Just about every time Scroop Patterns puts out a tester call, I eagerly apply if I can fit it into my schedule. I really like the designer, I enjoy her blog, and appreciate how her patterns are just a little bit different than anything else out there. Well thought-out and wearable designs with a bit of historical and vintage inspiration thrown in. Add in the fact her patterns are well drafted and she listens and responds to tester feedback during the pattern testing process, while being very clear with her expectations of her testers, and you've got a winner. A designer I'm always happy to support by volunteering my time for pattern testing.
So, of course, when the newest Scroop Pattern, a classic button-front dress, was announced, I quickly sent off an email applying to test the pattern. Beyond my appreciation of the designer and her work, this dress specifically caught my eye for two reasons. First off, it came in three different bust size options with separate pattern pieces for A/B cup, C/D cup, and DD/E+ cup!! As someone with a bust on the larger end of the spectrum, I love it when patterns offer options for different bust sizes!
The second thing that caught my eye were the pockets. Pretty, cute, very nicely sized and functional external pockets, or nicely hidden inseam pockets - this pattern offers both! As I refuse to wear clothing without pockets, I always greatly appreciate it when pockets are included in the design and I don't have to add them to the pattern myself.
Once I was accepted as a pattern tester, the real fun began - deciding what fabric I was going to use. This pattern works best in a fabric with good drape, such as challis, lawn, crape, most rayon, and soft linen, so that slightly narrowed down the options in my stash. Once I learned the pattern was named the "Robin Dress" I was able to narrow my fabric choices down even further and settle on one specific length of material.
I had 4 yards of navy blue cotton lawn, which I picked up in Japan last summer. It featured a beautiful bird print - very fitting for a dress design named after a bird.
I choose to make the longer version of the dress with flutter sleeves and external pockets. I find below knee-length dresses to be the most practical for my life style. Flutter sleeves are fun and pretty. And since the external pockets were one of the pattern features that first caught my eye, my dress was definitely going to have them.
My measurements are a 33" over bust, 37" full bust, 28" waist, and 38" hips. I made a size 34 large bust, and the fit is perfect!
I was nervous about the buttons down the front, as they appeared to be spaced pretty far apart and I was worried they would gape. Button down shirts and dresses almost always gape on me. However, it was part of my job as a pattern tester to test the marked button placement, so test it I did. To my amazement - it worked! Thanks to the pattern pieces I was using being specifically drafted to my bust size, there was no gaping, even with the buttons being spaced several inches apart!
The longer version of the Robin dress (which I made) requires 13 buttons. Most of the button sets in my collection don't have more the 8-12 buttons. This could have been an issue, however, I decided to have fun with my button choices! I had 4 blue buttons which I really liked the look of with my fabric. So I decided to use those 4 blue buttons spaced out down the front of my dress, so every 4th button is blue, and fill in the gaps with plain white buttons of the same size. I'm pleased with the finished look.
One of the ladies in the testing group shared that she was planning to trim the external pockets and sleeves on her dress with contrasting bias tape for a little bit of visual interest. This got me thinking. I wanted to add some fun trim to my dress! So I looked through my trim stash and found several cards of white baby ric-rac, which I decided was just the thing. Two rows of ric-rac trimmed the upper edges of my pockets and one row went onto the hem of my dress. Just a little something to take the overall look of the dress up a notch.
For my mom's dress I used a linen/rayon blend. I picked this fabric up at Joann's last summer to make my mom a dress from, and never got around to actually making her that dress. So it was a joy to finally turn this fabric into something for my mom!
Just like my dress, I made my mom the long version with flutter sleeves and external pockets.
The linen/rayon blend was an ideal fabric to make this dress from. The flutter sleeves on my cotton lawn dress are rather stiff and don't drape as much as I'd like. The sleeves on my mom's dress drape beautifully!
The pockets of my mom's dress are trimmed with a little bit of gray ric-rac.
And the dress is completed with 13 matching gray buttons down the front.
The finished dress looks absolutely beautiful on my mom!
She's worn her dress several times since completion!
On Easter Sunday my mom and I both wore our new Robin Dresses for out at-home celebration.
I didn't have time to make my sister a new dress for Easter, so she wore the dress I brought her from Uganda.
It was really sweet to see my sister wearing a dress from Africa, as it reminded me of the Easter I spent in Cote d'Ivoire 3 years ago.
This year, with social distancing, Easter was a bit different as we were unable to go to church in person or get together with extended family (Though we watched church online and did a zoom call with the family!). So it was nice to see my sister wearing her Ugandan Easter dress and remember the Easter when I was separated from my family by an ocean, without even a way to contact them since we had no wi-fi. I did go to church that Easter, but the service was in a language I didn't understand.
So this year I was grateful to be with my immediate family for Easter, and to remember that Easter isn't about the traditions and candy. Easter is about the Resurrection of our Savior, and the joy and the hope that brings to all mankind. Right now the reminder that Jesus has conquered death and sin is especially important as it's so easy to lose hope with the current state of things as we're all worried about keeping people safe and missing our "normal" day-to-day lives and social interaction.
Jesus is ALIVE! And because of that, we have hope, which nothing, not even the Coronavirus, can take away from us.
It might be a week late - but Happy Easter everyone! Also, if you are interested in the Scroop Robin Dress pattern, it's on sale through next Friday (April 24th, 2020) for 25% off, no code needed!
I used the tester version of the pattern to make mine and my mom's dresses (which as you can see, came together beautifully), and the pattern has has some slight updates and improvements since testing so the final pattern is even better!
*I received this pattern at no charge in exchange for testing and giving my feedback on it. I was not required to blog or otherwise share about it in any way,shape, or form. Writing this blog post was entirely my own choice :)