Rebecca Page recently release the Dora Dress and I love the professional fit and finish of this pattern!

For the last year I’ve been wanting to make more of my office work wardrobe. For those who follow me on Instagram, you will know that has resulted only in shirts to date. So when offered the opportunity to try the pattern, I said YES! as I needed the motivation to make a work dress.

The Dora is designed for woven materials with a fitted, lined bodice that is attached to a flattering unlined circle skirt.  It is designed for Ladies sizes XXS to 5XL.  The print at home pdf pattern has the option to print on US Letter, A4 or AO page sizes.

The pattern includes detailed instructions on chosing the right size.  Using the layers feature, I print the 3 sizes I needed to grade to my measurements on US Letter sized paper. I like that the pages don’t require to be trimmed before taping together, as it makes assembly much faster!

The pattern has optional pockets, but really, are they optional? I need pockets on my work dresses in order to carry my building access card.

The second optional feature is a cap sleeve, which I found gave just enough coverage to make a jacket optional at the office.

Earlier this year, I found 2 metres of this wool plaid at the local thrift store for the deal of $8! I had just enough to cut out the dress and used a matching pink cotton from my collection for the lining.

Overall I love how the dress looks and fits! I followed the fitting instructions and made to my measurements grading between M chest – L waist – XL hip.  The bust dart made grading the bodice a little tricky, but I folded in the dart on the pattern before drawing the new line.

The pattern is drafted for a 5’6″ height and includes instructions for fitting to your height. As I am 5’3″ (on a good day) I shortened the skirt by 1.5″. I opted to not shorten the bodice as generally I don’t need a petite fit for tops.

I did further fit adjustments before attaching the skirt as detailed in the instructions.  As I am mid range on the waist measurements I took the bodice in a quarter inch on each side seam (1″ total), from the bust dart to waist on the bodice and the lining.

The pattern is design to have a good amount of ease.  It is more than the store bought clothes I normally wear, however, they are not drafted to my measurements. I buy dresses to fit my shoulders and bust, it means the dress is then tight at the waist and hip.  Its a game changer to have a dress with proper ease for me!  This dress will fit comfortably, even after a week of lots of treats at work.

Did I mention it has pockets???

The pockets are shallow with just enough space to hold my work access card or my phone.  If you prefer a deeper pocket, to more securely carrying items, the side seam placement would allow adjustment of the pocket shape without changing the construction technique.

The instructions include directions for using a serger/overlocker or french seams to hide the raw seams for a clean finish.  Although I own a serger, I opted for the french seam using only my sewing machine as I like the professional looking clean finish.  I did hand-sew the lining to the bodice.  I strongly dislike hand-sewing, but my lining wasn’t long enough to do the stitch in the ditch method. I think it was a fabric cutting issue on my part.  The lining pieces are only slightly smaller and longer than the bodice, to ensure the lining stays hidden inside and I am not the most accurate at cutting.

This was the first time I’ve sewn a pocket into a french seam.  The instructions do have a one page quick – glance cheat sheet at the start, but I did need the full instructions with pictures for this part.  Overall the the guidance was clear and easy to follow and I got it right the first time!  No seam ripping required.

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This is the second Rebecca Page pattern I’ve sewn. I previously received the Laura Top/Dress pattern for free to try.  It is cocoon top or dress that can be made from either woven or knit material. The back seam is curved to allow for shaping. I made the top with quilting cotton which didn’t have quite enough drape, but I’m planning for another in knit. This is a versatile pattern to have in your collection and I expect to make more of the options soon!