Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ruska Knot Dress

I'm alive! It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've posted. When I looked back the dates coincided with when my littlest two started preschool. You would think that would give me more time, and it does, but the time is mostly out of my house and away from my computer. But I'm here today with a new dress, the Ruska Knot Dress.

This pattern is from the book Breaking the Pattern, which was written by the sisters who run Named Patterns. I adore Named. I don't think I've ever had a failure with one of their patterns, and they're always so cool and different. I remember when they took a season off of online pattern releases to write this book, and it felt like an eternity of waiting. I think it was worth the wait! The book is packed with patterns and with variations on those patterns. The dress that I made is also the basis of a t-shirt, a tunic, and a plain dress, so with one pattern I can make 4+ things!

I was lucky enough to check this book out from my library, but it's been on my Amazon wishlist for a while. The paper patterns are included and there are also instructions on downloading them online. I didn't feel like tracing (the patterns are printed like BurdaStyle magazine patterns, on top of each other) and so I printed the pattern. I did end up regretting that choice as there were nearly 50 pages. They went together just fine, but it was tedious.

The construction of the dress was straightforward. There is a complete dress underneath the tie portion, which is a second layer on top on the front only. The edges of the ties are folded under twice and topstitched. I found this process, with my medium weight French terry, to be annoyingly tricky! I didn't want to go too crazy with pressing since it is a bamboo/cotton blend, and bamboo can develop a shine. My ties are maybe a bit wonky, but all the raw edges are contained and that's what matters.

The model is wearing a dress with positive ease around the hips. I graded out at the hips to achieve the same look and stick with the size chart, but I ended up taking it down to negative ease for a more fitted look. Baggy hips on the model looked a lot better than they did on me! Other than that, I didn't change anything about the fit.

The size chart was a little confusing only because of how it was labeled. The book calls the sizes 1-9, but when I printed the pattern it omitted those numbers and went with their more traditional UK/US/EUR sizing numbers.

Ignoring the tie part, this silhouette is not one I typically wear. Since having kids, I shy away from overly fitted knit garments, I almost never wear a neckline this high, and a long fitted sleeve isn't my jam either. Because of the overlay with the ties, I can hide my mom tummy and get away with fitted everywhere else. I felt sort of not-myself when I wore this dress the first time, but once I took photos and looked back at them I realized: I look good! There was no reason to feel awkward. And bonus: it's snuggly, warm, soft bamboo French terry, one of the best fabrics on the planet. Secret pajamas!

You can snag some of this fabric from The Fabric Fairy. I used the navy colorway, which I used once before for my first pair of Hudson Pants. That was five (!!) years ago, and those pants are in rotation so often I have to ask myself if I'm wearing them too much. I'm thrilled to now have a dress with that fabric!

I received a credit for my purchase with The Fabric Fairy in exchange for promotion. However, I have been raving about them for years without compensation. All opinions are my own! An Amazon affiliate link has been used for the book. 


  1. You look great, and it is different from your usual! Nice job.

  2. It's very chic. I like it styled with the leopard print flats!


I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below.

Newsletter sign up