Saturday, 21 July 2018

The Iris Dress

It's not the greatest looking photo. It's kind of a hot mess and could use a iron to get rid of those wrinkles in the front but it was photographed just as it came off the sewing machine and it was a long day and who am I kidding, I don't like ironing. I do like this dress though.

This is the Iris dress by Tina Givens.  These patterns have a Bohemian-Victorian vibe, not really a work appropriate look. But in the right fabric, I think it will work.

But when I saw this photo on the Tina Givens website I was convinced to give this pattern company a try. Once the pattern arrived I was taken by the familiarity with Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1410 sleeveless dress pattern. How do they contrast and compare. The exaggerated hip shape of the pattern is about all these two patterns have in common.

The Pattern:  

The Iris dress has sleeves and pockets.  What is doesn't have are shoulder, centre front and centre back seams. The pattern piece for the dress is placed on two folds! And the fit is lovely. I didn't have to shorten the length at all. And I'm pleased with the length. The sleeves on the photo above are shown to be 3/4 length but on me they're full length. It is missing something though, oh yes, notches.  There is a pocket pattern piece and no notches only a illustration to suggest the placement of the pocket.  My guess was off about two inches and the pocket does fall a little low for my liking. The instructions are illustrated and written on the pattern paper.

I got as far as French seam the collar on the pattern instructions and then went off on my own. I didn't like going back to the large pattern sheet to access the instructions. Besides, it really is an easy project. I did eliminated the neckline binding and French seamed the neckline as well. 

One thing that I would do differently is not to have the right sides together when I sew the collar to the neckline because of the way it folds the wrong side of the fabric shows. Next time I will sew the wrong side of the collar to the right side of the dress so that when the collar drapes over the shoulders when worn, it will be the right side of the collar that is showing.  

No pattern alterations at all and I'm happy with the length on the hem and sleeves. For a muslin, I'm actually pleased with how it turned out and don't mind wearing this one. 

The Fabric:  

To try out this pattern, I used a light-weight cotton knit from my stash. The edges curled and it was challenging to pin it down before taking this project over to the sewing machine for stitching. I interfaced the hems with Knit-N-Stable tape for some control of the edges. The most challenging part of working with this fabric was getting it laid out before I could lay out the pattern pieces. With the pattern demanding two fold lines, lengthwise for the dress front and back and crosswise for the shoulder and sleeve, I found it challenging to smooth out this fabric, contend with the edges curling and making sure the folds were straight. I don't think I will want to make this in another cotton knit even though it is very comfortable for this humid weather. It looks like another one will have to wait. 

I would like to make this in a fabric similar to the website photo and I did find a lovely sweater knit over at Emma One Sock. More appropriate for autumn wear.   

This is a Tahari wool blend double-knit that I thought would be nice but at $26.00 / yard plus international shipping this piece of fabric is destined to remain in my dreams. Maybe a ponte knit would be nice if I didn't give up man-made fibres. 

The Statistics:

Fabric:  3 metres light-weight cotton knit

Interfacing:  Knit-N-Stable tape

PatternThe Iris Dress by Tina Givens

Additional supplies & tools:  Burda tracing paper, pencil, cutting table, pins, rulers, pin cushion, scissors, tailor's chaulk, thread, thread clippers, sewing machine, walking foot, serger, tweezers, iron, ironing board and water.  

Happy Sewing!  


  1. This looks INSANELY chic and comfortable! $26/yard is quite steep especially at 3m for the dress. I hope you find something more reasonable...I think this would look amazing in a ponte/double knit.

  2. Wow, just lovely.

    God bless.


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