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I’m so excited to share a gorgeous new dress pattern with you! The Hyacinth Dress is the first pattern by Belinda Abira, the newest designer for Peony Patterns. Belinda is originally from Kenya and Hyacinth is a named after the Water Hyacinth, a plant found in her home town. (Fun fact: shortly after she told us the background story on the name, I went to Ikea and found a basket made from Water Hyacinth!). Belinda now lives in the Netherlands with her husband and daughter. If you can’t already tell, I’m really enjoying sewing for such an international pattern company! <3.
Hyacinth is a sailor style dress with a curved V neckline and a full button front. It’s designed for woven fabrics. The options include:
- Cuffed puff sleeves or sleeveless
- Bow tie (long) or Sailor tie (short)
- Simple skirt with deep hem or tiered skirt.
- For both skirts you can choose between everyday or full (more gathers) skirt options.
- Size 1- 14Y
- Vintage length
For my dress, I decided to use this gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics Cotton Voile from Whimsical Fabrics. It’s beautiful to sew and wear – a little slippery, but very light and airy. I had some embroidered eyelet cotton in my scrap bin, so I used that for the collar and cuffs, lining it with some white batiste.
I would say this pattern is geared towards an advanced beginner/intermediate. The tutorial is fully photographed, so even if you’re newer to sewing, the instructions will hold your hand the whole way. But it does require some precision while sewing curves, and accuracy in starting and stopping in the right places. You’ll also need to sew buttonholes, though you can use snaps if you prefer.
For my daughter’s dress, I used a size 5.5 chest, blended to 4 waist, and 9 for height. Given the high waist on this dress, I don’t think it’s actually necessary to blend for waist – just go by chest size only and you should be fine.
I took a couple of progress pics while I was doing this one so I could share some tips!
Buttonholes – if your fabric is slippery and uncooperative, try stabilizing it with some washaway stabilizer.
Make cutting buttonholes easier with a Buttonhole Cutter Set! (Less than $6 on Wawak!)
Make Sharp Hems with a Clapper – you can buy a clapper online for about $20, but a scrap of wood from my husband’s workbench does just the trick! Press your hem with a steam iron, then take the clapper and press it into the crease. The wood helps to push the steam into the fabric, improving the quality of the crease. By the way, I use a gravity feed iron and LOVE it. If you have a permanent sewing space and hate having to constantly refill your water tank or deal with spluttering water, I highly recommend it. It doesn’t turn itself off, so I keep it plugged into a power strip with a lamp, so if the lamp is on, then I know the iron has been left on.
You can get Hyacinth on sale this week! For more inspiration, be sure to join the Peony Patterns Facebook Group – the testers are so talented and have done an amazing job!
Disclaimer: I received this pattern free in exchange for testing it. I’m also on the Peony Patterns admin team – opinions are 100% my own!