I have often heard that everyone girl needs a little black dress, but I think that needs to be changed to say that every girl needs a little black Avenue dress! This new pattern from Sew Straight & Gather can be made into a beautiful top or dress. I made my dress with short sleeves, calf length hem with a slit in the back, and with the drop back and bands. There are many options to choose from: 4 hem lengths (top, knee, calf and ankle), 3 sleeve lengths (short, 3/4 and long), and a drop back with bands or crew neck with regular back. With all these options, you can make many different garments with the pattern.
This dress is very form fitted, and fabric choice is important. I used a black cotton spandex knit with good recovery (when stretched it returns back to the original shape) from Girl Charlee. I have always been uncomfortable with my curves, especially since my hips are 10 inches bigger than my waist. This dress is the first dress that I have ever worn where I felt comfortable with my curves. I love that sewing my own clothing allows me to get a custom fit, and that helps me to feel better about how I look and feel in my clothes.
The drop back and band details are such a fun addition to the pattern. I have many ideas of how I plan to “hack” the pattern when I sew it again. There were some beautiful hacks from other testers, including bows on the bands and lace inside the drop back.
I am often asked about pattern testing and why I choose to test. There are many reasons I love testing, and really I should probably write a whole post about it, but one of the reasons I love testing is that it helps to push me out of my comfort zone. I was asked to test the calf length hem for this dress, and I would never have chosen that length on my own. Being 5’1″, I thought the calf length would not be flattering on my petite height. I was so wrong, and I love the length of this dress.
The Avenue top and dress pattern is such a beautiful pattern that I would definitely recommend! Even with all the options and details, it is not a difficult sew and the instructions are easy to follow.
Pattern: The ladies Avenue top and dress from Sew Straight & Gather
Recommendations: Use a fabric with good recovery, and embrace your curves!
Fabric: Black cotton spandex from Girl Charlee.
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