I’ve always gravitate towards pieces that are easy to wear, and breezy to fit the Los Angeles weather. Linen is absolutely my favorite fabric to work with because of that reason. On top of that, linen is also a very approachable fabric for beginners, which I still consider myself to be, since it is a very stable to sew. My love for linen has been one of the main reasons I started this craft, as well. To put it shortly, I started sewing as a creative outlet to help me get through my less exciting day job after graduating from a design school. I didn’t actually study fashion design, but I’ve always had an affinity for garments that are well made and well cut. My mother in law kindly gave me a sewing machine one day after seeing me having an interest in the craft, since she too works in the industry. I got to work almost immediately, and the first thing I’ve ever actually sewn was the free A-Line Dress pattern from Fabrics-Store, so the opportunity to review the Loren Dress pattern has definitely came a full circle!
The Fabrics-Store has constantly spoiled me with their linen and great price point! My personal favorite is the 4C22 softened heavy weight linen since it’s got the perfect weight for basically every garment. But for this project, I’m opting for their mid weight IL019 Signature Finish in COMPLEXION. This was the first time I’ve worked with their signature finish fabric, and it really was something else! Right out of the package, it’s already way softer than its “softened” counterparts. I pre-laundered the fabric by washing it in cold water and tumble drying it in medium, as I would with my regular laundry.
Loren is a very versatile dress with a V neckline, slightly puffed sleeves, a belt, and side slits. The design really aligns well with my style since it is a pull on dress, making it a very easy-to-thrown on piece and simpler to make as well since you don’t have to deal with button holes!
Ever since I saw the pattern for the first time, I knew I wanted to make the long dress with long sleeve version, and so I did! I’m 5’1” with a waist size of 26 and bust size of 32, which landed me pretty much exactly on size 2. From measuring the pattern, I knew that this dress has a lot of ease, but since the shoulder measurements are fairly close to my actual body measurements, I was confident that the dress would not overwhelm my petite frame. I think it is important to note the ease of this pattern, since the pattern does not have an extended sizing yet, and how it could possibly still accommodate the neighboring sizes.
The construction was pretty straight forward but with a few clever twists. One of them was the combination of front facing and back bias binding, and I can’t say I hate it! The dress has a very convenient one piece pattern piece for the bodice and skirt. I would suggest to measure a similar dress that you have already own to determine the length of the front and back pieces and adjust the pattern pieces accordingly before you cut, since losing the slit length is not ideal. I altered mine to be 5” shorter, and I also added a wider hem that took an additional 1.5” out of the length. I added a covered circular belt as a personal touch and I love how it added a more vintage look to the dress. I also opted for 6 vintage tortoise buttons instead of the suggested 5.
The fabric, the color, and the pattern could not be a better match! I’m so happy with how it turned out that I’m sure I would be wearing this for the remainder of the summer and the transition into fall.