Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Introducing...The Alexandra Dress

Well after much planning and drafting and making I can finally reveal my self drafted dress (pattern links also on my Free Patterns page) - The Alexandra Dress.

You can download the pattern here, and instructions here.
It's a casual fit with flounce down the princess seams and slightly dropped elasticated waist. It could also be made as a blouse to wear with wide legged trousers.
The flounce helps balance a pear shaped or narrow figure and also provides some coverage at the top of the arms but still remaining sleeveless, although you could join the flounce at the top to create a flutter type sleeve.

I have found this dress to be easy to wear and have worn it to work, with lots of positive comments!
It works best in a drapey fabric, and as mine was rather sheer I lined it, so it's a bit heavier than planned. It would be perfect in a rayon, silk or light weight cotton. My version is in a lightweight polyester crepe with a beautiful handle and it doesn't crease so would be perfect for holiday packing.

I think it would look lovely with a maxi skirt with a side split, and although I have a long zip in the back you could get away with a keyhole opening and a button loop.

I did actually finish this some weeks ago, but have been working on the instructions and have only just managed to get the pictures off the camera.

It's my first attempt at drafting multiple sizes, using some free drawing software (inkscape), transferring to PDF, and writing instructions. I'm a beginner in all this and I know I still have a LONG way to go to get to perfection! I made an error when I made up the dress and didn't document the process for the benefit of instruction writing. which means I need to make this again to illustrate my instructions.

I also had a few issues with the software I was using - learner issues! I got the position where I'd saved the file and needed to go back to an earlier version and hadn't saved this separately. I'm aware my PDF pattern is not perfectly presented, but in this case I can't make the adjustments I'd like to - due to newbie error. However I am going to make the pattern available FREE, if you would like to use it with the following conditions...

1. You make the dress/ blouse for your own personal use and not for profit.
2. You let me know how accurate the drafting is - I need to know that the software conversion to PDF hasn't messed up the grading.
3. Are the instructions clear enough? - I know they aren't perfect and the illustrations are missing.
4. You email me any images of the garments you make from the pattern or email a link to your blog/ site.
5. You credit me/ my blog when commenting on them.

I'm looking to improve my skills and am seeing this as a learning experience. I'd love to hear your thoughts and observations, and if anyone can recommend some good books on pattern grading...
There's a link to the files in my side bar or you can request a copy by email.


  1. Hi Claire, just wondering if the Alexandra dress pattern is still available for free?

  2. https://www.garow.me/media/1564369202859913658_2132862843
    here are the pictures of what i've done with your pattern ;) The assembling is accurate and it is easy to make
    thanks Claire !

  3. Très jolie ! Je ne trouve pas la patron ...

    1. Ooooh - I moved it. I have updated the post to include Links but here they are for you too.
      Here you go. Link to my free patterns page: https://ragbagsandgladrags.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_30.html
      The pattern:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3mSUI2I_5OmdUJWSzh0VGpsMUk/view
      The Instructions: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3mSUI2I_5Ombl8wMTR2aXB1c3c/view


I'd love to hear your views, so come and share.


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