Every time I restocked the Style Arc patterns at Hometown, the Hope dress would catch my eye. It’s very similar to the I Am Patterns Cassiopée dress, of which I have made 4 – maybe that’s why I like it so much? Or perhaps it’s just the cute illustrations on the pattern? Either way, I decided to buy a copy to scratch that itch.
A little browse through the Hope dress hashtag (#SAHopeWovenDress) on Instagram confirmed that the pattern is indeed a winner. I found some absolutely gorgeous versions and noticed that several sewists had made multiple Hope dresses – some were even into double digits! I wasn’t completely sure what fabric I would use for my dress, so I put the pattern to one-side and worked on other projects until something caught my eye.
Well you know how it goes… you walk into fabric shop, something catches your eye… I had been lusting after this Ruby Star Society fabric from the Warp and Weft Heirloom collection for ages last year, but I couldn’t really afford any and had tried to forget about it. I was delighted to find some when I popped into the Village Haberdashery a few weeks ago, especially because they had 20% off everything! It was even more beautiful in real life and much more affordable with that discount, so I treated myself to 2.5m!
The fabric is a shirting-weight and as I was hanging it on the line to dry after pre-washing I realised that it would make the most perfect Hope dress! I checked the pattern and saw that the dress requires 2.5m of 58″ wide fabric and mine was only 44″ – CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I pulled out all the pattern Tetris stops and managed to cut everything I needed, although I did have to make some compromises (the stripes on those sleeves are NOT symmetrical.) What I did not compromise on was that back bodice seam, which I managed to pattern-match perfectly.
I made my dress over a weekend and it was lovely to sew. I will mention that the Style Arc instructions are very minimal, so if you are quite new to garment making there may be some steps that are not explained in enough detail for you – just something to bear in mind. I chose to make the size 8 dress and I’m really pleased with the fit – it’s very comfortable to wear and has good proportions for my frame. The pattern boasts two skirt lengths – a knee and midi option, but for some reason my copy did not have the knee-length cut line printed on it. I managed to work out from the finished garment measurements that this should be 25cm shorter than the midi-length dress so I was able to draw my own line, but this was a bit annoying.
I am absolutely delighted with my finished Hope dress, particularly because I finally got some of that gorgeous fabric which has worked so perfectly with the pattern. If you would like to make your own version of the Hope dress then I have good news, because I will be teaching it as a workshop at Hometown! And don’t worry if you have been put-off by those minimal instructions because I will be there to guide you through construction with all the information and demonstrations you could possibly need. Our spring/summer workshop programme should be announced very soon, so make sure you are following Mint Button on Instagram to be the first to hear when dates are released!