The Lively Top and Dress, George + Ginger Patterns

A Review of The Lively Top and Dress Pdf Pattern by George + Ginger Patterns.

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Lively Top Dress Pdf Pattern Review George and Ginger

I've overlooked The Lively Top and Dress previously, I think because of the extra gathering around the shoulders and back yoke but I really like the huge bell sleeves! I looked through all the tester photographs and it looked like some were made without this gathering. I investigated the pdf pattern and the bodice is lined so I wondered if I could just use the lining pieces for the bodice.

The Lively Dress is a gorgeously dramatic design! With top and dress options, multiple sleeve styles and a unique ruched bodice, this one is a show-stopper! Mix up fabric prints or create with a solid colour for a sleek and trendy flair.

Source: George + Ginger Patterns

Suggested fabric for The Lively Top and Dress is any knit fabric, including rayon spandex, ITY and brushed polyester, with at least 50% stretch. I used some soft touch ITY purchased from which was lovely to work with. I chose to make the sleeves with stretch net / mesh purchased from The Lively Top and Dress is available in sizes Tween - 5X which is a full bust range of 28.5" - 55.5". The pdf is layered and comes in sizes A4, US Letter, A0 and Projector versions.

Lively Top Dress Pdf Pattern Review George and Ginger

The Lively Top and Dress is drafted for a height of 5'6" so, as instructed, I took 1/2" out of the bodice length. The instructions on how to do this are clearly explained. I didn't want the gathered bodice so cut two Front Lining pieces and two Back Lining pieces. I also chose not to print out the skirt pieces - I have many George + Ginger patterns so knew I would be able to use a skirt pattern that I'd already printed and glued together. Fortunately, the instructions include a print guide so it's easy to determine which pages you want to print if you're saving paper and only want to print certain pattern pieces.

Construction of The Lively Top and Dress is very straightforward and well explained. The neckline is under stitched so it lays nicely and the bodice is lined. This gives a neat finish around the neckline but also adds more support to the bodice area. I just used the same fabric for the outer and lining but you could use power mesh for your lining for even more support.

Lively Top Dress Pdf Pattern Review George and Ginger

Sewing with the 'net' was fiddly as the holes easily got caught in the sewing machine foot. I basted all the seams before serging and they seem pretty secure. I chose not to hem the sleeves though - I didn't think there would be any benefit as this fabric doesn't fray and a hem may look bulky. After looking at my photos for this blog I think the sleeves are too long; I can probably crop another 4" off them.

Lively Top Dress Pdf Pattern Review George and Ginger

I chose to use the Skirt Pattern Piece from The Lounge Gown which is a FREE pdf pattern by George + Ginger. This isn't a full circle skirt but still has a lovely drape to it without a gathered waist. It sewed to The Lively Bodice really nicely and I'm pleased with the finished look.

I'm happy with my Lively Dress and I'm already planning a second version. I think that I'll use the lining as the main bodice again but this time make a sleeveless version. I'll be able to use the Burrito method so that it's fully lined and the armholes and neckline will have a really neat finish. I think I'll use the Lounge Gown Skirt pattern piece again as I think this is such a flattering cut with a fitted bodice.

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.