Free Pattern Review: Rowan Dress from Mood Fabrics

TL; DR – Polyester lining is a pain, the tools you use matter, fun fabrics are fun.

Ever since I saw the Rowan Dress on Mood Fabrics, I knew I had to make it. And because of my ADHD, I have trouble seeing a dress in any other form than the one presented to me when I first see it. Which meant, I needed a busy pattern for the main dress and a solid color for the stripes. And when I found this fabric at Mood, well, I knew I had found my fabric for my Rowan Dress.

This was going to be my second time trying to using lining (first time was a disaster) and my second attempt at doing a hidden zipper (first time was a total fail). Thankfully, this patterns came with separate pattern pieces for the main dress and the lining, so I didn’t have to worry about keeping track of different cut lines for the main dress and the lining. And then I spent way too much money on a hidden zipper foot that is specifically for my machine, which made all the difference and now I can expertly sew a hidden zipper.

I have been terrible at sharing which sized pattern I’ve used when I sew. And that’s because by the time I write these reviews, I have put the pattern away and completely forgot which size I cut and sewed. This is my first fitted, non-knit/stretch sewing project with Mood and their complete lack of finished garment sizes. I either sewed a size 18 or 20, and I took out the back darts because the dress was a little too tight around the waist, which if you look at their sizing, I kinda expected. Because I could play with the darts, I didn’t think I needed to grade out the waist, and besides, I would have no idea which size to grade it out to. Although, the holes from the stitches for the dart are still visible, but thankfully, it’s in the back and once I wash it again, maybe they’ll heal themselves?

The instructions aren’t entirely clear, but I’m starting to get the hang of figuring out what needs to be done based on the finished garment and other pictures provided. There must have been a better way to attach the lining than just at the neck and then trying to stitch it together at the armhole by folding the two fabrics in towards each other and hoping the lining wouldn’t slip.

Oh god, the lining. I used a good, old-fashioned, cheap nylon lining, the kind that is shiny and slippery and unravels if you look at it from an angle. I know that you don’t have to use that kind of fabric for the lining, but I was at a loss as to what else to use instead. So, I fought and fought and fought with those armholes. And there are still parts that slipped out. But, as long as it doesn’t fray, it’ll be ok. The hem was much easier and straightforward, and while everything isn’t neatly hidden away, I did finish the edge of the fabrics with a zig-zag stitch, which still looks pretty nice to my eyes. As I write this, the dress isn’t 100% finished, as I still have to hand-stitch the lining to the hidden zipper on the inside, but it’s not so important as to not be able to wear it.

Over-all this was a fun and relatively easy dress to put together. It did challenge me with the lining and hidden zipper, but I had some experience (even if those experiences were failures), so of course it was easier and I knew more about what I was doing and why.

But mostly, I’m just really happy with how this dress turned out. I look so cute in it! Flippy and fun! Happy summer dress!

And isn’t that the best part?

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