A few months ago Kollabora was featuring Pauline Alice’s patterns and selling them 20% off. This was the first time I’d heard of Pauline Alice and I loved the look of the Malvarosa Dress. I researched a little bit and there weren’t too many versions of it on Kollabora or sewing blogs. The few that I did find looked good so I decided to buy the pattern.
Right off the bat I had some problems with getting the pattern printed. I’m used to printing PDFs at 100%, so that’s what I did. As the pattern was printing I realized the printer was supposed to be set with the scale to fit option. So I reprinted and measured the test square and it wasn’t matching up to the 10cm x 10cm it was supposed to be. Sometimes my printer is weird so I called my mom and asked if she could try printing it. She had the same problem. She was the smart one who realized that the square wasn’t actually a square so it wouldn’t ever be 10cm x 10cm. She did some blowing up or reducing it on their copy machine and got it as close as it was going to be.
Because of the printing problems I knew I was going to have to make a muslin, which took me a little while to accomplish. Since it is Sewing Indie Month, and Pauline Alice is one of the featured pattern designers, I decided to stop dragging my feet and get going on this dress. I made a quick muslin of just the bodice this past weekend and found that my shoulders are not the same shape as the curve on the pattern. The shoulder seams were raised up off of my shoulders. I straightened them out a bit and that seemed to help so I proceeded with cutting out my fabric. The construction of this dress is very simple. There are bust darts, facings to finish the neckline and arms (or a three-quarter sleeve option), and a simple gathered skirt. There are pockets concealed in the front of the skirt, which is fantastic. I love my dresses to have pockets!
After I had the dress mostly constructed I had second thoughts about the cap sleeves. I took a poll on instagram and facebook and most people agreed with me that reshaping the arms into a tank style was the way to go. I was trying to make the change, but I’d already trimmed the seam allowances and understitched the facings in the armscyes. I wasn’t sure I wanted to attempt a refashion with next to no seam allowance left. I decided to leave the cap sleeves for this version and if I make another I will change the pattern in the cutting stage. I would love to make a version of this dress with sleeves but I since the shoulders don’t really work for me I might have to hack the armscye and sleeves from a different pattern.
This dress is super fun. I love the A-line shape and the dropped waist. The fabric I used is from Leah Duncan’s Tule collection for Art Gallery. It’s called Quietude in Dusk. It’s light and breezy and I know I’ll be wearing this dress a lot this summer. I just need to work on not having super slumped shoulders so the cap sleeves sit properly!