gathers – ever– in – the -history- of sewing.  No double tramlines of gathering stitches,nay, not even a triple line of gathering stitches.  These perfect gathers are also achieved by using a method usually applied to knits (knickers anyone?)  In one word – elastic.  The length of your elastic is given for the size you are making,  then you apply it like you would to pants – attach each end, stretch to fit, then sew it, whilst stretched (but with a straight stitch) to your skirt edge.  I have to say it’s a sewing swoon.

The Day dress

Today was my first wear – a bit later than planned as I had taken it on my recent long weekend to beautiful Norway.

The day dress

Yes, I had thought that it being summer, a dress might be a nice addition to my luggage.  Sadly Norway is unseasonably *rather wet & cold* at the moment & as a result I lived in jeans, Ultimate trousers, socks & my kagoule.  I had not packed tights (for shame) so the dress had  a relaxing trip.  And there I was hoping to have some on location Scandi photos, but you’ll have to make do with my garden instead.  And some on location shots of what I did wear ..

It was a flying visit to Bergen and Stavanger, and there was a fjord trip, some sight seeing and plenty of good eating…and the clue for the visit is shown in the pic below …

NorwayBack to the dress …I wore it, as I said, today to work.  This is how it looks after a day of sitting around.  It is unscathed!  There is the perfect amount of ease – so comfy.  The waist sits slightly higher than my natural waistline & allows any beer bulges to become non-existent.  What a perfect dress just for that reason alone!  I can see this being a real favorite, wearing with a cardi & tights when the chill begins to fall.  I have to say the fit is now superb after my usual tweaks & it is likely to become my go-to everyday dress.   I’m not sure I’d try it with the other bodice variations as I like this classic style.  But who knows?

Remember I was given this pattern to review by The Avid Seamstress but all views are my own.


12 thoughts on “The Day Dress by the Avid Seamstress

  1. LinB

    Love love love the print — and yes, there are those among us who are happy to keep making classic shapes over and over again. With a palate cleanser of something 16th-century with cartridge pleats, every now and again.

    I like to put in sleeves in the flat, too, with a simple variation for wovens. Don’t sew the first and last 2 inches of the sleeve to the armsceye. Sew up the side seam of the bodice and the side seam of the sleeve in the same pass through the machine. THEN set the bottom of the sleeve into the little bit of armsceye at the bottom. The fit of the sleeve is much more comfortable in your armpit, this way. (Not my own idea, but I cannot remember the name of the sewing goddess who taught this. I can see her face in my mind’s eye, and hear her soft little voice, and watch her toss her scraps over her shoulder, but cannot call up her name. Sigh.)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hello Lin! As always you are so generous sharing your tips and tricks….you have such an array of workarounds! And I know they must be tried and tested if they are yours….and I totally get this approach too. Taking a break in the middle of sewing the side/sleeve all in one go reaps dividends in being able to get a comfortable armscye fit. Thank you!!

  2. Lynsey

    Super dress and great info on the book (now on my Xmas list) the fabric looks great and the dress really shows it off.

  3. Lisa

    Oh my word I love love love your Day Dress – simply fantastic. Blush Blush from all the lovely comments too – I am so glad you love your dress. Lisa, The Avid Seamstress

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hello Lisa, the Avid Seamstress. How lovely of you to pop by!! Thank you for your compliments …. I truly love this dress and am very pleased with the cut and the fit of the pattern – a classic xx


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