Let's Get Ready to Party...
I was allowed the opportunity, recently, to test for a new to me designer, Rebecca Page (affil link). I have purchased a couple (ok, 3) RP Patterns, and have another on my Christmas wish list. When I saw the testing call for the Portia Party Dress, I didn't hesitate to apply.
- The pattern includes pattern pieces for both knit and woven fabrics, a double bonus. The pattern pieces and instructions are slightly different for each version.
- The knit dress is more form fitting and can be pulled on over the head. Stretch requirements for the knit are 40% with the recommendation for 4-way to achieve the best drape.
- The woven dress has more ease and includes an invisible zipper at the side seam. Light to mid-weight wovens are recommended.
- You can choose 1 of 2 styles for the back bodice: half open back or full open back, both of which close with a ribbon or thread loop and a single button.
- There are 4 lengths: maxi, midi, knee, and above knee.
- Either option may be lined or unlined.
- The V-neck bodice can be turned under and topstitched or finished with a facing (watch for the blog post in the upcoming week).
- There is a neck binding option for the knit version.
- The pattern is available in Ladies XXS-5XL(affil link), Childs NB-12 years (affil link), 18 inch doll version (affil link), and a BUNDLE with all 3 versions.
- There is also a FREE version, including only the KNIT, KNEE LENGTH version of the dress.
For this test, I was assigned a size small, knit, knee length version. I only had 4 pattern pieces to trace and cut out; front and back bodice and front and back skirt. The tutorial was very well written and the instructions were easy to follow. The part with which I struggled most was finishing the v-neck. At the time of the test, only the turned under and topstitched method was available. The facing and neck binding options were additions made due to this being a struggle for many. The facing would be my option of choice on my next Portia Party Dress. The knit version also has the option of a center front gather at the bust. I decided to give this a go, and love the definition it gave to the front bodice. It requires a piece of 1/4 inch wide elastic x approximately 2 inches long.
The back skirt includes 2 simple darts which I think give the skirt a beautiful drape and flow.
Since I most likely will be wearing my dress to Sunday morning church services vs parties, I chose the half open back. The only matching button I had available was a big, red one. I went with it.
The bodice sleeves on this gown so remind me of an angel dress. I turned under and topstitched my sleeve hemlines. The sleeves are fairly open and billowy, which didn't prove to be an issue for me, but if modesty dictates a less open sleeve, there's instructions in the tutorial for closing them up a little more.
The material I used for my knit version was a navy double brushed polyester from Vinegar + Honey Co for the bodice and a paisley ITY from So Sew English for the skirt. At first, in my tester fit pics, I wasn't crazy about the skirt fabric. Since dressing up and taking my final photos, I have changed my mind. I now LOVE this combination. It's unlike any I already own.
Oveall, I plan to make another Portia Party Dress, sometime. Actually, this one was meant to be a fit model only, but time had other plans and it was the only one I could get completed by the deadline. Not that it was a difficult or time consuming sew, because it wasn't. My other roles in life just took priority over another dress. It happens. I've learned to strike a balance.
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