I believe one of the best things about sewing is, when you can sew a dress that is absolutely gorgeous, yet very very easy to make!
This is that make! Easy to make, gorgeous to wear!
This is the Heidi Dress by AKpatterns. I was fortunate to pattern test this pattern and it was such an enjoyable experience, everyone in the testing group was very supportive of each other!
At the time of testing, the dress was available in one length, but Athina has made the dress available in 2 different lenghts; a midi and a knee length.
The pattern has 2 views, version 1 has ruffles on the bodice along the princess seams and version 2 does not have ruffles on the bodice.
Both versions have princess seams on the bodice, an elastic in the waist, and a hook and eye closure on the back.
My Tester Version:
For my tester version, I made mine with a fabric called “Linen Look” and the fabric is composed of rayon and nylon. I purchased it from my local Fabricland. There are definitely some fabrics that are nicer to look at than to sew with, that’s for sure.
I first sewed a toile, using old bed sheets. I sewed a straight size 12.
I thought at first that the size 12 was really really good. I was almost shocked at how well it fit straight off of the pattern. The only issue I found, it was a little tight underneath the arm while I moved my arm.
For my final version, I shaved off 0.5cm from the underarm on both pieces (side front and side back bodice pieces). I was really nervous because I honestly really try to avoid making changes, especially during a test. Athina had warned me that the bias binding for my underarm may be a little short now due to my alteration. I ended up cutting my bias binding a little longer just in case and it all worked out perfectly in the end. I’m really proud of this alteration. I need to be more brave in my sewing to make these kinds of alterations for future makes.
With making the changes on a bodice with princess seams, I drew out all of the seam lines and matched the pattern pieces along the seam lines and re-drew the underarm to make sure all of the pieces were the same and that I could keep the underarm the same shape and roundness (using a curved ruler).
The only other issue, or difficulty I encountered during this pattern test, was hemming of the ruffles. WOW! I almost gave up. I had wrote to Athina – apologizing for saying I was testing the ruffle version and I had asked her if it was okay if I just made version 2 without the ruffles for my final. She said it was no problem. But….my husband was the one who convinced me not to give up.
Now, I don’t want to discourage you at all. I’m really happy that I didn’t give up, I mean, just look at my dress!
In the instructions for the pattern, Athina even states that hemming of the ruffles takes time and patience and it really does! I literally spent all of a Saturday afternoon hemming the 2 ruffles. I messed up on the first one that I had to re-cut my fabric. Hemming the ruffles on the curve, takes a lot of time, patience and a lot of pins. I had to grab more pins from the stash!
Apparently, if you have a rolled hem foot for your sewing machine, it will make the task that much easier! I even tried to do a rolled hem by hand, but that didn’t go so well. That is something I would love to practice in the future – when I’m not on a time crunch.
But, with all that being said, don’t be discouraged….I mean, I didn’t give up and I’m so glad my husband convinced me. Now, my ruffles aren’t perfect, but with practice, they will be!
Will I Make This Dress Again?
Absolutely! In fact, I’m starting to really think about sewing the patterns that really speak to me a couple more times to get better practice at fit and pattern hacking.
Once I completed the ruffles, my husband suggested I should try a version with the ruffles, but to make the ruffles a little narrower than these ones. He suggested little short ruffles that barely come off of the shoulder and I thought that was a cute idea. There is also a Burda Style dress that has lace ruffles and I think that would be gorgeous as well, a dress with coordinating lace ruffles! I just tried to find the dress on the Burda Style website, but was unsuccessful. Once I can find a picture, I will update this blog post.
One more alteration I might do for a future make, is to shorten the bodice by 0.5cm – 1cm. Maybe it’s the fabric choice, or the length of the bodice, but my final version the bodice bubbles over the elastic at the waist. Looking at the other tester versions, I don’t think that is the way it’s supposed to fit. Keep in mind that the cotton bed sheets are a little more stiffer than the rayon/nylon that I used.
I really love this make and I’m just so proud of myself for not giving up and completing the ruffles. Thank you Athina for allowing me to test your beautiful pattern!
Check out Athina’s website to see all of the tester versions! You can click here.
Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience testing the Heidi Dress from AKpatterns. The Heidi Dress is on sale for 10% off the regular price until Sunday August 9, 2020!
“We know you’d be with us today if heaven wasn’t so far away.” — Author Unknown.