Dixie DIY's Bonnell Dress

I was hoping to show you some outfit pictures today featuring Dixie DIY's new Bonnell Dress. When Dixie DIY announced that she was releasing a pattern for a cute full-skirted dress with cut-outs(!!!) I was very excited. A little bit of edge in a vintage shape? Yes, please. I had the perfect fabric and everything. I bought the pattern straightaway and dove in!

I couldn't wait to share this dress since it is really so cute, but although you can clearly see that I have the Bonnell Dress all sewn up, unfortunately, the size I chose is much too big for me! It's only slightly too big for my dress form, so you're seeing her model today. Doesn't she look nice?

Bonnell Dress pt 1

I cut a size 4 based on my body measurements. I sewed the bodice straight from the pattern. For the skirt I wanted to use my border print, so I just did a gathered dirndl rather than using the pattern pieces. It's a little wrinkly since I left it on the floor after discovering the large size. It was disappointing.

For the record, the body measurements listed for the size 4 are bust 34, waist 26.5, hip 37. My own measurements are (usually about) bust 33, waist 27, hip 38--so, roughly comparable. I am less busty than Dixie DIY drafts for, so that's part of it, but if I re-cut this pattern, I would cut between the 0 and the 2, I think.

Bonnell Dress pt 1

The cute cut-out! You can't really see but I took in the side seams a bit (a scant 1/4 inch) to see if I could make it work. I tried it on and it was still too large and the cut out--the best part--had gotten smaller (duh, allie, geometry!) and so I unpicked it.

Bonnell Dress pt 1


Here's the insides! The pattern construction is a little tricky around the cut outs but the instructions are clear and the result is a lovely clean-finish bodice. The dress looks good inside and out.

Final thoughts?

Here's the deal with this dress: The (way cool) skirt fabric was impossible to use on the bodice without having weird flowers in awkward places, so I used plain white cotton, which means I have the whole other side with the same border left over. I think that rather than unipck my skirt seams, I'll just start from scratch and donate this one. If anyone wants a size 4 Bonnell dress in a crazy border print, let me know! The bodice is straight from the packet, so it would be a good muslin, even.

Here's the deal with this pattern: if you have a dress you like, that fits you well, and you have some pattern-altering skills, you can add side cut outs and a waistband and not have to mess about with a whole new pattern. When I make this style again, I may do that, since there are some other things I would prefer slightly different. The neckline, I feel, is slightly too high on me and I would prefer for the back V to be slightly higher--I just don't love the angle it makes. Personally, I wouldn't be able to figure out how to do the cut-out finishing on my own, but since I have the directions for it now, it may be easier for me just to cut them into one of my go-to bodices. I need the Bonnell dress instructions more than the pattern, really.

xoxo,
allie

ps: seriously if you want this let me know, especially if you are in the US and shipping will be cheap! i can't promise professional sewing but it's wearable!

allie J.

16 comments:

  1. So excited to see the border print sewn into a skirt! As you know I have some of that fabric too. I am thinking a gathered skirt to wear with a T shirt. I am inspired by how nice yours looks. What a shame it is too big. Great idea to gift away the dress.

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    1. Impossible to place on the bodice but It makes a cute skirt! ;)

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  2. You could also just cut off the top and wear the skirt and we can be twins!

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  3. That is a real shame about the fit. :( It turned out beautiful, though! That print is fantastic.

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    1. Thank you! Luckily I have more of the fabric, so I can make another similar!

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  4. It looks beautiful! I can see and understand your frustration with the sizing, though. I remember once doing the silly thing of adding extra seam allowance to a pattern that already had seam allowance built in... I went the unpicking way and I swore an awful lot. Great idea to donate your dress! I wouldn't have thought of that :D.

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    1. Ooh, how frustrating! Since I made it exactly according to the directions, I thought someone could use it (at least as a muslin!)

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  5. What a shame the dress looks lovely on the dress form. I agree with Diana above it would make a beautiful skirt. Great fabric choice!

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    1. Even though you said your version was a muslin, it looks so nice! I think I will do the same as your dress with my next version and use cotton sateen on top, and the rest of my patterned fabric on the bottom.

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  6. That's such a shame about the sizing, hopefully you'll be able to make another one to fit you. It's a lovely dress! x

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    1. Thank you! It's a really cute idea so I think I'll try it again eventually, but it's currently been bumped down my cue ;)

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  7. I'm so glad it's not just me! I have this pattern and I cut a size based on my measurements (size 2 bust and graded to a size 4 waist) AND did a small bust adjustment first and the bodice is just still too big. Luckily I did a muslin first so I didn't use my fashion fabric. I'm still disappointed that I have to start the process all over again though.

    By the way, I love the fabric you choose on the skirt! It's super cute.

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    1. I thought I was the only one! No one else seems to have had this problem besides us :) I'm not sure If i'll end up sizing down, or just adding the cut outs to a tried-and-true pattern. Seems like that would be easy enought to do, right?

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  8. Beautiful! I love the peek a boos on the side - I hope you get to make it again!

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  9. I had to go down two sizes! I've made three of these dresses, each with its own issues. Maybe the forth one's the charm? I love the idea of this pattern.

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