I love a sheath dress and I adore color blocking so there was no doubt that I would volunteer to test the new Madison Dress from Designer Stitch.
The Madison dress features a princess seam bodice with the option of a straight or half circle skirt. The options are endless for color blocking and the options don’t stop there. This pattern includes a choice of 2 skirts, 3 lengths, 4 sleeve lengths and the options for an exposed center back zipper. With 12 sizes and 5 cup variations this pattern will likely work for most sewists.
I chose to test the sleeveless version because even though it is winter here in the States, my office temp fluctuates from day to day so layering is best. Admittedly I like to show a little leg so I went with the middle length hem (21-3/4″). Lastly I chose to skip the exposed zipper simply because they aren’t really my thing. I originally cut a 6(c-cup) graded to a 7 at the hips for my muslin. The dress was not quite snug enough, especially in this hips, for a knit dress so I sized down to a 5 c-cup. I think the right fit for me is a straight 6c as this skirt is too snug and I didn’t mind the little bit of extra room in the toile bodice.
Quite possibly the most difficult thing was deciding on the color combo. Limiting myself to what I had in my stash was the only reason I didn’t end up paralyzed by all the possible options. I always keep black ponte on hand so I decided to keep it safe and use it for the main body. The white ponte was from a remnant and the magenta was from a piece I’ve had in my stash forever. If you need some inspiration there are several sketches on the Designer Stitch and whole pinterest board dedicated to color blocking combos. You can also take a look at all the options I dreamt up below.
Sewing this dress is pretty simple though the cutting does take some thought. My tip would be to label your main, bodice accent and skirt accent pieces with a different color marker. This color doesn’t have to match the colors your using they can just serve as a reminder to check which color your cutting for each pieces. Also I pinned my paper and fabric pieces together until I was ready to sew them so that I wouldn’t get my front and back pieces confused. This is important for the waist and side accent pieces as they have very similar shapes. The only complaint I have concerning the pattern is the lack of notches for the waist pieces, I turned these around twice.
I should also note I did make a swayback adjustment, which is an adjustment I occasional need but never actually make. Thankfully some of the fellow testers shared some tutorials and tips and after a few attempts I was able to successfully make the adjustment. Maria Denmark‘s post was very clear and helpful.
The Madison Dress is on sale now for $8.95 (regular $12.95) so go ahead and grab it now!
Pattern: Designer Stitch Madison Dress
Pattern Description: The Madison Colour Blocked Dress is a fabulous figure flattering design that looks AMAZING on all shapes and sizes.
The princess panel style of the dress offers a blank canvas for you to mix and match colours and prints for the ULTIMATE WOW factor.
Sizing: 1-12 (2-24 US Equivalent) I cut a 5c
Fabric Used: Pontes from Fabric Mart
Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very, Designer Stitch patterns are clear
Likes: Sheath, knit, scrap busting, color blocking
Dislikes: I’m not a fan of exposed zippers but this one is just a design feature so it can be omitted
Pattern alterations or any design changes made: None. Next time I will cut a 6 though
Would I sew it again? Yes I’m already thinking about other color combos.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes definitely.