Beam Me Up Snitmonster Dress aka The Pattern Swap Dress

Do any of you keep a note of the comments made by your nearest and dearest on your handmade items? This dress received several seconds of contemplation from my Current Husband and the comment, "It looks like a Star Trek uniform." However I should point out that this was not meant as a criticism, but an observation - honestly. I am aware that I am likely to have the Star Trek theme tune sung at me when I wear this dress, but I'm chuffed with the result, so I can take it.


For reference:
 Image from here

Pattern Used 
Maria Denmark 2007 Raglan sleeved knit dress with 3/4 length sleeves (pattern shop here, I was unable to link directly to the pattern). I borrowed this pattern from Handmade Jane after I had lent her the bow blouse pattern she used to make this blouse recently. You can see Jane's dress here - in her post she asks what 'Snitmonster' means, if you're wondering what I'm on about with the post title!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I was delighted when Jane posted about this pattern as it was just what I had been looking for to recreate this Whistles dress that one of my work colleague wears, and which I had been coveting for some time:

Whistles Contrast Sleeve Dress 
Sorry the picture is so small, dress is no longer available from Whistles

Although this dress came together quickly, working with the pattern itself was not straightforward. The original pattern is in Danish but there are English instructions. However these instructions are pretty brief and are without diagrams. Diagrams don't feature too heavily on the printed instructions anyway. This is probably in line with Burda and other European patterns (seam allowances are also not included), which I don't have a lot of experience working from. Although the construction of the dress is not complex, I don't think this pattern could be tackled by a beginner without some struggling. 

The raglan sleeves have an unusual type of dart at the top for shaping which Jane had mentioned as being a bit confusing but it was the application of the neckband that confused me the most. There are several notches along one edge of the neckband but it wasn't clear how these were supposed to match with the dress neckline. Some numbering of the notches would have been helpful here. From the instructions I also didn't understand how the neckband was intended to be attached but I used the method from the Renfrew top. This worked ok though it is a little loose, so I probably made the neckband seam too small. I steamed it viciously but it still looks a bit big and loose. Never mind.

Fabric & Notions
I used two types of poly jersey from Minerva Crafts at £2.99 a metre. The red herringbone is a heavy-ish weight but without much stretch however this worked well for the pattern. It does crackle a bit but it wasn't expensive and drapes nicely so I don't mind. The brown is a slightly textured fabric which has much more stretch. I think the fabric I used might be classed as double knit - the red anyway, although the website doesn't state this so I'm not completely sure.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made 
Added length to the body and arms and made the arms a different colour, in line with my inspiration. 

I cut my usual size and added a bit extra to the front to allow for a bump, but this wasn't required. The skirt was a little more flare-y than I wanted so I removed some fabric from the sides too.

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time? 
Now I've made it once I'll likely sew it again but will be sure to get the neckband to sit properly.

Did you use any new techniques?
Working with a translated pattern and adding seam allowances - can you believe I've never had to add these to a pattern before? I was SUPER lax about the seam allowances and I have to admit I eyeballed it to a certain extent.

It was also fairly new for me to be recreating a dress from an inspiration garment, as normally I'm a 'see a pattern, buy the fabric', kind of gal. I'm trying to do this more often, taking an overview of my 'style' (once I work out what that is) and being more aware of different trends as inspiration. I don't mean that I want to start following trends but I'd like to be a bit more aware of what's current so I have a wider pool of inspiration. This is where Pinterest is great.

Would you recommend the pattern to others? 
Yes, but be aware of the instructions. I'm not sure if my issues with instructions come partly from inexperience at working with this type of European pattern, but I think a beginner would struggle. I remember my own difficulties trying to make a Burda blouse as my second ever garment, and the instructions were a nightmare.

Pattern = Free! (swapped)
Fabric= £9
Notions= None, had thread already though I did buy a twin needle especially at £3.15

Total= £12.15

If you have a bit of dressmaking experience, or have access to help, I'd recommend this pattern as quick and nicely-drafted to create a comfortable dress. It is an easy to wear, flattering shape.

I normally prefer a belted dress to divide up my figure since I am tall but I'm happy to wear this without a belt as I think it has a good shape to it, not that I can wear waist belts just now anyway.

Swapping a pattern was great too as I was trying to be good and not buy too many patterns. Have you ever done a pattern swap or borrowed a pattern from another sewing blogger? I'd love to work out a way to make this work on a larger scale, as it would be great for hard to find vintage patterns in particular. Surely technology could help to make this easier for all of us sewing bloggers- what do you think?

K x


  1. This looks great and not star teky at all!

    Like your thinking re pattern swapping. Like Spotify but with a library of patterns to chose from! No idea how to do this though!

    Disclaimer: I have never used Spotify so I've probably just got that completely wrong. That's how it works in my head though!

  2. Oh fab, so pleased it turned out well in the end, despite the instructions. I did find the instructions a little brief, but for me, if was the raglan sleeved darts that foxed me the most. I didn't even bother using the instructions for the neckline, I just used the neckline band instructions from Sew U Stretch. I probably should have mentioned that but completely forgot I'm afraid. Often I'll use a tried and tested way rather than going by the instructions if I know my way works.
    Glad you were able to adapt the pattern to accommodate your bump too, you look great! x

    1. Thanks Jane, the Renfrew instructions worked a treat, I think it was just down to the seam width. I'll have a look at the bit in Sew U Stretch for next time and see how they compare.

  3. The dress looks terrific and you too are looking bump-errific!!

  4. You are blooming! That dress is lovely! x

  5. Your husband is hilarious! And you're looking so lovely. Pregnancy agrees with you.

  6. you are one adorable prego lady.

  7. It looks great. Stylish and comfy, win! Pattern swop sounds like a great idea x

  8. I love this! Raglan sleeves are my favorite-- they're so flattering and sporty (plus they require so little fitting!). This is remarkably close to your inspiration dress!

    1. They are great to sew, and I was delighted to find such a close pattern match too.

  9. Great job! I'm sure your inspiration dress from Whistles cost considerably more! Plus, thanks for the unexpected picture of Riker *swoon*

  10. Turned out lovely..l ohh thanks for the side view of the growing bump...

  11. This looks great and mad props to you for the Will Riker picture. I APPROVE.

    1. Ha ha - I really must incorporate Star Trek into my posts more frequently :)

  12. I like your finished dress very much. I actually thought the neckband was meant to stand up like that! I think the style is very flattering for your stage of pregnancy, if you hadn't already said I wouldn't have known from these photos. I have recently bought a parallel tracing wheel which has really helped with seam allowances by the way, I recommend one. Last night I posted some free patterns on my blog but I am not sure whether they would be much use to you right now!!

    1. Thanks Philippa. Will have a look at those patterns too.

  13. So. Much. Awesome. I love this on you and the raglan sleeves are super cute! Beam you up to awesome town!

  14. Blooming marvellous! Very satisfying to make something so successfully for peanuts when the Whistles dress that inspired you would have cost a fortune. And, you have the satisfaction of saying you made it yourself! PS I like the pattern swap idea, I think that could work very well.

  15. Great post Kerry :)
    (ps - "Current Husband", lol)


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