Last November, I was contacted by Nadja from Schnittchen. She wanted to know if I’d be interested in sewing one of their paper patterns for free. I had never tried a Schnittchen pattern before, so I was curious and went and took a look at what they had on offer. I didn’t want to try a pattern just because it was free; I wanted to try a pattern I would have bought myself. I saw a lot of things I liked, but the style of most of the patterns was still more modern than what I usually wear. The Zoe dress on the other hand seemed like something I would have bought with my own money: fit and flare silhouette, very high waist*, peter pan collar, pin tucks, cute sleeves… Need I say more?
*I’d say between high waist and Empire line.
I debated using this rose and apple print from my stash or buying a solid colour fabric that would bring out the pin tucks better, but in the end I preferred using what I had on hand. Besides, I thought the dress might look pretty cute in that print! I had originally bought it from Stragier, on the same day as this other cotton print, because at €15 a metre they seemed like bargains in contrast with what you can usually find there (to give you an idea if you don’t know Stragier, Liberty tana lawn is by far one of their least expensive fabrics! 😱).
I didn’t make a muslin, but I did try on the basted bodice before sewing it for real. The only fit modification I made was rising the darts a touch. And I have to say I’m quite impressed with the fit of the dress! The bodice, sleeves and waistband are a size 36, the skirt a size 40.
Other than the small fit modification I’ve just mentioned, another minor change I made was adding side seam pockets. FYI, I placed the top of the pockets 7 cm below the bottom of the waistband.
I also added two decorative buttons at the neckline: I couldn’t find any markings for the placement of the collar, so I looked at the close-up pictures on the Schnittchen website and tried to keep the same distance between the two front ends of my collar as in that picture, but mine seem to have ended up a bit too far from each other and because of that the area looked strangely empty. Hence, two red buttons (from my stash – no idea where they came from, but if I had to guess I’d say my mother reclaimed them from an old garment) to fill that space. I think it’s one of those happy accidents because I love those buttons on the dress! Monsieur is less enthused: he doesn’t understand the need for buttons where there’s no opening. I myself have no problem with purely decorative buttons, as you may have gathered by now if you’ve been reading this blog for a while.
My last tiny deviation from the pattern concerns the zipper, which I chose to hand-pick. I could tell you that I wanted to get all couture or something, but I favour honesty over glamour so I must confess that I opted for the method that allowed me to sew from my couch! 😀 I also appreciate the control hand-picking a zipper gives you in comparison to inserting it by machine.
I haven’t found a lot of pictures of the Zoe dress on the net, and I actually haven’t found any apart from the technical drawing that showed its short-sleeved version (not even on the Schnittchen website), which is the version I chose to make. So I was bummed when I first tried on the dress with the sleeves, because I was expecting something else, something more like the sleeves of these two dresses, with gathers on top. I also found the Zoe sleeves aesthetically too long. But they were very comfortable, and I thought, why not try wearing the dress for a day first and then see whether I’m disappointed just because I was expecting something else or because I really don’t like the sleeves and should maybe shorten them? I’ve been wearing the dress a lot already, especially considering I finished it two weeks ago, and I can’t even see what the problem was anymore! As a matter of fact, the dress literally hasn’t seen the inside of my wardrobe yet!
The tucks and the collar are really cute! Not sure why I have not tried any of the Schnittchen patterns yet, but maybe your pretty dress will enourage me to finally to take a leap 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
If you find something you like (and I’m sure you will as they have so many lovely patterns!), go for it! I was impressed with the quality of the drafting!
Je reconnais bien ton style ! cette robe te va très bien !
(pour moi, j’aurais fait un décolleté plus grand 😉 )
Merci beaucoup! 🙂
Pfffff, non mais quelle dévergondée de vouloir un décolleté plus grand! 😉 Je suis une fille bien, moi Madame, et ne jure donc que par les encolures bien hautes! 😀
This is a pattern really made for you! I love the details and especially the longer sleeves. I think they balance out the high waistline quite well .
Thank you so much! 🙂
Now that I’ve been wearing the dress I really like the sleeves, too!
I’m working on my muslin for the Zoe Dress, and I have yet to find any other images of this dress other than yours and the ones on the website (for the product and in the sewalong). Thank you for sharing your experience! I only got German instructions in my PDF (and no illustrations!) so it’s lucky I managed to find the sewalong.
Did you find it odd that the back bodice slopes upward toward the centre back? Hopefully soon I’ll be done mine so more people will be able to see what the dress looks like!
Ha, I remember not being able to find any pictures of the dress other than the company’s, so I’m glad mine can now be useful! 🙂
I didn’t find anything odd drafting wise, though when I look at the back picture of me wearing the dress with what you wrote in mind, I can see what you are talking about! But I personally often have to take out a wedge of fabric at that exact same place to compensate for my short back or swayback (not sure which one, all I know is otherwise I get wrinkles there), and this particular dress fits me pretty well without having had to change anything except the bust dart placement.
Looking forward to seeing your version, which, judging from the rest of your sewing projects, is going to look awesome!
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