It's All About the Party. Dress.

It's All About the Party. Dress.

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 Skinny

  • 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.  

My Assignment

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.


This post contains affiliate links.  Using these links to make a purchase provides a small amount towards helping to support my sewing endeavors, at no cost to you.   All opinions are my own.  Thank you! 


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