Essex Dress in Cotton Poplin

I recently made the Essex Dress by Sewing and the City. I loved the style as soon as I saw it released late last summer and knew I would need to make one myself. In preparing to make this dress I searched Instagram for other people’s versions and their feedback. Many mentioned that it was a touch short and the V was a bit deep. I decided to address these common fit issues while cutting out my pattern. 

Based on my measurements I should have been a size six, but after reviewing the final garment measurements I decided to make a size two and I’m glad I did. (I decided this after a tissue fitting of the pattern. Thankful Sewing in the City includes cut and stitch lines on patterns!) I’m 5’1” and added one inch to the bottom of the skirts pieces. I wouldn’t want it any shorter! I also raised the fabric of the V by pivoting the front bodice piece on the upper shoulder point one inch from fold (at the deepest point of the V.) After a few pin fittings I also decided to raise the center seam 1 1/2”, which worked because I have a smaller bust. I’m very happy with the results and will make these adjustments again in the future.

I love working with all wovens, especially cotton shirting, because it isn’t slippery and can so easily be persuaded to do what you want it to do with a bit of steam. Cotton is a natural fiber and has great breathability and adaptability to climate, it deals with temperatures changes well. And as I’ve worn this cotton shirting I’ve found it wrinkle resistant too! 

I like to make blouses/tops and daily wear dresses with cotton shirting. It’s also great for little girl dresses, which I plan to be making a lot more of in the near future! The addition of bias binding to the flutter sleeves of this dress allow them to keep their shape and be a real statement! This fabric and notions were gifted to me by Style Maker Fabrics and you can learn more about cotton shirting on their blog here.

Pattern: The Essex Dress by Sewing and the City
Size: Two, lengthened on inch and adjusted neckline
Time: Estimated 5-7 hours with fitting and adjustments

Cost to Make:
pattern - $16
fabric - $30 value
bias tape - $6 value, 3 yards organic cotton bias tape
elastic - $2 value, 2 1/4 yards of 3/4" elastic

Jasmine Blouse - Fayma Patterns


I recently tried out a new-to-me pattern company, Fayma Patterns, that creates custom sewing patterns for your unique body. Their tagline is "Size Me" and I was eager to try a bespoke pattern without all the rounds of tissue and pin fitting usually necessary for a good fit. To begin I made a profile on their website, but did also need to download the app to enter my body measurements. I waited until I was with my mother over the holidays so I could have help taking my measurement, hopefully with more accuracy, and uploaded my measurements as well as a few pictures of myself.

I chose the Jasmine Blouse for it's current style and the ability to test how well this custom garment fit me. When I received the files for the blouse they were all separate which I then compressed into one file to send to the printer. I needed to invest in an upgraded version of Adobe to do this, but that was preferable to the cost of printing each pattern piece separately.

Once I received the pattern I decided to do a tissue fit to make sure I had taken my measurements correctly. This process was made easier since Fayma prints the seam allowance on the pattern pieces and I was very happy with how the tissue fit. To stay organized I hand wrote what each pattern piece was on the pattern. Since this pattern is uniquely designed for my body each individual piece was cut from a single layer of fabric.

I used a floral Art Gallery rayon that I had been saving in stash for just such a make and accented the blouse with gorgeous antique buttons in two sizes. The Jasmine Blouse sewed up quickly, the instructions were very detailed, and I was very happy with the result. However, if I were to make it again I would straighten out the neck band a bit as I find it can fall forward due to the curved nature of the pattern piece. I would also extend the sleeve length since the cuffs don't allow the sleeves to ride up my arms and I find my movements restricted a bit.

The Jasmine Blouse looks great with both jeans and dress slacks. I'm looking forward to adding it to my spring wardrobe and I've already purchased the Nightly Walk Pants patterns, which would pair perfectly with this blouse. And can you imagine perfectly fitting pants right out of the gate?! I will be sure to let you know how I get on with them!

Jasmine Blouse styled with V9131 slacks

Size Me
Fabric: 1 1/2 yards Art Gallery Rayon
Time: Estimated 5-7 hours

Cost to Make:
discounted pattern and printing costs - $13.50 ($29 value)
    USE CODE: SEWHELPME25 for 25% off your purchase
fabric - $24
buttons and thread from stash
*Note: once pattern is purchased would need to repurchase if your size changed

This pattern was shared with me at a reduced cost and this post contains affiliate links. I love my Jasmine blouse and am looking forward to wearing it. Thank you for your support!

[name=Marissa] [img=//] [description=Hi, I'm Marissa, a hobby seamstress. Thanks for joining me on my journey as I create a handmade wardrobe. Like and follow via the social media links below to see my newest makes!] [(instagram=] [(facebook=] [(bloglovin=]