The Calypso Top and Dress

A Review of The Calypso Top and Dress PDF Pattern by 5oo4 Patterns.

calypso dress 5 out of 4 patterns

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I was very excited to be chosen to be a tester for The Calypso Top and Dress by 5 out of 4 Patterns. Its an easy-to-wear dress or top with three sleeve length options. The designers describe it as:

... a trendy fall staple. Whether you’re getting dressed for a night out or hanging out at your kids’ activities, Calypso is the pattern for you! The Women’s Calypso Top and Dress pattern includes the following: short, 3/4, or long sleeves with a cute bow detail.

I decided to make a Calypso Dress with short sleeves as its still warm here in sunny Cyprus. I chose a cheery pink jersey stretch from Loris Textiles which is super soft and nice to work with.


There are instructions on how to adjust the pattern for your size and I ended up making the top tier in a large and the middle and bottom tier in a medium. I also opted to take out 1/2" from the length of the top tier so that it fell in a more flattering position.

Initially the testers were asked to sew clear elastic within the horizontal seams and shoulders for stability but we found that the garment gathered and hung better without. I did stabilise the shoulder seams still though.


The gathers on the Calypso Dress are a nice effect but I did find this a rather tedious activity - especially as you have to do 6 rows. I know that some people are able to do this in one step on their sewing machine or serger but I haven't had any success. I had to gather each seam and then space it out and arrange it evenly over the next seam before pinning and basting. Only once I was happy with the look of the gathers would I finish the seam with my serger. I then pressed each seam up and top stitched with a zig zag.


I have to admit that I didn't read the instructions for the Calypso Dress neck band insertion and happily went ahead and inserted it the way I usually do. I sewed the short ends of the neckband together and then folded it long ways right sides together. I then sewed this band to the neckline and finished with my serger before top stitching. I felt that this gave a very neat finish.

calypso dress 5 out of 4 patterns

The method that the Calypso Dress designer would like you to use is to sew the short ends of the neckband together and then sew the band to the neckline, fold the band over to encase the neckline and then sew it down. This leaves you with a raw edge on the inside which you can trim with scissors. I did question why this method was preferred and was told that it gives a less bulky finish. I decided to try this method on the sleeve band and it did give a tidy enough finish but I was nervous to clip around the edge with scissors as it would be so easy to put a hole through a main bit of fabric.


The Calypso Dress sleeves have an interesting little tie detail which I haven't done before but I wasn't really happy with the finish - I felt they looked a little bulky.

The finished Calypso Dress is super comfy and casual and I've found its something that I like to wear around the house like secret pyjamas! I can imagine an Autumnal version with long sleeves and potentially the bottom two tiers could be in a woven. This would be nice worn with tights and boots.


Final Thoughts: A comfy little dress but not sure its flattering on me.

Geordiehandbag's Sewing Adventures

Welcome to my Sewing Blog! 

My name is Joanne and I love to sew. Here I'll be sharing my hand-made makes and giving my honest opinion on pdf patterns and how easy they are to understand and construct.

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