One of my favorite things to do in the sewing community is pattern testing. I love getting to be a part of the process that makes a new pattern its best possible self. Plus, I like grammar, so hit me up for all your copy editing needs, y’all. I was so excited when Gabriela from Chalk & Notch popped up in my inbox telling me my application to be a pattern tester for the Fringe Dress was approved. It was an amazing and eye-opening process, and I’m thrilled to share the Fringe Dress with you today!
The Fringe Dress
Cutting the Fringe Dress
I made a size six in the Fringe for my test run. Gabriela runs her tests in phases, and you can see the feedback from the testers in the phase before you. Based off the feedback from earlier testers, I was concerned that a size six might be tight, even though it fit my measurements. I made a muslin of the top, and went ahead and made the six after that. It was still a bit tight, but since I tested, Gabriela has added ease to the back and the waist of the dress. I haven’t made a Fringe from the updated pattern yet, but I’m confident the changes will make the size six my perfect size!
I also added three inches to the skirt hem for #sewingtall friends. None of my height is in my torso, it’s all limbs. The Fringe Dress has markings to extend in both the bodice and the skirt, though! The three inches put the skirt at the top/middle of my kneecap, which is the perfect work length for me. Something to keep in mind is that the curved hem will expose extra thigh, which always seems more dramatic on us tall people.
The Fringe Dress is best suited for lightweight fabrics with lots of drape. I made my tester version from a rayon from JoAnn. I loved the feel of the rayon, but I think that it was a little too drapey for the pattern — I kind of lost the neat notch at the neckline. Additionally, I don’t think that the fabric is the most flattering on me. It’s super busy and the stripes aren’t super great on me. I can tell that I love this dress, though! I can’t wait to make some in simpler prints or in solid colors!
The Fringe Dress also has an awesome PDF element to it. You can click on the navigation and be taken to the page that starts that section! Maybe other people do this, but I’d never seen it before and I think it’s so cool. It’s also a layered pattern, so you can print out just your size. I didn’t see the point in this until I printed my layer for this dress, and it is life changing.
Sewing the Fringe Dress
The Fringe Dress has so many gorgeous details. Facings! Ties! A curved hem on the skirt! Cuffs! But here’s the thing: it’s a deceptively simple and easy sew. Like, I got to hemming it, and I was like “wait, how am I already here?! Did I skip something?” I hadn’t, it’s just that simple.
The darts in both the front and back of the bodice make the Fringe beautifully fitted. You can add ties into the front or back darts, too! Initially, the ties were just in the back, but one smart tester added hers in the front, and it’s so lovely. I think my future Fringes will have a mix.
Besides adding length in the skirt, the only other change I made when testing was to not topstitch the sewing. I didn’t think I’d be able to handle topstitching that busy fabric! But it really does make a difference, you guys. My facing keeps popping up, so I’m definitely going to end up stitching it down.
My favorite part of the Fringe dress is a three-way tie. Those ties in the front darts? Perfection! I’m obsessed with kimono/dolman sleeves with cuffs right now, so I love that the Fringe has those. And the curved hem is just too cute and looks so nice when the waist is gathered.
Also, the Fringe Dress has pockets for daaaaaaaayyyyyyyyysssssssss. Sometimes on my Instagram stories I measure pocket sizes in K Cup capacity: the Fringe is at a solid 14 K Cups per pockets. Guys, that’s so much coffee. You might think you’ve mistakenly put on a pair of men’s pants with all that pocket space!
I definitely see the Fringe being a staple in my work wardrobe. It’s easy to wear, and versatile! It would look great in my business casual office or at a bar for happy hour with friends after work. Dress it down with sandals for a day at the park, or up with a statement necklace and booties for a night out! I can’t wait to make some more for myself, including a couple of the blouse version. It’s just an awesome pattern, you guys!
Yardage needed: minimally 1.75 yards for the dress
Time: approximately 3 hours
General modifications: none
#SewingTall modifications: Add three inches to the skirt