Hello everyone,

I’m Simona (from Sewing Adventures in the Attick) and this month I am back on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network with another fun project.

As spring is coming to its own, more like I am willing it to come faster by making spring and summer clothing, in the hope the weather gets warmer faster, I want to lose the layers of clothing I’ve been wearing during the colder months. Therefore, for this month I picked the Carnaby Dress Pattern from Nina Lee. This is a simple shift dress that has a few elements that make this 60’s staple a contemporary contender, such as the exposed zipper or hidden pockets.

Initially, I planned to make view B (version with sleeves), however, the fabric I chose for this dress, the blue abstract print Cotton Sateen from John Kaldor is a lot more lighter that I expected. As a result, I had to change my plans and went for the sleeveless version instead. I cut a size 8 overall, grading out to size 10 at the bust to save myself a FBA as well as shortening the centre back by 1.5 cm.

Usually, I do not follow the instructions and power though the construction following my instinct. However, with this one, I decided to sort of use the instructions given for how to insert the exposed zipper onto the back and how the guard goes in. For this part of the construction, I found the instructions clear and easy to follow, and I am happy that I decided to use them.

The rest of the construction of this dress is pretty simple for an experienced stitcher. Normally, with projects as simple as this I tend to play around with small details. On this one it had to be the hem and used a decorative stitch to finish it. I love how the pattern of the stitch blends on the white parts of the fabric and pops out on the darker ones.

There was no surprise that the dress was finished in no time. I was worried that the fabric might be to light for this dress, but it turned out to be perfect for a summer dress.

Because of how the pattern is designed, it would also work really well with colour blocking. I am taken by the idea of having contrasting fabric used for the pockets to bring a little bit of colour or contrast if picking a solid colour for the main body of the dress. I am not quite sure I’d like to make the skirt/lower part in a different fabric because I am quite short and doing this would make my torso look longer and my short legs even shorter.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Carnaby Dress, Nina Lee – a simple shift dress, perfect for playing with pattern and colour. With separate skirt and bodice pieces, you can easily create a striking colour block effect or keep it subtle with just a pop of contrast in the pockets. It has two variations: with or without short sleeves (View A is sleeveless; View B has sleeves).

Sizing: 6 to 20 UK

Fabric: 1.5 m of John Kaldor Cotton Sateen

Notions: 21 cm exposed (non-separating) zipper, 0.6 m fusible interfacing, 23 cm x 4 cm grosgrain ribbon (for the zip guard)

Modifications: I graded between sizes 8 and 10 at the bust. Overall size 8 but traced out to size 10 at the bust to avoid doing a FBA. Also, I reduced the centre back seam on the bodice by 1.5 cm, but leaving the side seam as they were.

Fit: all right

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: Yes

Watch out for: If you are adding the zipper guard, make sure you make it longer than the zipper.

Make Again?: Yes, I want one version of this dress with sleeves as well. I will also use fabric that has more weight such as corduroy or denim. I am tempted by colour blocking or using contrast fabric for the pockets.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts and/or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.