Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Aldaia Dress from Pauline Alice, Version 2 for winter

There are a lot of sewing pattern companies and designers to choose from, and I generally stick to my personal favorites, which these days are Vogue patterns, New Look and Burda (which is a new development in the past couple of years but I'm now a fan). However there is one indie pattern designer that I find always suits my style: Pauline Alice Patterns. So it is no surprise that after sewing this pattern back in September I immediately made plans to sew up a version for colder weather. Finding this perfect knit at Stone Mountain Fabrics was the icing on the cake for my
winter version. And it goes so well with several of my coats!  Which might mean that my color palette is not very varied - but I don't really care. Jewel tones all the way.

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia dress v1

My first version of this dress is here, in a cotton-lycra jersey. This version is a rayon jersey, so a bit more drapey, and the skirt is nicely swishy - which you will see if scroll further down. I didn't make any changes from the first version, other than to add the sleeves which I lengthened to make then wrist length.

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia dress on dress form, front view

This is such a super speedy dress to sew, and one thing I especially like is that the neck band fits perfectly, meaning it sews onto the bodice with just the right amount of stretch to fit against the neck and have no gaping.

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia dress v4

Decidedly minimal sewing details for this one. The adjustment I did on the first version worked perfectly so no need to change that. Looking at my previous post I see that I didn't detail it so here goes. I added one inch of length on the front bodice pieces and attached the skirt at the center front using up that extra inch, and then tapered it away at the side seam. Note that I always construct things with side seams in the order of 1) all the front 2) all the back 3) sew the shoulder seams 4) play around with the fit of the side seams to fine tune. However this does mean that you have to be aware of how the waist seam will match up at the side seams.

fitting blue knit dress

Also note plenty of machine basting (mentioned in my previous Random Threads post) which is the quickest way I know to try out and fine tune the fit, then once it is OK I can sew each seam with normal stitch length, super quick with no pins or fussing since it is basted together. I also took it in a bit under the arm to make the bodice fit closely, however the sleeve is on the slim side so I didn't change it, just eased it in which worked fine.

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia blue dress dress back on form

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia blue dress dress wrap front

Close up look at the bodice pleating. At my knit dress class everyone asked if I stitched the band with a twin needle - answer is no :) I just did two rows. To me twin needles are kind of fiddly and find it's easier to just stitch a 2nd row of topstitching.

This dress is a little bit twirly and I spent the better part of the afternoon learning how to make/upload a GIF. Be warned, now that I have this minor superpower I will find it hard to resist the lure of the GIF.


And if that isn't funny enough, when I looked at my photos at home I laughed again.

Pauline Alice Patterns Aldaia dress v5

Because my selected location gives off a distinctly "Miniature Stonehenge" vibe. For those of you who are fans of This is Spinal Tap you will know what I mean. I figured it was time to get out of my backyard and find a new photo location.

Anyway - this dress is a winner and I'm sure it will be worn frequently in the coming months. Now I'm thinking about adding a collar and waist tie to this pattern to give it a bit of a DVF wrap dress look.

Up next - I just ordered a couple of patterns from McCalls including this vest pattern M7693 because I impulsively bought this when I was last at Stone Mountain. Who doesn't need a faux fur vest, right?

Happy Sewing, Beth

Do you laugh and/or cringe when you look at the photos for your blog posts? In this one it appears I'm impersonating a tour guide giving all the details of the mini-Stonehenge... "we couldn't afford the full size replica but this one is portable. Next year we are adding a Sphinx the size of a garden gnome and a 7 foot tall Leaning Tower so you can take those goofy holding up the tower with your hands photos without dealing with tricky things like perspective!"

Aldaia dress v2


  1. The combination of tour guide and twirling--too much! :)

  2. The dress is fantastic and the GIF is delightful! Best dressed tour guide ever. :-)

  3. This is SO cute. And yes to faux-fur vests. Yesssss

  4. This dress suits you 100% - the fit and colour is perfect.
    (I find taking photos of myself the hardest part - cringe all the way!)

  5. Adorable dress Beth! I really love the color and print of the fabric too! I agree with Nakisha above...yes to faux fur vests! I made one a few years ago and still wear it (if it ever gets cool enough here in Florida!)

  6. Loved all the photos. I must learn how to use a gif too. This dress is adorable.

  7. The dress is very nice. Looks lovely on you. Love your new fur/faux leather and look forward to seeing that pattern made up.

  8. Wowza! This is really flattering on you, and I love the color. Great dress!

  9. Great dress! You “rocked” your new photo locale...BTW I received the frixion pens thank you.

  10. CUTE dress! I need to get that pattern now! And love the Spinal Tap references :)

  11. Lovely combination of pattern and fabric - looks great on you. I might need to investigate gifs, or cropping videos, as I took a twirl movie and some sequence of my latest dress ;o)

  12. Great dress! It's perfect for you. I look forward to your faux fur vest. Of course you need one.

  13. It is beautiful :) The colors are so vibrant. The color will help lift spirits.

  14. I love the dress and the Spinal Tap reference. With the video you could be a dancing druid -- and if there were sound, I'd turn it up to 11.

  15. The dress is awesome! And I say stick with the colors you love wearing, the joy of wearing them shows in your face. Finally, I so understand about the weird pics from photo shoots, I have quite a few from every garment I've made. I have to say though that I love the pics you take in your backyard.

  16. Beth,I would love to know your advice for laundering different knits. Do you handwash rayon and bamboo knits? or just treat them like other knits and machine wash on gentle? do you hang them to dry?

  17. Beautiful dress on you Beth! I'm trying to find a 'wrap style' knit dress that doesn't gape at the neckline. This looks like a winner. Does it have a facing or is the front band doubled? Thanks for the review!

  18. Beth, a couple of questions...are you familiar with the Colette Patterns Wren dress?
    I have that pattern and was going to make one. But, the reviews on Patternreview are pretty spotty. (The front neckline is turned and hemmed and it doesn't look nice, the neckline gaps, the sleeves are not tapered, the waistline sits like an empire, even though the picture shows a lower waist.Some folks loved it and just fixed the concerns themselves...) That all concerned me because I bought a nice knit for spring and hated waste it. MY questions: How hard is it to fix a pattern for those issues- or should I just order the Aldaia pattern? Is the Aldaia dress spot on for these issues?
    Thanks for your opinion and thoughts!

    1. I had really good luck with the Aldaia dress and I like the shape and style of it. The Aldaia has a neckband and it fits perfectly on the pattern pieces so it hugs your neck and keeps the front flat against your chest. Couple of things to note: I lengthened the bodice a bit and I'm not tall so check that out, and then the full skirt version is very full, I narrowed the pattern pieces a bit and you can see my skirt is still plenty full. Pauline is very petite I think, so her patterns tend in that direction. I would try it and make up just the bodice pattern pieces as a muslin to test the fit. Also it does rely on negative ease (read: a bit snug) and I like knits to not be too clingy so I added a bit at the side seams which you can always take away later. As for the Wren dress, I think they always have issues with their armholes and also a turn and stitch front on a V-neck is likely a problem waiting to happen :) good luck

  19. That’s exactly what I needed to know. Thank you!