A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Laura’s Sudley Dress

Happy New Year everybody! Not sure what the etiquette is on how long you can say this, but I am writing this in January, so I suppose it is still acceptable. Anyway, here marks a new year of resewlutions!

Like many, this year I aim to be more mindful about what I’m sewing. For me, this means filling gaps in my wardrobe with more “every day” and versatile items, thinking about the little details to elevate my makes, and taking the time to make pieces that I really love. I think Heather Lou from Closet Case Patterns said it best with her word of the year… Quality.

Now, let’s face it, we spend most of our time at work. I’m quite lucky that we have a casual (within reason!) dress code at work. Of course, sitting behind a desk for the majority of the day doesn’t warrant wearing super fancy outfits, but I still like to be smart and stylish, and obviously comfort is a must. My go-to is usually a dress teamed with tights or leggings and boots.

In perfect timing Megan Nielsen recently released an updated version of the Sudley, and I was thrilled that it was also in the extended sizing Curve range! I really love Megan’s patterns for their versatility and simplicity; and the Sudley does not disappoint. Having made a couple of her curve patterns before, I knew the fit was top notch, and it is perfectly matched with the stunning fabric chosen by Hayley this month!

The drapey qualities of the viscose really complements the Sudley. It is really soft and the colour is sublime. Deep cherry red accented with dainty flowers of navy, yellow and white; it works for all seasons. The simple lines and floaty design of the pattern was really going to show this off.

The abundance of design options and hacking potential is crazy, it is easy to get carried away! The pattern can even be worn back-to-front. I mix-and-matched views here, going with the dress version combined with the cute peter pan collar. As I would be mostly wearing this with cardigans (and I hate bunching!), I opted to switch to the plain elbow-length sleeves.

As the Sudley dress is a smock style (quite like the Tilly Indigo dress) it is very loose fitting. Super comfortable, but maybe not so super flattering on curvier figures! I took a tip from Hayley and fashioned some skinny ties and sewed these into the waist seam.

I chose my size based on my bust measurement. There is lots of ease throughout so I would recommend looking at the finished garment measurements to decide how oversized you want it.

The construction was wonderfully easy and straightforward, and the instructions were really clear as expected. The skirt is basically two rectangles gathered into a dartless bodice. The dress version is supposed to be fully lined, but I decided to forego this as I think that the fabric is opaque enough to get away with.

The only fiddly part I found is the bias facing just around the corner of the keyhole. If you go with the collar, make sure that you’re super accurate with your seam lines otherwise when you fold under the facing, it will be visible. I had to unpick quite a few wobbly peeking lines!

Heeding my own pledge and being mindful about the details, I made the Peter Pan collar in contrasting plain white cotton poplin which I think looks so good! A quirky edge that may be a little eminent of Madeline, but I love it.

Once the weather gets warmer, I can absolutely see wearing this with bare legs and cute sandals. For now though, it’s cosy cardigans and boots!