Dublin Dolman and a Lesson in Fabric Choice
Recently the Dublin Dolman from New Horizon Designs got an update. I never sewed up the original, but I’ve grown to love dolman styles over the past two years (just take at all the different Deer Creek Tunic and Dresses I’ve made) and have had my eye on the Dublin Dolman for a long time. Now that I’ve sewn it up (several times) I am so happy with with the pattern!
The Dublin Dolman pattern has lots of options including a gathered v-neck and a gathered back. My first version was a gathered back version out of cotton Lycra. It’s not awful, but I don’t love it either. Even though my cotton Lycra was relatively thin with decent drape, it is still too thick to make tight gathers. You can see that the gathers in the purple shirt stand away from my body instead of falling straight down and flowing.
I made a second gathered back version out of a thinner jersey and it worked MUCH better! See how the gathers are smaller and the back flows around my body instead of making a tent? It’s almost a swing silouette, which I generally do not like on myself. But I like this shirt. And my fabric choice made all the difference. My advice if you make a gathered back Dublin Dolman, choose a fabric will great drape! It’ll feel and look fantastic.
After making those shirts I made two basic Dublin Dolmans. And I couldn’t be happier with them. Both have sleeve bands (I’d rather sew on a band than hem…), neckbands, and a round shirt hem. The only adjustments I made were for height. I took out 1 inch from the length at the shorten/lengthen lines. Those yummy wide sleeve bands-yeah that’s in the pattern. I love them in the contrasting fabric. But I am also so happy that when I choose not to have the bands at all, I won’t need to add anything to the sleeves for my wide shoulders!
At first I wasn’t sure I’d like the curved shirt hems because the curves can be a bit finicky to hem. I often get puckers at the side seams. But the curve on the Dublin Dolman is gentle enough that I hemmed these easily with little to no puckering.
What I like best is the fit through the bust and waist. Years ago I tried drafting my own dolman shirts using free tutorials and I never felt like they flattered me. I guess I didn’t have the proportions right. The Dublin Dolman is loose and airy and forgiving, but still shaped so I don’t feel like I’m wearing a bag. These basic shirts have got to be some of the best quick reward sews ever because they are super fast to sew up!
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps fund fabric for testing and reviewing patterns. Regardless, I only recommend what I believe is quality.