Today I’m sharing one of my all time favourite makes, the Chalk & Notch Fringe Dress.
This was my first Chalk and Notch pattern and it didn’t disappoint. The pattern launched last year and I have not come across a version I did not like on social media (check out #fringedresspattern over on Instagram). The pattern can be made as a short sleeve blouse or a dress and has two versions. Version one has a button front and elbow length sleeves that have a sleeve tab. Version two has a notch front that pulls over the head so no fastenings and a sleeve cuff. There is also the option of adding pockets, as well as a waist tie.
The pattern comes in sizes 0-18, I cut out a straight size 2 based on my bust size and that worked out well. The pattern is loose fitting so I knew as long as I got the bust fitting well the rest would be fine.
Although I purchased the pattern pre-pregnancy, maternity versions of the pattern kept cropping up on my Instagram feed. Whilst there isn’t an actual maternity version of this pattern, a couple of simple alternations make it maternity friendly.
In the photos I was approximately 23 weeks pregnant, but I wore the dress last weekend at 34 weeks and the fit was still spot on.
I used the adjustments recommended by indie pattern designer Alina over on her blog. She suggest shortening the bodice by 1.5″ to make it a more empire line which will lay at the top of the bump. Then transferring that 1.5″ to the skirt length, to ensure the dress doesn’t become too short as the bump grows.
I really liked the adjustments and as I have a high natural waist and short torso anyway I might just keep these adjustments when making a non maternity version.
I chose version one for the nursing friendly button front and I preferred the sleeve tab.
For the fabric, I went with a gorgeous monstera leaf print rayon I purchased online from Sew Over It. Rayon is perfect for this pattern, especially a maternity version due to the drape. I normally by my rayon from Walthamstow market at a few pounds per metre. However, this print was a bit of a splurge at around £14/m, but I had seen it on their social media feed and really had to have it.
I didn’t have time to make a muslin and it was a gamble cutting into much loved fabric without testing the fit, but I was pleased with the outcome.
The pattern comes together quickly. I chose to add snaps rather than buttons for speed. My one big mistake was when attaching the sleeve tabs. I must have been distracted at this part of the pattern and attached the tabs to the outside of the shoulder seam, rather than the inside. If I would have noticed at the time I would have unpicked, but unfortunately by the time I realised my mistake I had already trimmed and overlocked the edges. I still could have unpicked but instead I just put the snap on the inside so it holds the sleeve up. With the busy print fabric the error is hardly noticeable.
This dress is so comfy to wear and a flattering fit. I have dreams of making many more when my machine arrives here in South Africa.
I hadn’t really seen much of Chalk and Notch before this dress pattern was launched, but I’m now very tempted buy some of their other patterns.