Act like a lady: Sew Over it Kate Pattern Review

When I first became aware that indie designers used regular people to test their patterns I couldn’t wait to get involved- I just had no idea how.  I was also insecure and unsure that my skill level would qualify me.  Luckily, before too long Sew Over It made an open call for testers on Instagram and I responded with interest before I had time to chicken out.  I was so happy to be selected and always get excited when a new testing opportunity comes up.  This time around I had the  pleasure of testing a couple of patterns from the new Sew Over It Work to Weekend eBook by Lisa Comfort.

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I can never resist a shirt dress and as I had a dress in my sewing plans at the moment, I happily swapped it for Kate. She wooed me with her timeless vintage holiday vibe and the finished garment definitely did not disappoint.

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Pattern:  Kate is a classic shirt dress with a proper collar & stand, hidden button placket and cuffed sleeves that hit above the elbow.  Since the buttons end at the waist, there’s a concealed side zip under the arm to help you get in and out.  The skirt is made up of six panels and you have the option to leave 2 slits open at each side for a flirty detail.  As a bonus the pattern includes instructions to make both the top and the skirt as separate pieces- super versatile!

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Fabric: I made my Kate up in an absolutely delicious viscose linen from Sew Over It that I had in my stash.  The pattern called for 3.5 meters for my size but I was able to squeeze it out of the 2.5 I had on hand without too much trouble.  Kate is fabric hungry mostly due to the 6 panels that make up the skirt as well as her midi length.

Size:  I made my Kate in a size 10 which is my usual size for Sew Over It patterns that aren’t fitted around the hips.

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Fit:  I love the way this dress fits and I did not make any adjustments.  I am quite short waisted though, so next time around I’ll definitely take off about 5/8 inch from the bodice length.  If you look closely you can see that my belt is at my natural waist, but the seam line is quite a bit lower. 

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Changes:  At first I was skeptical about the midi length and my instinct was to shorten the pattern pieces before cutting.  In the end, mostly out of respect for Lisa’s design I decided not to.  I’m so glad that I trusted her choice.  I did find that on me the slits came up quite high, and I lowered them about 4 inches for modestly.  Other than that, this version is was made up exactly as the pattern is written. 

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Verdict:  This is one of those garments that makes me feel 100% myself when I pull it on.  I’m not particularly girly in my style and I love how the design softens the structure of a menswear-inspired top with drapey fabric and a breezy, feminine skirt.  Made up with this subtle geometric print in a natural palate it’s that easy, classic, understated piece I’ll be reaching for again and again. 

Sewing up Kate was not at all complicated.  If you’ve made a collared shirt in stable cotton, that experience will help as you work with a slippery rayon or crepe.  New techniques I learned were the hidden button placket and concealed under arm zip, both which were surprisingly straightforward.  Also if you’re in a time crunch, be aware that the hem and slits are all finished with hand sewing.  This results in a lovely soft, flowy hemline, but does take time.  I finished mine on the sofa during two evenings of Netflix.

I can’t recommend this pattern enough and I’m already scheming a set of matching separates for my next go ‘round.

xo April