The March Dress, Helen's Closet

How does using different fabric change the look and feel of a pattern?

I felt that I needed a mid-season dress - I've recently made the Tempo Sundress and my Sleeveless Dress but the weather has turned a little cooler. My favourite easy-to-wear dress is the Myositis Dress but I already have five!

SewHouse7 have recently released The Romey Gathered Dress which I really like the look of.

With its flowy and oversized fit, we would classify the Romey Gathered Dress and Top as "secret pyjamas" that can be worn casually with sneakers, sandals or boots. Sew one up in a slinkier fabric for a more polished look!

Source: SewHouse7

Looking at the pictures of The Romey it did look a little familiar. I realised that it's similar to The March Dress by Helen's Closet. I made a March Dress (see my REVIEW here) in April this year using a sturdy linen fabric. I didn't have quite enough fabric required by the pattern so my March Dress has sleeves with less volume and is shorter in length. I have washed this dress a few times but the linen is still quite stiff so this dress isn't as wearable as I'd hoped.

March Top Dress Pdf Pattern Review Helen's Closet
My Linen March Dress.

I had some viscose drapey fabric which I'd picked up from a remnants table in a fabric store in Cyprus. It's lovely to handle and doesn't crease. This fabric has been in my stash for a while because I really like it - I sometimes find it hard to cut into fabric that I am really fond of! I thought, however, that this could work really well for a lightweight version of The March Dress and that hopefully I would have a more wearable garment.

The March Dress is fabric hungry! You will need about 3.5 metres if you follow the pattern. To get my dress out of only 2.5 metres I made my short sleeves less voluminous and cut the skirt out of two widths of fabric - this means that the skirt is less gathered but I'm fine with that. My previous March Dress was made with a necktie but this time I chose to make one without. I also had to cut the pockets using different fabric - they are very big and need plenty of fabric.

I've made a few Helen's Closet patterns and they've all been very well presented; easy to understand instructions with very clear diagrams. The March Dress is no exception and I enjoyed the construction process. The front and back bodice has an interfaced panel - I made this in a contrast fabric with my first March Dress but this time chose not to. The panel does add a bit of structure to the bodice which I like especially with this fabric being so lightweight.

I'm really happy with my finished March Dress, I made this one a little longer than my previous and it is much more wearable. It's such an easy dress to wear and can be quite casual or dressed up. The design is very loose fitting though - it's quite wide - and I'm not sure how flattering that necessarily is. Comfort wins over for me though!!

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.