Thursday, 6 December 2018

Closet Case Patterns Ebony Dress

The dress I have to share with you today is a bit of a different one for me. Generally I'm a fan of fitted bodices/tops, waist shaping and full skirts. The Closet Case Patterns Ebony dress doesn't exactly fit that description! It's a modern swingy dress (also with cropped top and raglan sleeved tunic options), with plenty of the fullness that I like in skirts but absolutely zero shaping other than the shoulders being nicely fitted.

Closet Case Patterns Ebony dress - I'm wearing it with RTW leggings and a roll neck top here

So what made me want to try making an Ebony when it's really not my usual silhouette? Basically, the fabric that I've used. I bought it around this time last year hoping to make a dress for my mum for Christmas. The shop that I bought this from didn't offer swatches so I'd gambled on it because from the description and pictures, it looked like just what I wanted.

It was described as a medium weight ponte roma, but when it turned up it definitely wasn't like any other ponte roma I've ever seen/used. It's lightweight and very drapey, and you can see straight through it if you hold it up to the light. Annoyingly, not long after it arrived, I saw what looked like exactly the same fabric on another site, where it was described as a lightweight jersey and was significantly cheaper. I'm not mentioning the name of the shop where I bought it because I can't 100% remember which one it was now, and I wouldn't like to be critical of the wrong place!

Anyway, in addition to not offering swatches, the shop also didn't offer refunds/returns on fabric so I put the jersey away knowing that I'd find a use for it sometime. Much though it's not what I wanted for the project I had in mind at the time, it's a lovely quality fabric in itself.

A slightly blurry photo, but it shows the volume well!

At various points during the year, I got it out to think of what to make, and the Ebony dress seemed like the right project. Yes, it's not exactly my normal style but it does have plenty of swish/twirl factor (which is always good in my book!), and I knew that it would definitely be very comfy if nothing else. And I thought I might as well give it a try given that I had perfect fabric already - I'm firmly of the opinion that it's better to use fabric than leave it sitting on a shelf.

Making the Ebony dress was a breeze. There were only four pattern pieces (front, back, sleeves and neckband), so it was a fairly speedy project to sew, and the instructions were very clear and thorough so there was no risk of getting things wrong.

I made a straight size 12 based on my bust measurement as instructed in the pattern, and that worked out nicely. The shoulders and sleeves fit me well, and they're the only part of the Ebony dress that really need to fit. I did lengthen the dress by 1.5 inches (fairy standard for me), and if I make it again I'd probably lengthen the sleeves just a touch as well but they're fine as they are for this version.

So what's the verdict on the finished dress? Pretty positive! In terms of the Ebony pattern itself, I've got no criticisms. It's definitely a good one if you're looking to make a dress/top/tunic of this style. As for the dress on me, I'm surprised by how much I like it, especially with a roll neck top underneath it like I'm wearing in these photos. It's fair to say that it's not the most conventionally "flattering" dress on me (i.e. it definitely isn't particularly slimming), and I probably wouldn't want a whole wardrobe of them. As expected though, it is extremely comfortable and quite cosy when layered up so I'll definitely be wearing it this winter. Plus the red colour and general roominess will make it perfect to wear at Christmas! All in all, a successful experiment - wouldn't you say?


  1. Love your Ebony! I felt the same way re the Ebony but like you, as soon as I put it on I was in love. I promptly made 2 and wear them a LOT. One I made into a dress length much like yours but found it too long on me (I have an FF bust so all that volume WAS a bit much!) so I cut it down to be just at hip length again and wore it constantly throughout the spring, summer and fall. I will definitely be making more of these! Your red is beautiful!

    1. Thanks Kathleen! Cutting it down to hip length sounds like a good solutions for getting round having too much volume!

  2. Totally successful experiment, and I love the colour!!

  3. I like the cut of the dress very much. Of course, the color is great! Such vivid colors are the best. I love such stylizations. It's nice that you are discovering such stylizations for us.

  4. A very successful experiment! You got a good fit across the shoulders and arms so the dress swings and drapes really nicely. Definitely a perfect dress for this time of year!

    1. Thanks Jo! I wore it for both Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, so it's definitely proved to be a hit already!


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