The instant I saw the Ninalee Spring Dress was the new Free pattern in the March Issue of Simply Sewing Magazine  I knew I had to get my hands on it!

I failed to get it in the newsagents so I looked online and managed to order a magazine here.

I have since learned that you can buy the patterns on the Simply Sewing Etsy Shop here... You are welcome!!


First up was figuring which size I would make. For reference I am 36,30,39 . I have made quite a few Ninalee patterns and love the fit of them . I deviate between a 10 and a 12 and decided to go for a 12 this time purely to have more ease. I love the fit of my Deer and Doe Myosotis dress and as a double check I matched up the bodice patterns together and felt that the 12 would be perfect.

Do I prefer the Spring dress to the Myosotis now? Yes!!


I chose a Lady McElroy fabric from my shop and felt confident to go ahead and make it without doing a toile in another fabric first.

I gave a quick read through of the instructions but love to just go my own direction. The first part of the construction is the centre front seam which has a a slit at the neckline and has a lovely finish which has no raw edges.


I then moved onto the shoulders and decided to do a french seam there. The neck binding was next. This involved making a bias strip and encasing the raw edges of the neck, the extra binding length formed the tie. I hadn't been looking forward to this part of the construction but it actually sewed up really smoothly. At this stage I was loving the clean look of the construction so far and thought ...' to heck with it I am going to french seam the whole dress'. And so I did! 

The seam allowance on the pattern is 1.5cm so I sewed the first seam at .5cm, trimmed off any threads and sewed the second seam at just 1cm. It really didn't feel like it took any longer than sewing each seam and overlocking and the finish is just so lovely. The side seams were next and then I made the sleeves and added the ruffle.The pattern calls for a double layer on the ruffle but I just used one and sewed a double hem on the edge.


I basted the sleeves into the armholes and checked the fit. The shoulders were too wide so I did a quick trim of an inch off the width of the shoulder and graded down along the armhole... not ideal but I will do a proper narrow shoulder adjustment on the pattern for future makes.

The armholes went in without any fuss or pesky tucks. 


On to the skirt panels next. I gathered the top tier by zigzagging over some thick thread I had and pulling the thread to form the gathers. I french seamed the bodice and tier together , mentally noting to add a 1/4 inch to the length of the bodice the next time so that there is a little more seam allowance to work with. 

There is very little extra width on the lower tier , i think barely 10cms. This made gathering to the top tier extremely sparse In fact there are patches of no gathers, which on my patterned fabric is ok but it wouldn't look great on a plain fabric , in my opinion. I will add width to the next one. How much extra? Probably as much as the pattern placement on the fabric will allow.

Having tried it on I added waist ties , just to give it a little more fit at the waist. 

I would also add pockets... there are no pockets.. yes you heard me right! I didn't know what to do with my hands for the photos!!

I think I could have easily made a size 10 in hindsight but I would personally struggle to get it on with my limiting movement due to my shoulder.

An observation... the dress is a perfect length for me at 5ft . It just hits around my knee.

So it is safe to say that there will be many more Spring Dresses in my wardrobe. It is an absolute delight to make and a pleasure to wear. 



June 07, 2021 — Andrea Parry


Karen Clement said:

Wow! You look fantastic!!!

Ruth Lanwarne said:

You look lovely in this dress. I dithered too much to get this magazine and dress as have the Myosotis pattern. I’ve regretted it ever since so may look where you suggested. However I have so many patterns yet to be made.

Alecia said:

What a wonderful review of the Spring Dress, Andrea. And you look so pretty in your new dress!

Alecia said:

What a wonderful review of the Spring Dress, Andrea. And you look so pretty in your new dress!

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