Jennifer Lauren Handmade Sorrel Dress Pattern Review

I whipped up this Sorrel dress a few weeks ago as my final tester version for Jen of Jennifer Lauren Handmade. She opened a Kickstarter on November 1st to fund the process of getting the Sorrel dress available as a printed pattern (rather than just a PDF like the rest of her patterns) and her initial goal was fully funded within 24 hours!! Wow! She has since added a stretch goal of getting another of her patterns printed too.

I am so incredibly happy for Jen. I have been a huge fan of her designs for such a long time and it is extremely exciting to see her trying out new ventures and having them go so well. I feel quite privileged to have been able to contribute in a small way by testing the Sorrel dress. Lets talk about a few of the details, shall we? (click any of the pictures to look at them larger.)

Okay, so I’m going to summarize my opinions on this dress for easy reference here at the beginning of this post. Then if you need more details/information you can keep reading below.

Likes:

  • Very few pattern pieces. I think there were about half a dozen including facings!

  • Simple, classic design with hints of vintage glamour but still totally wearable in any modern wardrobe.

  • Super quick to sew.

Dislikes:

  • Due to the fabric I chose, the facings show through. My mum says it looks fine, but it bothers me a tad.

I used a quilting cotton from my stash that my mum gave me for a late Christmas/birthday present in January. It is a lovely fabric, but I don’t know that it was necessarily the best choice for this dress since I can definitely see the facings through it. If I had thought about it in time, I probably would have underlined at least the bodice.

I sewed up a size 12 with a D cup, which is my usual size in Jennifer Lauren Handmade patterns. The only adjustment I made to this version was to grade from size 12 to size 22 at the hips. I was slightly too generous with how much room I needed to be comfortable. I could easily have done a size 18-20 in the hips. I very much dislike cotton dresses that are tight in the hips. It feels far too restrictive so I overcompensated.

My favorite design details of this dress are the grown on sleeves and the open ended darts. I love the look of short sleeves without having to deal with set-in sleeves. And open end darts eliminate any difficulties with awkward pointiness in weird places.

If I were to make it again (because seriously, it is far too easy to get distracted when sorting through a pattern/fabric stash to pick out a new project.) I would add several inches of length to the skirt. I was planning to add some length to this dress, but I completely forgot until I had already cut it out of the fabric. Whoops! I generally prefer my dresses to be at least knee length.

Although I won’t be able to wear this dress until next spring/summer, I am still pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s cute, feminine, and vintage inspired. Precisely what I like!

Be sure to check out Jen’s Kickstarter for more information on how you help her get some of her patterns available as paper instead of just PDF.

-Emily