The Finished Jamie Dress
I have been looking forward to making this dress since the moment I laid eyes on the pattern’s cover picture. The Jamie Dress is a pattern designed by Carla C, also known as the Scientific Seamstress, that I purchased from Sis Boom (Jenifer Paganelli). It’s a downloadable PDF pattern that contains separate pattern pieces for each size and detailed instructions to support the sewing enthusiast making the dress.
I usually prefer physical patterns to PDF but I have to say, I really didn’t mind working with this PDF pattern at all. So often I struggle with getting the markings to line up perfectly when piecing the pages together as somewhere in the middle the markings usually wind up off. (I’m sure it’s something I’m doing wrong or perhaps my printer is off.) I cut out each piece before putting them together. There really weren’t that many pieces for this dress so it was quick and easy to put the pattern together.
The skirt piece is simply a measurement based on your size and the skirt length you want. Since all sides of the skirt are straight, it was simple to cut out.
There are twenty-one pages of instructions that include additional information such as a glossary of sewing terms and plenty of photos to help illustrate each step-by-step instruction. There is also a sew-along for this dress on the Scientific Seamstress blog here.
There was only one instruction that I stumbled on and ended up having to take out the stitching and that’s when I was joining the front piece to the back. The instructions reference sewing the right side of the front piece, which meant it was my left but instead of sewing the garment’s right, I sewed it on my right, which is the garment’s left. Are you confused? I clearly was. But if I had stopped to look ahead at the pictures as to where the zipper goes, which is exactly what I did after I stitched, I would have realized the side of the garment I was sewing was exactly where the zipper goes.
I’m particularly fond of floral prints this summer. For the Jamie Dress, I chose a medium weight cotton with 3% spandex. The abstract floral print reminds me of a water-colour painting and I thought it was perfect to wear to a summer wedding. I admit to being a bit concerned the fabric would be a bit on the warm side however I wasn’t too warm in this dress at all – not even during the ceremony, which was outdoors in the warm sunshine.
If you were to ask me the one thing I like most about this dress, I couldn’t give you only one. I like everything about this dress including the pattern. I love how the dress looks and I love how easy it was to sew. For beginner sewers, it’s a great dress to get some practice with gathers and sewing in a zipper. The pattern is a great confidence booster, that’s for sure.
In total, this dress took me less than four hours to make from start to finish (and I think it was actually closer to three but I re-cut a couple of pieces, which I’ll talk about a little later). I thought I’d put the pattern together after dinner one night to prepare for a full day of sewing the following day however the pattern literally took me fifteen minutes to put together so I decided to sew the first few steps to get a head start. Well, before I knew it I had the entire top piece, including the waistband put together, which was the perfect place to stop for the night. The next morning I picked up where I left off and finished the dress less than two hours later.
So about the re-cuts. Well, I talked a bit about prints in a previous post about prints where I talked about re-cutting my back piece because I wasn’t happy with where I placed the pattern piece on the fabric when I cut it out the first time. The original piece had only one stem on it and it was upside down. The print is non-directional so the stems throughout are placed every-which-way but with only one stem, I felt it looked like I had cut the piece upside down. I knew this would bother me (do you think I’m too particular?) so I re-cut the piece and was much happier with the result. I also had an issue with where the print fell on one of the straps so I re-cut it as well.
Instead of a regular zipper, I used an invisible zipper. I did this mostly because I didn’t want it to be obvious there was a zipper there, though because this is the first time I’ve made this dress, I can’t really say how visible the regular zipper would be.
However, I must not have been in the zone when I installed the zipper because I didn’t cut the top off, which resulted in a gap at the top. Rather than take the zipper out and start over, I simply sewed a hook-and-eye in.
Well, simple is an over-statement. Would you believe that it’s been so long since I had sewed a hook-and-eye that I actually had to look it up in one of my sewing books AND watch a You-Tube video?! *sigh*
Another slight alteration I made was stitch the top edge of the front and back bodice pieces that forms the elastic band. I wanted it to lay a bit straighter than it seemed to without and it seemed to do the trick. Though to be fair, I later thought that perhaps the weight of the skirt would have done this anyway. Perhaps on my next version I’ll not bother and see how it works out!
To get the scrunched look of the waistband, the top piece of the waistband is bigger than the lining piece so when you sew the top an bottom of the layers together, you wind up with excess fabric on the top piece. The instructions say to “smash” the fabric down and then iron over top of it however I basted each side and formed gathers to help create the random pleats throughout. I found it easier to create the pleats and like the result better.
I also used Best Press on it to help set the pleats prior to stitching over top (three vertical lines of stitching help to maintain the pleats). I really wanted those pleats to stay put!
I originally cut my skirt piece as knee length but decided to shorten it slightly to just above the knees. I’m particularly fond of the skirt because it has a retro feel to it and allows for easy movement. The pattern allows for a generous 2″ and I used my machines blind hem stitch to sew it. It’s not a stitch that I use regularly but I’m really happy with the look of it for this dress. Seriously, this dress is very comfortable!
I think a waistband in a solid colour on this dress might have given it a “belt” look on the front and you know, even sewing the straps in the same solid fabric would also give it different look as well. I’m definitely going to make another Jamie Dress. I’m thinking of making a more fitted skirt instead of a full skirt next time, though. I think there are a lot possible variations one could make to this dress to give it a slightly different look.
This is the first time I’ve made a garment by Scientific Seamstress or Sis Boom and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. So much so that I’ve purchased the Meghan Peasant pattern.
So tell me, is this something you’d try to make? Have you made the Jamie Dress before or made something else from Scientific Seamstress or Sis Boom?