Sew Over It Kate Dress from My Capsule Wardrobe Work to Weekend eBook

Do you ever work so hard to complete a project properly that you don't feel like wearing it? That's what's happened with this dress for me. It's weird because I was so desperate to make this, having fallen in love at first sight when the Sew Over It eBook was released, but it hasn't had the wear that it deserves (certainly to justify the effort I made!).


I bought this fabric at the Great British Sewing Bee Live event a couple of summers ago from M Rosenberg and Sons' stall. It's a wool blend suiting fabric that is lightweight and cost £9 a metre. The fabric has a small amount of stretch in there too, so I immediately thought of a work dress for it and bought a standard 2m. 

It was fairly standard to sew with and didn't behave too badly. It bounces back a fair bit when pressing folds etc but this has benefits later in that it doesn't crease easily. It's also quite breathable and warm because of the wool content and if I was starting again, I'd make a pencil dress instead as I feel it would be a better match for my style. The fabric itself was fine for the pattern because it had good drape and enough weight to hold up the structural elements.

Pattern and Instructions

The pattern came from the Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe Work to Weekend eBook. It was the main reason I bought the pattern collection and I initially did have another fabric ready for this. The eBook is a downloadable product, with a lookbook style eBook and separate pdfs for the instructions and pattern pieces. I sent my files to a copyshop for printing because I'm not a fan of sticking together pdfs. It does add to cost but can be done quite reasonably when you have a few to be delivered all in one go. This dress also comes as a skirt and a top on its own so it's a 3 in 1.

This is quite an involved project with lots of steps so there are a lot of instructions.The instructions are full of colour photographs and are written clearly so they aren't hard to follow, just time consuming. You are constructing a collar, a hidden button placket, sleeves with a turn up and an invisible side zip as well as fitting a bodice. So, a lot of features, but there's lots of room for variation in there as well which is nice. They all fit together well too so I have no concerns with the pattern drafting or construction. Fitting the bodice took a few attempts so this is one pattern I would recommend toiling for in this area. I'm not overly pleased with the fit I have achieved - if it was ready to wear I wouldn't think twice but now I've been making for a while I do like to get a better result.


A lot more than I usually make.
  • For starters I only had 2m, which is over 1m less than the pattern says. I did manage to get a size 10 out of it though, and ended up cutting off at least 10cm from the length after I had finished so it can be done, but it was very close.
  • Second of all, I wasn't sure that it would be too tight so I stitched with a 1cm seam allowance to start with. However, I then needed to reduce the size down so 1.5cm would have been fine. I took it in a little more than this at the waist.
  • I didn't want the slits in the skirt so just carried on stitching at this point.
  • The sleeves were far too puffy for me so I reduced the height of the sleeve head for a flatter fit.

My biggest problem came when I managed to slice through the fabric for my placket, leaving a lovely slit in a very exposed area. I didn't have enough fabric to start over. I posted the above photo on Facebook for help and had quite a few suggestions come through which were really helpful. In the end I sliced down the rest of the fold, press both raw edges under and edgestitched them closed, which did fix it. Although it did not do my nerves any good!

So, you can see a lot of time and effort went into this dress, but for some reason I'm not wearing it. I'm not sure why yet, or why I haven't made another given how in love I was with this when the eBook was released. I love how swishy the skirt is, but maybe that's something I prefer more for my 'home' wardrobe than my 'work' one.  Or perhaps we just haven't had the right weather for it? Because of the turn ups on the sleeves it doesn't look right with any of my cardigans so can only be worn on its own.



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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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