Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Snapdragon Studios blog hop: Summer Jazz Dress

Do you ever see a pattern and immediately think of about 20 stash fabrics that would be just perfect? Such was the case for me with the Summer Jazz Dress, by Snapdragon Studios. Snapdragon Studios is a new indie pattern company with three patterns out now from their Spring collection, available as PDFs or print patterns. When Elizabeth, one of the founders, contacted me about being on their blog tour, she suggested the Summer Jazz Dress since she knew I loved knits. This pattern can be made in a knit OR a woven, AND it comes in three lengths! It's the ultimate in versatility.

After looking through my stash, I decided on a tissue weight rayon jersey from Girl Charlee. It has a pebbly print that reminded me of the great examples on the pattern photos. 

I've loved this fabric since I got it (for $1.50/yard!!) but it's sheer and very drapey, and I didn't quite know what to do with it until this pattern came along. The drape is perfect for the feminine flutter sleeve and for pretty gathers on the front.

The back of the skirt has a pleat that is stitched down. You can't see the stitching on my version, but you can see a good example in the listing photos that I linked above. The pleat was the only part of the instructions that I didn't quite understand, but looking at the photo online basically explains it. The directions were great and had a unique feature--scattered throughout were "knit tips" on how to adapt the pattern if you were working with a knit. Most of the time you have to figure that stuff out on your own!

It's a little hard to tell, but there is a vertical center-front seam, which is necessary for finishing the V-neck. However, the seam is curved, so it provides some really pretty shaping around the bust above the gathers. The gathers are made with an elastic casing, which gives you the opportunity to customize for a perfect fit.

Man I love a V-neck!

The sleeves are hemmed with a rolled hem done on my serger (the pattern provides instructions for regular hemming).

The skirt is flared and oh-so-perfect for swishing. You can't help but feel pretty in a skirt like this!

I decided to line the bodice, but I didn't have enough fabric to line the skirt so instead I made a half slip. 

Half-slip in grey knit.

Instructions for lining are not included in the pattern, but it's super easy, I promise! Instead of using a facing, I cut two of the bodice front and back and sewed the second piece in like facings. Easy peasy! It worked because my fabrics were all very lightweight, so I didn't have too much bulk.

Interior, front bodice lined with a solid grey knit.

I sewed the sleeves in with French seams since they are unlined.

French seam in armscye.

I sewed the side seams the same way, but ended up cutting them off with my serger when the dress came out too big. Remember I mentioned knit tips above? Well, one was to size down if you were making the dress in a knit. I already fit into the smallest size (34" bust), so there was nowhere for me to go down. I ended up taking in the side seams quite a bit, from the underarm all the way to the hem. If I were making this in a woven I think the smallest size would have been fine, but in this knit the looseness looked more like a mistake. But taking it in helped and wasn't too difficult. The lack of a smaller size is my only complaint about this pattern.

The pattern calls for in-seam pockets, but I omitted them since I was using such a sheer knit. I don't normally go for flutter sleeves, but if you're still dealing with summer heat then these will keep you nice and cool, as will the loose skirt. The dress is VERY comfortable and I think the top version would be awesome as well. And wouldn't it make the perfect LBD? You can even make a great fall transition piece, as Snapdragon Studios is currently working on a regular sleeve pattern piece. Yay!

To grab your own copy of the Summer Jazz Dress, visit Snapdragon Studios on Etsy. A big thank you to Elizabeth and Kim for letting me try out this pattern, I love it and it will be made again for sure!

I received this pattern for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own! Also, my photoshoot at the park went terribly awry so I regret that the first photo is the only pretty one. I can, however, attest to the ability of the dress to withstand toddler-chasing!


  1. It's such a pretty dress, and you did have the perfect fabric. I think I need that pattern.

  2. It's funny how we don't know what to do with a certain fabric until the perfect pattern comes along. This is a perfect combination and looks lovely on you!

    1. That's a great argument for stashing fabric, don't you think ;)


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