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Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Spotty Darling Ranges Dress

PatternDarling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen

During my last uni break (way back in July), I got bored  not having to study all the time and thought it would be the perfect time to really start improving my sewing. So I took myself along to a weekly lesson with my Darling Ranges dress pattern in hand. I thought this dress would only take me a few weeks to complete, but it turns out it took a whole lot longer, though not due any difficulties with the pattern itself. It turns out that when you have a room full of the female variety and only 1 teacher, well, a whole lot of chin-wagging ensues but not a whole lot of sewing.

Since summer seems to be arriving late this year though, I've still had plenty of chances to wear it. It's a great little dress, so much so that I've already made another sleeveless version but haven't had a chance to photograph it yet. The only problem I have with this version is the fabric. It's a cotton voile which feels quite nice, but it doesn't have very good drape, and no matter what underwear I wear the skirt sticks to it and so rides up at the back. This isn't the most flattering look I've found out.

The pattern itself is great and really easy to follow, although the side seams of the back bodice didn't seem to line up with the front bodice pieces, but it still worked out fine. Since I find that pockets in dresses sometimes make the skirt sit a little funny and puff out I left them out making it even easier, and instead of putting the tie at the back, I added some back darts (or do back darts have a different name?). I'm really impressed with the fit, I didn't have to alter it from the pattern at all and it fits like a dream. The bust darts on the other hand a totally separate matter. I did them 4 times before I was happy with them, they just aren't my forte! First too pointy, then too round, then all wonky, and finally just perfect. I never want to do darts again. I don't know why I find such a simple concept so difficult to master.

All in all, I think it's a great pattern and so versatile. If you haven't made one yet, you really should, especially because I love scouring the net for new interpretations of it. I haven't bought any other Megan Nielsen patterns thus far, but after making this one, I will be sure to save her site to my favourites! 

Would I make it again? I already have! And I love my second version even better, so photos will follow shortly, as soon as my photographer (and significant other) moves back home to Australia next week... Yipee!!!


  1. I found your blog through your Burdastyle post, and I really love this dress! I just ordered the pattern too, and I was wondering, how long did your second version take to complete? Thanks for sharing, I was going to use a similar fabric but now I will choose more carefully! :D

    1. Hi, thank you. The second version I made without the sleeves and I had it finished within 3 days. That's not full days though, that's around work and other commitments. For me, the longest part is doing the buttons as I find it a bit fiddly measuring them out to be in the right spots. By the way for my second version I used a 100% Rayon shirting fabric and it drapes beautifully and is so comfortable! Good luck, I really look forward to seeing your Darling Ranges :)

  2. Looks great on you! I really like the style of it too. Can't wait to see the second version!

  3. Really nice !!
    I have it printed .. I just have to wait to find the perfect fabric to do it !

    1. Would love to see it when you get it done. I think fabrics with good drape are the best for this one, but that's just my preference :)


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