Pattern of the Summer | Quincy Dress

I have a VERY exciting blog post coming up for you!  In fact, I’m always excited to share a blog post with you all, but this one has triple the excitement factor!

I’m titling this blog post as my “Pattern of the Summer” because I’m finding that throughout my sewing journey there is always 1 pattern in the summer that I simply can not get enough of!  Last year was the summer of jumpsuits – I think I made a total of 5 jumpsuits (4 linen and 1 knit).  Now this summer, is my summer of DRESSES…. but not just any kind of dress.  A dress with a drawstring waist or an elasticated waist – which I have both coming right up.  Which pattern have I given the title of my Patter of the Summer…….The Quincy Dress by Jennifer Lauren Handmade!!

Now, you’ve already seen a sneak peek at the first Quincy Dress that I made in June for #sewmystyle and the Minerva Crafts blog (by the way, it is still a sneak peek as it is not posted on the Minerva Crafts blog just yet).  Let me remind you of that sneak peek:


This was love at first sight, made with a viscose fabric.  I instantly fell in love with the comfort of this dress, the fabric choice, the silhouette and the construction process.  You are probably saying “why the construction process?!” –  Jen designed the back yolk of this dress to be fully enclosed without seeing any seams, raw edges or serged edges.  It is beautifully manipulated for a beautiful finish on the inside.  You are probably still wondering “why though?!” – I’ll be honest, when I first heard of this enclosed yolk and briefly looked at the instructions I thought it was going to be difficult, I had thought “oh man, I don’t like this.”  to my surprise – it is actually very easy (I’ve made this dress 3 times, I can probably do it with my eyes closed now) everything simply just falls right into place.   Jen has also included a short video clip on YouTube showing the process of enclosing the shoulder seams of the yolk.  The video is so clear and precise, it was a breeze to follow.  Click here to see that short but fantastic tutorial.


Before we go any further – lets first chat about the pattern itself, The Quincy Dress Pattern by Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  The Quincy Dress Pattern is a digital PDF pattern that comes in sizes 6 – 24 with cup sizes A to D.  The PDF also includes the layers function, so you only need to print the size that you need.  .  The dress features a drawstring waist, enclosed yolk, a paneled skirt with pockets and 2 sleeve options.  The pattern calls for light weight woven fabrics with some drape such as: rayon, cotton lawn, chambray, linen, poplin and voile.

This was my first time sewing a pattern with cup sizes and I absolutely loved the fit I was able to achieve.  Usually, I need to a SBA on most patterns, but with the A cup size, there was no need to do a SBA.  I sewed a straight size 12 A cup.  My measurements are: Bust 36, Waist 30 and Hips 38.

I love this pattern so much, that I decided to make 2 more.  I have come a long way in my sewing that I wanted to try something different – something I haven’t been brave enough to try, until now.  I tried my hand at pattern hacking and I must say that I was rather successful!


For the first hack, my friend Michele from WinMichele actually did a petal sleeve hack for a Love Notions top.  I used her tutorial and hacked the Quincy Dress Sleeve to achieve a similar look.  You can read about the hack that Michele did here.  I added pink bias tape to the edge of my petal sleeve to give a more defined look.  Combined with the petal sleeve hack, I also did an elastic in the waist instead of a drawstring – I personally like the comfort of a elastic waist over a drawstring waist.  The only major difference is: with the drawstring waist, you have the option to wear the dress fitted or loose.  With the elastic waist, however you placed the elastic in, is where it stays.  For my dresses, I like to accentuate my waist line for a fitted look.


This look was made with a 100% viscose fabric from my local Fabricland – shhh it was on clearance and it was marked down even further when I went to get the fabric cut.  I wanted 2 meters, but they only had 1.7 meters.  In order make this work, I had to shorten the dress by 2 inches, and I had to use scrap fabric from my previous version on the inside of the yolk.  When wearing the dress, you can not see in the inside yolk, so this worked out perfectly.  This watermelon dress will also be my entry for Sewing Patterns and Prints Sewing Juicy July – a sewing challenge on Instagram.

For my second hack, I went with the elastic in the waist again, but this time for the sleeves I tried a flutter sleeve.  There are many tutorials out there for a flutter sleeve, I researched and decided which route to take to tackle my flutter sleeve hack.  I have a video on my YouTube channel showing the steps I took to manipulate the pattern for the flutter sleeve hack.  You can check that video out here.


For this dress, I used a fabric from the clearance section at my local Fabricland, it was labelled at 100% rayon.  It feels like a rayon/gauze type of fabric.  It has a crinkle texture and stretches a little, I could have gone down a size with this fabric.  It was a little tricky to sew with actually.  The pattern has the option to top-stitch around the neckline, pockets and the back yolk.  I first attempted to top-stitch along the back yolk, but it just wasn’t working out nicely.  After going a couple steps further, it was then that I decided to take the top-stitching out.  Boy, was it ever a pain to get out, the fabric has a loose weave making it easy to get a snag.  Now that the dress is finished, I absolutely love it, I’m really happy that I took the time to take that top-stitching out.  Even though the fabric was a pain to sew with, the comfort level of this dress is up there!


Wow!  Can you feel my love for the Quincy Dress?!  I find this dress very versatile.  The dress is fabulous as is, but it also has the ability to be hacked, as shown above with the different kinds of sleeves and the elastic in the waist.  I’m also envisioning a Quincy with a ruffled hem and a sleeveless version.  In fact, one of the ladies in the Sew My Style group made a sleeveless Quincy.  After all of this, I’m wondering why I haven’t made a linen Quincy yet?!

Now, for the best part!  I reached out to Jen telling her about my love for the Quincy and the couple of hacks I was trying to do and she has graciously allowed me to giveaway 1 PDF copy of the Quincy Dress to one lucky person!

To Enter:

  1. Make sure you are following my blog.
  2. Comment with either: What kind of fabric you would use to make a Quincy, or which hack would you do to your Quincy.
  3. For more entries and chances to win head to my Instagram (@sewnotes) and my YouTube channel on this video here – I will be collecting all entries into an Excel sheet and using a random number generator to select a winner.

** Giveaway is open from Thursday July 25, to Sunday July 28 11pm EST – Winner will be announced Monday July 29.

** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED **  Thank you for your participation!


“Dad, if only you could see the things I’m sewing now.” — Me

Zoe Top & Dress | Sinclair Patterns Test

A while back, Sinclair Patterns announced the retirement of the Zoe Top Pattern.  I was rather disappointed because it was my favorite basic t-shirt pattern.  I’ve made it 3 or 4 times.  Pictured below are 2 of the ones I’ve made and that get worn alot!


Just this last week, Oxana announced that she needed testers for her updated Zoe Top & Dress pattern.  I jumped right at the chance to test out new updated Zoe Pattern.  I mean, the top was my absolute favorite, and now a dress?!  This summer has been my summer of dresses with an elastic or a drawstring at the waist, it’s just my favorite thing at the moment!


I was extremely happy to find out that I had been accepted as a tester for the new and improved Zoe Top & Dress Pattern, and of course I just had to test the Zoe in a dress version!


The Pattern:

The Zoe Top & Dress pattern is a dolman style – meaning that the sleeves and bodice are cut as 1 piece.  Which also translates to an easy sew when you do not need to attach the sleeves.  You can make a top or a dress and both can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your fabric choice and the way you accessorize it.  For my first version, I chose to accessorize my Zoe with a couple of handmade bracelets (by me) and a pair of nude heels.

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The pattern features rolled cuffs at the sleeves (both top & dress), a drawstring waist (both top & dress) and inseam pockets (dress version).  You can easily leave out the drawstring at the waist for the top version as well.  I personally prefer the Zoe Top without the drawstring waist, but I absolutely love my Zoe Dress with the drawstring waist.

It is a PDF pattern that comes in sizes US 0 to US 22 (UK 6-26) with the layers feature as well.  This allows you to print only the sizes that you need.  Oxana also includes instructions on how to grade between sizes.  The instructions and photos are very clear making this a fast and easy sew.  You can easily sew one up in an afternoon and wear it that evening!


The pattern calls for knit fabrics such as: Interlock, Cotton Lycra/Spandex/
Elastane, Double and Single Brushed Polyester, all types of jersey fabric, Liverpool and French Terry.

For my first version, I used a Liverpool knit that I’ve been holding onto for a year waiting for the perfect pattern.  I’m really pleased with the way my Zoe Dress turned out.  Just a reminder – Liverpool knit is a little on the thicker side, so I would recommend using Liverpool for a Spring or a Fall top or dress.  It was pretty warm outside the day I took my photos.  This will definitely be my go-to dress for Spring for sure.

The construction of the dress is very easy, in my opinion.  The only part that I can see being a little difficult is folding down the casing to the wrong side and top-stitching.  I’d suggest taking this step slow and use your seam gauge to make sure that the casing fold is even throughout the dress

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Since sewing my floral version, Oxana made some slight changes to the final pattern.  Some of the changes are: she scooped the neckline a little bit, took the hips in a little more and raised the casing.

The pattern is on sale for $7.99 until July 21st with no code needed, be sure to grab your copy!  This is such a fantastic pattern and great for beginners!  I hope that you enjoy sewing and wearing your Zoe as much as I do!

“Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved.  Where there is deep grief, there was great love.” — Author Unknown


PS:  This is a sneak peek at a little hack that I did.  I put elastic in the waist instead of a drawstring!


B6661 | Fabricville

This is a new type of project and collaboration for me!  I had the opportunity to work with Fabricville for their summer newsletter!  The theme was Summer Dresses!  Here’s a peek at what I made!  You can read all about my dress along with other summer dresses and inspiration here.



* Disclaimer:  The fabric was given to me as a gift in exchange for review.  All opinions are honest and I was not told what to say or obligated in any way. All other supplies were purchased by me for this project. 

I miss you. A little too much, a little too often and a little more every day.” — Author Unknown.