TMS Miss Bossy patterns challenge – Dakota

For the Miss Bossy Patterns challenge you, dear readers, chose that I should make the Dakota dress from Finnish pattern company Named Clothing. So I did.

Dakota shawl collar dress

Dakota shawl collar dress

It was a beautiful day for photographs. Sadly my photographer was too distracted by the cats playing in the garden to notice things like skirts hoiking up or the lines of my top showing through, or that he might be taking pictures from an unflattering angle. But my other photographer, who is generally more engaged with the process, was still at school.

distracting cat

distracting cat


distracting lumpage

distracting lumpage

So, the dress. The jury is still out on this one. I kinda like it, but it is not exactly the most flattering thing I have ever worn.

I bought the fabric, a great quality Ponte jersey from Minerva Crafts, before Christmas, when it seemed that half the world’s sewing bloggers had discovered ponte knit (and Rachel from House of Pinheiro had used it for a Dakota) and were all raving about how great it is to work with. Which I can only agree with. It is stable, so it stays on grain and is easy to cut and sew without it shifting and it does not fray, so I did not feel the need to do ANY kind of seam finish (yay for the lazy sewer).

I had both wind and sun battling with my face

I had both wind and sun battling with my face

Talking of lazy, I chose not to add pockets or plackets. The pocket decision was because I did not love the look of a patch pocket in a fairly thick fabric, but the sleeve plackets / cuffs was purely a time saver. I finished the hems with a twin needle and trimmed the fabric close to the stitching – the fabric was too bulky to turn twice and I tried a bias edge, but it did not want to follow the curve of the hem.

I purchased the fabric in this colour because it was on offer rather than it being my first choice of colour. Now that I know what it is like to sew with I am more likely to splurge on some full priced ponte for future projects.

Dakota Squatting

Dakota Squatting

The pattern did go together well. The shawl collar was quite straightforward, the sleeves went in with no drama (probably aided by the stretch in the fabric) and the instructions  were easy to follow (when I bothered to look at them).

I did spend a lot of time seam ripper in hand on this one and ponte is a swine to unpick, as the stitches sink slightly into the fabric. The fault was all my own, though – at one point I sewed the front of the skirt to the back the wrong way round, so half the seams were on the outside. Once I had dealt with that issue and then sewn the skirt to the bodice I realised that I had sewn all of the skirt pieces together in the wrong order. It is an 8 gored skirt and I had the front and back side pieces in the middle and the centre pieces at the sides, making the sides longer than the front (not sure why I had decided that was how it should be – it was only when I looked at the line drawing I realised my mistake). I did nearly leave it that way, as I quite liked the look, but thought better of it.

central bunchage

central bunchage

The only changes I made to the pattern were to lengthen the bodice by about an inch and the skirt by about an inch and a half, which I did using the technical method of eyeballing it as I cut it out.

It is meant to be loose fitting – there are no fastenings, so you need to be able to get that waist seam past something wider to get it on – so I do think it needs a belt, but pulling the waist in with a belt also makes the fabric bunch at the front a bit and then in hangs oddly… or maybe it is my lumps and bumps getting in the way.

Beltless - hangs better, but looks unfinished...

Beltless – hangs better, but looks unfinished…

Overall verdict is that I like the dress enough to wear it, but if I were to make this pattern again I would use a flowier fabric. And read the instructions.

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17 Responses to TMS Miss Bossy patterns challenge – Dakota

  1. Pingback: Miss Bossy Dakota | The Monthly Stitch

  2. Lucky you for having a choice of fotographers, when mine moved out I came to rrealize just how hard it is to take photos of yourself from behind, especially if you want to show a nice clothing item and not your twisted torso. The dress looks really nice, and I for one like the color a lot, nice job!

    • rachsews says:

      I am very grateful for my 2 photographers, really, but there are some days I think a tripod and remote clicker would be an easier option… One day I will actually stray further afield than my garden to take some pics!

  3. I think it suits you. I much prefer it without the belt though. I wimped out on the miss bossy challenge, well done you. Also I know you said it wasn’t your first choice of colour, but deep purple looks good on you.

    • rachsews says:

      Thanks, Louise. For some reason I just don’t think of purple as being in ‘my palette’, but I am quite happy with it when I wear it. I agree that in these pics the dress is better without a belt – it is certainly easier to wear, as I don’t need to constantly sort out bunching fabric!

  4. Rachel says:

    That’s my favorite Dakota I’ve seen yet! I think the color is great.

  5. Laurie says:

    I LOVE the purple color on you. I think it looks fantastic. And I like the dress… Quite a lot… I also love ponte knit but the last thing I made got those pesky little balls all over the sleeves. 😦 So I need to find better ponte!

    • rachsews says:

      Ooh – I have yet to find out if this will pill up when I wear it! When I was looking for ideas for something to send to you I had this kind of colour in mind, but couldn’t really find anything suitable!

      • Laurie says:

        It is a fantastic color and one of my faves! I hope you get some good wear out of it because it really does look nice on you!

  6. Almond Rock says:

    That colour is so pretty on you!

  7. rebeccadoe says:

    It does not look like lazy, not like seemripping and not like it doesn’t suit you. I like it, even without a belt. It looks comfy but yet nicely dressed. Wear it a lot and make another one 🙂
    Herzliche Grüße,

  8. nishi says:

    Purple is absolutely perfect for you! Wow! I had looked at this pattern and not been very impressed, but your version has made me re-think it – I’ve not tried any Named patterns yet, so maybe this should be my first?! And I love the distracted photographers cat snap! 😉

  9. I love this so much, you look fabulous! Ponte is my new favourite fabric too, I am *cough cough* part way through my Miss Bossy and I am using Ponte too, so easy.

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