I was so very excited when Jenny asked if I wanted to test her newest pattern, the Upton dress! The pattern is available today so I’m excited to share my first version with you. Yes, I said first version, there’s another almost ready to share!
I was smart and used a voile that costs me $3.98 per yard to make the lining and that acted as my muslin. However, I didn’t finish my muslin/lining until 4 days before my feedback was due. In theory this shouldn’t be a problem, but I hadn’t cut out my Cotton + Steel rayon yet and turns out, wait for it… I didn’t have enough.
I had purchased 2 meters from MissMatatabi in November and I had enough for all but one piece. I should mention that the pattern calls for 3 7/8 yards of 45 inch wide fabric for the view I made so this was all my error. So I ordered another yard, paid extra for rush shipping and it was delayed by Storm Jonas back in January. With my feedback due on Saturday I waited as long as I could and finally cut a different rayon from my stash for the last piece so I could at least baste everything together to give accurate feedback. I didn’t fully attach the lining or bind the armholes because I knew I’d have to take it apart when the rest of my frock arrived.
Like my Appleton dress I used a size 14 E/F for the bodice and graded out to a 16 starting at the lengthen/shorten line as I needed more space at the waist. The dress has two unique bodices and two twirly skirts. I chose the v neck bodice with the paneled circle-ish skirt. It’s not officially a circle skirt, but it was very similar in twirl-ability if you ask me. Both skirt options include pockets, added bonus? The pockets are big enough to fit a mini bottle of wine!
I thought the waistband was going to be up too high, but it actually hit my natural waist perfectly. I only had to make one fitting change. I increased the seam allowance of the shoulder seams to be about an inch. They were just a little too loose on me.
This pattern is rated as advanced beginner and I find that to be accurate. Nothing was too difficult, but there were some steps like inserting the lining and trimming 1/16th of an inch that could be alarming to a beginner.
The only issues I found when testing the pattern were minimal. Add a grainline marking here, should a notch be there?, add a fold mark in this spot, etc. Jenny has since sent me a final copy of the pattern and all of my little notes were acted on. The biggest change from testing to finished product was that Jenny removed the full lining from the instructions. I have never fully lined a dress before so I actually found this step fun and educational. Plus, using my cheap voile for lining helped me get the fit right before cutting into my precious rayon.
Here’s another picture of me in the dress with my nephew when he was 4 days old (He’s 3.5 months now)! I was wearing my Upton dress with an Astoria cropped sweater.
I opted to make a second version when I received my printed copy of the pattern and I’ll be sharing that in the next few days!
Love my version? Get your own Upton pattern in the Cashmerette shop here!