Nina Lee’s latest pattern is the Bakerloo dress and blouse. I was part of the pattern testing process just this week (Nina’s turn around time from testing to release is AMAZING) and I thought I’d share mine with you!
The Bakerloo dress/ blouse pattern features a loose-ish fit dress or blouse with big puffed sleeves in two lengths and of course that frilled collar du jour. I chose to test the dress version with the long sleeve.
I made my normal fitting adjustments to the pattern where I shorten the bodice by 1.5cm. I did a test fit of the bodice at the beginning of the make and found it was a little snug on me so I ended up doing an FBA. (I think this is more to do with how Nina’s block fits me rather than any actual fitting problems. I remember when I tested the Kew dress and had fitting issues in the upper bust). I also chose to shorten the skirt by 10cm. The pattern length ended at an odd place on my leg so I decided to go short!
For my fabric I picked out a green “viscose” from The Textile Centre. It’s in inverted commas because it doesn’t feel like a 100% spin viscose as the description reads. It definitely feels more like a poly blend of some sort. Nevertheless, I thought it would be a good choice just in case the test went horribly wrong! I chose to use a contrasting fabric for the collar frill just to allow it to stand out a little more.
The sew itself was pretty straightforward. There’s lots of gathers which can be a bit time consuming (but oh so worth it in my opinion) but the overall design is simple enough that you can get through the rest with reasonable speed. The method Nina used for the collar and collar frill was pretty much the same as what I’d done on my recent blouse hack which meant I could speed through this part! The dress also doesn’t have a full opening, just a keyhole opening in the centre back seam with a button closure, which is always satisfying.
There’s been a few tiny changes since the pattern test – longer sleeves, more notches, improved instructions etc but essentially it’s the same. I’m not a huge fan of the sleeve in this fabric – the gathered elasticated cuff is just too bulky – so I think I’m going to trim them to 3/4 length and do something else here. I also found it a little bit of a struggle to get the dress on/ off over my head but from the rest of the feedback, it may just be me that experienced that!
It is a ridiculously cute dress and one I hope get plenty of opportunities to wear before those frilly collars go out of fashion!!