Dress is my favorite type of garment. I’m so glad that I was chosen to test out Sinclair’s new pattern, the violet ruched front dress and top. I have to say that it is so far my favorite knit dress pattern!
Violet from Sinclair is a knit dress or top pattern that has a high waist, and a ruched front accent. It’s fitted at the shoulders, bust and waist. The front part of the bodice is fully lined, leaving clean inside of the dress. It has several sleeve variations and you may use different skirt lengths to create a peplum top, knee, midi or maxi length dresses. A sleeveless option is also included.
The included skirt is a gathered straight skirt. But if you also buy the Valley skirts add-on pattern, this can mix-and-match with any skirt options there.
You should really check the tester photos to see if you like the look of the pattern. Here I will just point out some characteristics for you to consider.
- It’s feminine due to the fitted silhouette. It’s even more flattering if you use a different skirt option to make it fit and flare.
- The ruched front detail is good for small busted. It’s not to say it won’t fit someone with full bust, but small busted bodice looks better with such details compared with plain front.
- The high waist and the gathered skirt can hide ones belly well.
Fabric choice and the patterns
You can use any knit fabrics with good recovery. The pattern asked for 30% horizontal and 20% vertical stretch. The horizontal stretch is definitely needed to get it on and off easily. But you can do it without much vertical stretch. The black violet dress you see here in my picture was made from ITY of two-way stretch only. You need to increase the bodice length by a little bit – I used the length of the next size – and it will work.
If you use a fabric with too much vertical stretch, you will be advised by its instruction to stabilize also the vertical lines along the two front panels. In my other dress in yellow cotton Lycra, I did that.
The pattern pieces have enough notches to match. Due to different stretches in your two fabrics, the front panel and the side panels may not line up at the bottom. But it’s not a big deal. You simply trim to match them.
The skirt pieces are just squares. So you can also cut them from one piece of fabric if your fabric is wide enough. The only draw back is, you can’t install the pocket on one side. Yes, the pattern also includes pockets! Very convenient.
The construction and tips
Despite such a sophisticated look, the dress is not hard to make. With the notches it’s very easy to construct the front ruched accent. Here are some of my takeaways:
- Stretch the elastic a bit when you install it to the front ruched panel. You want some extra enforcement here or the panel may gap. This depends on your body shape, but it won’t go wrong with a little more stretch.
- Do not topstitch the side panels until the shoulder seams are done. I learnt it the hard way. I tried to topstitch my yellow dress but not the black one. You may notice the issue in my yellow dress’ neckline at the shoulder place.
- When you install the shoulders, follow the instruction to lay the pieces and stitch to one side of the front bodice. The remaining one is hard to understand. But don’t worry. Imagine where that piece should end up with, and then just follow the “right side together” rule to stitch. Once you turn it out, it will be perfect!
- When installing the waistline elastic, I didn’t measure based on the instruction. Instead I stretched and stitched until done, overlapped the elastic by an inch, and cut. This way it’s quicker. There’s no strict rule about how long the elastic should be. In fact the elastic is optional anyway. But I really enjoyed using a serger elastic foot.
- If you used one skirt piece like me, and have a hemmer pressure foot, it will be super easy to hem the skirt. You can still install a pocket for your phone.
5/5, highly recommend to everyone.
It looks good. The dress can be formal or casual depending on your fabric choice. The top version goes well with leggings and slim skirts or pants. You can make many garment out of the pattern.
Disclosure: I received the pattern for free to test it. But my review and recommendation are all my own opinions.