Free Pattern Review: Mal Dress from Mood Fabrics for #sewfrugal22

TL; DR – I still don’t get sleeves.

As soon as I saw this free pattern drop on the Mood Sewciety blog, I knew I had to make the dress, and I knew I was going to use this Nerida Hansen fabric. The Mal dress isn’t zero-waste, but it is minimal waste, which I would have accomplished better had I actually paid any attention to the directions. Still, less waste than other patterns, so yay!

The pattern is super-simple, even has pockets, but MAN, do I ever not understand sleeves. First off, I didn’t properly read the instructions (that comes up a lot) and didn’t cut enough sleeve pieces. Usually, you only need to cut one mirrored pair of sleeve pieces, but in this case, I had to cut TWO pairs, as each sleeve had two pieces. I only figured that out when I kept trying to fold the sleeve piece in half like one usually does to make sleeves and it wasn’t working.

And then, oh and then, I was stumped by the directions that told me to sew a gathering stitch between the notches. But there was only one notch. I looked at the pattern again to make sure I didn’t miss a notch (which, I’ve done, because I don’t follow directions). I stared and stared and stared at the sleeve, absolutely STUMPED and FRUSTRATED by the fact that there was only one fucking notch.

One goddamn notch.

I walked away, drove my daughter to ballet, and on the drive home, it FINALLY it hit me. THERE WERE IN FACT TWO NOTCHES!


And then I sewed one of the sleeves on inside out because I really apparently don’t get sleeves.

But those are “me” problems, not problems with the pattern. I also added a piece of elastic in the back at the bottom of the bodice to give it a little more shape, it worked like a charm, and then I went back and did that to ALL my dresses that I just made that don’t have any bodice darts to give the waist some shape.

I feel so floofy in this dress. In a really good way.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    Oh God you sound like me
    I’ve got the pattern downloaded sticky taped and cut out ready to go and I’m a person who also doesn’t follow instructions, I was hoping for a video step by step tutorial on You tube I’m not looking forward to having to use my brain this hard especially as a beginner sewer.
    Thanks for the heads up

    1. readywriting says:

      The hardest part really was the sleeves and I covered that part lol. If you’ve never done a gather before just look for a video tutorial for that part. Everything else was pretty straightforward. Good luck!

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