Terra from Terra’s Treasures Designs let me test the Evening Primrose Dress and there is a lot to love about it. It can be a fancy party dress or a fun everyday dress depending on your fabric and print choices. It can be elegant and it can have lots of personality. As well as somewhere along that spectrum. Terra has lots of tester photos on her website (affiliate link) for inspiration and you’ll find plenty of dresses all along that spectrum. So many gorgeous dresses!
First off, some of the non pattern-specific features you’ll love. Some of these are pretty standard for professional patterns-which means Terra’s Treasures are pretty professional. Terra’s PDF patterns are trimless-which frees up a good chunk of time you would have spent cutting off the edges of your pages before taping. Her patterns also include layers, so you can deselect all but the size (or sizes if you’re blending) you need and print only the pages that size is actually on. All of the pattern pieces are clearly labeled with the designer, pattern, and pattern piece as well as how many of that piece you need to cut. The pattern includes a size chart to help you determine which size to make as well as a finished measurement chart.
Now for some pattern-specific information. The Evening Primrose Dress is drafted for woven fabrics and has sizes from 12-18mo up to 14. That is a huge size range! It is fitted through the bodice (which has a square neck and an empire waist) and has two closure options. Both closure options use buttons but only one actually requires you to make button holes. I only made the loop option during the test because my machine was in the shop and I was using a loaner machine without a 1 step button hole stitch. I just didn’t feel like doing button holes the way my mom taught me using a simple zig zag stitch. (I’ve been so spoiled-I haven’t had to make a button hole the hard way since high school!) The Evening Primrose has a square neckline, two layers of skirt (with pleats adding volume instead of gathers), two skirt length options (dress and tunic), and long sleeve and flutter sleeve pieces you can mix and match. The bodice is also lined which makes for a nice finish. An added bonus is the sleeves are not cut on the fold. Which means the front and back of the sleeve have slightly different curves and give a better fit.
I might change how the sleeves are added on the next time I make this pattern. The way the dress is constructed leaves the sleeve to armscye seam exposed. Since the dress already has a lining, I might use the lining to enclose that seam.
I also found blending sizes more challenging with this pattern than others. Because of how the sleeves are layered, their shape (which I consider a great thing), and the shape of the skirts I found this pattern a bit more difficult than other patterns to blend sizes. That may be partly due to my inexperience or just the more precise nature of the pattern. Unlike gathered skirts where the skirt pieces are rectangles, very forgiving, and you can make fit almost any size bodice, the skirt pieces have pleats that make them fit the bodice just right and a slight curvature to the hem. My advice when blending is to be ready to trim up the bottom of the skirt because the hem curve will likely get tampered with in the blending process.
Overall I really like this dress and hope to make some more. On my list of things to try with this pattern is knit fabric without a closure, tulle added to the bottom of the underskirt, and the button placket. I did not love the loops-partly because I found them harder to make look consistent than button holes (I love that 1 step button hole function!) and partly because I felt it would leave a small gap for cold air to get in her dress. I think the button placket option will fix both of those for me.
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, and paying down student loans for my husband’s training. Regardless, I only recommend what I believe is quality.