Officially: I love this dress!
This is the Davenport Dress by Friday Pattern Company. It is not a new pattern but one that was somehow lost to my knowledge until this last summer. When I unearthed it under someone else’s layers of blog posts, I really liked it. And then the more iterations I saw, the more I wanted to make my own.
I also had in my possession what I thought would make a fabulous fabric for the dress: a length of Liberty London Poplin. I have, in the past, been guilty of buying fabric in too short of lengths to turn into dresses, and I was worried that was the case here, but, no, this time I did buy 3 yards which was enough for my size! Hallelujah!
I would say Liberty London fabric is quite famous in the sewing community, mostly for their gorgeous ditsy florals and cotton lawn. However, it comes at a steep price, typically around 30 dollars per yard. And maybe $30 is no big thing but then if you need 3 yards of fabric? You’re looking at almost $100 and that’s a bit out of my preferred price range for sewing projects currently. But, about a year ago, fabric.com was having a 50% off sale with a small selection of Liberty London fabrics included. They had this emerald diamond fabric-it’s a poplin-and I really liked it so I decided to snag some and see if the fabric is worth the hype (and the cost). I spent 15 dollars per yard, so 45 total. Not exactly highway robbery, but much more palatable.
I compared my length of Liberty to another poplin I have and I have got to say the the Liberty poplin felt more lightweight and had a much silkier hand. It behaved very well through the sewing process, pressed well and wasn’t bulky. All in all, a lovely fabric. Thirty dollars for a yard of fabric still seems like a lot, not because of the fabric, but because of me. So I’ll stick to buying it on sale for now. Although fabric.com is no longer, so if anyone knows where to get Liberty London fabric for a cool 50% off, please let me know.
Some sewing projects are enjoyable because I can put myself more or less on auto pilot and get it done in a couple hours. And some some sewing projects are enjoyable because I don’t know how I’m going to get from step one to a finished garment but I’m excited for the journey. This dress was the latter. While no step was new new, all the factors combined created something I’d never made before. I had to stay on my toes, pay attention and follow instructions.
Speaking of instructions, these seemed to worded a little bit differently. And I can’t even quite explain what I mean other than to say that the writing sounded to be written by someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time reading patterns. Which I in no way mean to imply that the instructions were poor or inadequate; they were perfectly fine! Just worded a bit differently.
The steps went smoothly and I can’t recall having any hang ups during the sewing process.
My only complaint with my end product is that neck puckers a little bit and this is my fault. I have a deep seated hatred of anything that rides too close to my neck. The thought of wearing turtlenecks and chokers makes me shudder. So when I cut the elastic for my neck piece, I erred on the side of bigger-only by half an inch or less-but it was enough to make the whole thing pucker just a bit. And, sadly, when I got to the point of trying on where I noticed this was an issue, that particular seam was nicely tucked in and surrounded by other seams in a way that made me not want to mess with it at all, so I just left it as is. Next time I’ll cut my elastic more accurately.
I did make two alterations to the pattern. First, I shortened the sleeve by 1.5 inches. I don’t think this was at all necessary but also it’s fine. The other change I made was to cut the shoulder ruffle on the fold. I did this for two reasons: 1. to eliminate the need to hem, and 2. to not have the underside of the fabric flashing everyone. My fabric was pretty thin so this didn’t create a huge amount of bulk or anything.
Another thing that contributed to the success of this sewing project is that I turned it into a buddy sew!!
A couple years ago my mom, sister and I all sewed up the same quilt pattern and it was really fun to be working on the same project, though living hundreds of miles apart. So I invited them to join me on the Davenport dress and they were both down to give it a try! I think everyone’s turned out really cute! It was fun to get progress updates, compare notes and see the finished products. Maybe some day we’ll be able to have some buddy sew sessions in the same room, but I’ll take this for now! Heather, I think it’s your turn to choose our next project 😉
My mom and I even got to wear ours together when she visited for Thanksgiving.
Anyway, all in all this was an awesome dress to sew and I really love how it turned out. The dress does not have multiple views, but as I was sewing it, I thought of about a dozen ways this could be hacked to make something a little bit different. It’s easily adaptable and universally flattering. The Liberty fabric is lovely and I was happy to step into the realm of green, a color scheme that I like very much but don’t have much of in my wardrobe. I’m very happy with how it all turned out.
Pattern: the Davenport dress by Friday Pattern Company
Alterations: shortened sleeve by 1.5 inches; cut shoulder ruffle on fold
Fabric: Liberty London Poplin in Diamond Dancer Green (can’t find a link to this at all. I bought it at fabric.com which is no longer in business).
Cost: fabric $45; pattern $16
Would I make this pattern again?: Definitely!