Recently I was privileged to have the opportunity to test the latest Jennifer Lauren Vintage Felicity dress. I love the aesthetic of JLV, the nod to vintage designs with great details but very wearable and not at all costume-y.
The Felicity dress is no exception, it has no bodice darts, instead it has lovely gathering that sits above the bust and I think at a flattering level, rather than right on the bust (which just adds unnecessary bulk). Jennifer drafts for a D cup and so has really given the design a lot of thought for the more busty of us!
The neck and armholes are finished with bias binding which I love as it creates a tidy finish inside and out. I chose to make my own as I wanted the matchy look – I used my cheat method of a metal ruler with my rotary cutter. My ruler is the exact width of bias strips so this is a super fast way to do it as I only cut what I need and seldom require a join.
It does have small back neck darts though which you hardly ever see on modern patterns these days. I find these really help the fit of the back and prevent any gaping around the back zipper. Speaking of the zipper, I did have some issues with mine. My fabric seems to want to stretch a little and it was almost like the zip is too heavy for the fabric and so it wanted to stick out all horribly. I fixed this by taking the back in a little and lengthening the back darts to take out the excess fabric. FYI – my muslin I did first in a cotton did not have this issue at all, so I 100% blame my fabric, which still feels amazing so I am not bearing a grudge!
I made the dress in a very light, floral, floaty rayon (bought at Darn Cheap Fabrics in Melbourne last year) and whilst it is a bit creasy, it is amazing to wear.
Whilst this is a PDF and I know not everyone is keen on these, JLV really thinks through the process and has the pattern laid out so you print the bare minimum of pages for your view option. There is no layering of the pieces, so tracing is not required. It was a million times better organized than my recent Tessuti debacle.
I chose the three quarter skirt option instead of the gathered option. Perhaps not the easiest option with my fabric as it dropped a lot at the sides and despite hanging it for several days before hemming, still doesn’t look perfect. It is straight, but depending on how I stand, really affects how it looks. I hemmed with the narrowest rolled hem that I could.
The JLV instructions are very clear and well illustrated and to further support this, a sewalong starts tomorrow! I am definitely making another Felicity dress, in fact my fabric is pre-washed and ready to go!
Disclaimer – I was given this pattern to test. Jennifer asked that I blog the dress if I wanted to and to offer my real opinion. Those that know me, know that I’m not one for mincing words or sugar coating things. If I like something, I say so, if I don’t I’m not one for keeping quiet either 🙂