5.21.2014

springtime blues


from the looks of my latest garments, it would seem i'm in a blue mood lately, but actually i'm quite happy to show you this dress, the giselle, from kate and rose patterns.

when kati asked if i'd like to test this pattern, to be honest, i hesitated.  testing takes time, more time actually than it takes to make a garment (and we all know that.  shit.  takes.  time) so i'm careful about what i say yes to.  i ask myself many questions: do i have time?  do i have fabric?  is it my style?

that last one gave me pause.  my higher self noted the silence, and attacked:  oona.  HEY OONA. PAY ATTENTION. is that your style? or is that the style you WANT to be? OONA YOU LISTEN TO ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU DAMMIT.


beaten into submission by higheroona, i had to admit: with the giselle, it was the latter.  y'all, i love that willowy romantic hippie free people look like nobody's business.  I LOVE IT.  i want to be a sun kissed 5'8 loungey lass with a mane of highlights kissed by fuschia and ocean blue tips chalked on by hand.  

no, higheroona.  i am not that girl.  BUT I SAID YES ANYWAYS. 

and oh!  in this dress!  i swan about with a subtle smile caressing my cheeks like i'm wafting through town in my own private bubble of vintage love.  and people look at me like i'm bananas.
   

WHATEVER PEOPLE BECAUSE OH MY GOD SOOOOO HAPPY.


i made two versions of the bodice, one in a straight up size M, which, although i fall into those measurements, was a bit big for my liking.  years of standing in front of dance class mirrors will do that to you.  on this go, i went with a size S, empire waist version with sleeves, and was pleased as punch. being short waisted, the empire sits lower than intended, which is exactly what i was hopin' for.  the only thing i changed was to interface the front yoke, as the fabric i chose is quite soft and drapey (some mystery blend of lightweight cotton from my frenemy janky store). i'm not sure if this suggestion made it into the final pattern, but it's something to consider depending on fabric.   


this dress was the knee length version at first, and it gave me a sad face.  the face that caused higheroona to say TOLDJASO.  but then i added another rectangle of skirt, à la the maxi version (but different proportions-- the skirt is comprised of two gathered rectangles so you can play with that easily) and VOILA HIGHER SELF TAKE THAT!

the neckline (and armsyce, if you go sleeveless) is finished as directed with bias tape-- my favorite method.  good lord i hate facings.  the sleeves are finished with elastic casing... (edit! the pattern calls for pretty cuffs, i went for elastic on my own)


...and there should be some elastic across the back bodice as well, but if you use up all your elastic on the sleeves and don't feel like going out to buy more, ahem, the ties (enclosed in side seams) give ample cinch.

do i love this pattern?  yes.  do i recommend it?  hells yes.  oh hey, lemme climb up on my soapbox for a moment.  it's an appropriate sidebar, considering it's indie pattern month, but it's gonna take a minute, that's a lotta skirt.


i test indie patterns because i enjoy it.  yes, it is an investment of my time and energy, and because it's a test, there's no guarantee i'll come away with a wearable garment.  so i choose the patterns i test carefully.  and i give my honest feedback directly to the indies i test for.  i have to, because that's what they need, and want, in order to release a worthy product.  some think there's monetary gain to be had here: there isn't.  some think i'm crazy to do this for free: i am.  but it's a crazy i enjoy.  i like to sew, and i like to support those who are courageous and talented enough to make their passion their business.

and though i am a critical tester, i'm not paid to be a public critic.  in this scenario, i'm not paid at all. moreover, i'm not interested in being a public critic.  you see a lot of indie patterns here that i praise, because i love the finished product, and because the product is worthy.  if you hear me shouting from the rooftops about my love for something, it's real.  i'm not going to prop something up that isn't deserving.  there are plenty of indie patterns i've tried (both purchased and tested) that i don't like.  plenty of books i've read that never make it to the blog.  would it validate my praise if you heard about those as well?  maybe.  but honestly, i don't feel like it.  those same books that don't float my boat are cherished by others, those same un-oonaable patterns exist elsewhere, looking beautiful or not, on many happy ladies.  and more power to them.  

and more power to you if you enjoy being a critic, for real.  but you don't hear about the un-oonaables here because i'd rather spend my time propping up than putting down.  there's enough putting down in the world.   i'm not interested in having my corner of the interwebs contribute to that.



well!  time for a course correction, mr sulu!  in the interest of HAPPY, kati has offered to give a paper copy of the giselle pattern away to one of y'all, no matter where in the world you live, and in the interest of keeping ME happy, she's taking care of the shipping!  Y'ALL I'M PRETTY SURE I AM ALLERGIC TO THE POST OFFICE.  to enter, just leave a comment on this post.  (i imagine, even hope, the few paragraphs above will spark a bit of conversation, so do mention if you're not throwing your hat into the giveaway.  winner announced june 1st!)

edit: giveaway now closed! i will indeed announce the winner, heheh, just a day late.  blame it on the sunshine, blame it on the moonlight, the good times and the boogie.  see you tomorrow!

and furthermore,edit: congratulations juliana!  a giselle pattern is winging its way to brazil.  comments are back open now, but this giveaway is over n out! 

219 comments:

  1. I'm always amazed that you are not in fact 5'-8" or taller because you would never know it from your stunning floor length flowing dresses. Maybe it's the dancer stance (I can hear my past teachers now: *shoulders back! lengthen your back as if someone was pulling a string from your head!*), but you totally pull off these looks. And you have me convinced that it would look good on me (I'm just pushing 4'-11").

    Anyway, this dress looks amazing on you and I'm glad you agreed to test it so we could see it. And I have to applaud you for only being a positive critic. No need to being a negative nancy. It may also be a reason I always look forward to reading your posts because they leave me in such a good mood!

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    1. yes, fellow shorty, i truly think it all depends on the proportions of the skirt! and you can adjust those to your preference since they're rectangles :). dance teachers must get the same code. exaaactly what mine said.

      i'm glad to leave you in a good mood. there's room for it all, but i enjoy happy.

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  2. Ok, so how tall are you?
    (jus'asking cause i could be 5'-8" in the right shoes, which may be the Right Shoes for this dress. which i would like to have a pattern for, prettyprettyplease.)

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    1. haha! just shy of 5'3. of course, i haven't measured in awhile, i could be shorter. OR TALLER. SUUUUUUUUUURE.

      i think my wedge sandals are maybe 2 inches?

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    2. Ha! I'm 5'10". Throw my name in the hat, and we'll see how it looks on an amazon:)

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  3. Love this! Very pretty! Blue is a good color on you...me, not so much. I'm an autumn so my "blue" has to have some green in it.

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  4. I love these kinds of dresses on you.Very lovely. Nothing wrong with dressing in the style you want to be, especially if it works. I am struggling with that myself, the style I want to be is a lot more exciting than my comfort and not smelly style.

    So, now you reminded me I need to shoot you an email.

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  5. I love this dress. It has that cool carefree vibe about it. It's how you wear it not your height. Me and my friends use to envy the cool gal from The Cosby show, about 5ft 1" but the girl was cool. Forgotten her name but married to the very cute, oh great forgotten his name. Ah just remembered hers, Lisa Bonet. Come back to ya on the guy, it's my age lol.

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    1. i used to pretend she was my twin sister;)

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  6. Wow - also would have thought much taller. You're making me think my 5'4" self could almost pull this dress off. Thanks for the posititvity and the great blog!

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  7. That is an amazing dress on you, makes you look 5'8 easy peasy! I love the fabric too, can see you swooshing around in it! :) giveaway, absolutely! My girls will love this...

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  8. DEFINITELY throwing my name in that hat!

    I've been eyeing this pattern for the past two weeks, but since I'm a newer sewist, I like to read up on what I might be tossing together first. So, THANK YOU OONA for this review. I'll be nabbing this pattern whether or not I win the raffle.

    And re: negative reviews: if you're trying to put out as much positive energy as you can, why spend time knocking down things you aren't that excited about??? This is sewing, not international politics!

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    1. yeah, i just don't have the energy for that here-- here is about fun! mostly.

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  9. Love it! I've seen a couple versions of this pattern where the underbodice part sits ON the bust, instead of under, and that worried me (I like my bewbs to look bigger, not smaller, thankyouverymuch) but I really like how yours fits. I'm so glad you made it a maxi, too - it looks very YOU! I've got the same philosophy about pattern testing: I love doing it if I'd really want to wear the pattern! And if it doesn't turn out, in a way that I feel isn't my fault, then mum's the word on the blog... but if it's great then I'll happily spread the word! Otherwise, what's the point?

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    1. you know, it's also soooo dependent on skill set, fabric, level of brain function (i traced the bHL anna out in the wrong size like four times, she's my favorite dress), so if others are enjoying patterns that i didn't, why put it out there? maybe i'm not that patternmaker's girl.

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  10. This pattern looks delightful, please count me in!
    Your positive energy comes straight through every post and it always brightens my day. You rock!

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  11. Goodness! I concur. I would never have guessed you were short. You pictures and garments suggest a tall woman, so congrats, you fake it well. :p

    I am tempted by this pattern but wonder how I might have to alter the waist as I am long waisted. But it keeps calling me, so I'll likely give it a whirl, you know. The Voices must be appeased.

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    1. oh, yes, the voices. insistent, they are. belligerent, even. but they'd be right on this pattern :).

      there's also an option for a fitted waist that hits at actual waist, i chose the empire because i thought with my short waist it'd hit just right.

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  12. I like your level of positivity, and I also like how that dress covers up without being matronly. It looks so cool for summer!

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    1. thank you! it creates its own breeze....

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  13. GORGEOUS! I love this dress on you, Oona, It's funny, I saw it and immediately thought how very "you" it seemed--so colorful and glamorous. That fabric is just to-die-for and you can pull off a maxi length beautifully. I've been a bit reticent about making a maxi myself, but this pattern is officially on my list. It's fabulous!

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  14. Blues are my 2nd favourite after greens. I love the bodice the most! Please pop me in the hat!!!!

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  15. Good on you. Critique is really for the individuals isn't it. I think if there is something about the pattern that you don't love but you love the pattern, putting that in as a rider is a good idea, but I LOVE this dress too!!! I LOVE maxis and my fave is very similar but sleeveless and I love to waft about in it.
    I am also a theatre critic (no hissing, Missie!) and I also mostly say the positive stuff, unless the show is absolute rubbish and in the Fringe festival, sometimes it is. (One show two people sat on stage with a tub of water between them slapping the surface of it and splashing it until we all started jiggling in our seats, and that was the most interesting bit!) but if I really have something to contribute to an act, I go straight to them. Small city, why not? Trouble is, I have to submit a review, I can't not do it after the show! :(

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    1. hahaaaaaaaaaa! BOOOOO! no, actually, i had to take a theatrical critique course in college, in which they taught you that the first and last lines had to declare, in some enticing and overblown way, exactly how you felt about the piece-- and all the examples were slams. i think that's why i keep it positive here, our "real" business is so imbalanced in terms of critique/rejection vs support...but i do get critical in my profession (slapping water? hrmmmmm...).

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  16. That dress is fabulous! Totally up my alley as far as the way I'd like to dress...I'm currently in an old sweatshirt and pair of jeans. :) I have to add this to my list of WANTS.

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  17. Wow, I love how the dress turned out and I really love your thoughts on pattern testing. I think a lot of us (including me) jump into headfirst a pattern testing opportunity without really thinking about it first. I learned the hard way not to say yes to every single opportunity test an indie pattern, however fabulous they are. I also happen to know, you cannot go wrong with Kati's designs.

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    1. this was my intro to kati, i agree--- fabulous! yes, i've learned to be careful about my choices, timewise, stylewise. sometimes it's hard, i mean, it's almost like telling someone you don't want to spend time with their child, but the offspring is better off having eager company!

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  18. I love your positivity! Don't change it for any reason!!!! I've been thinking about getting several of her patterns and I would love to try this one out!!!

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  19. I love this dress. I love it on you. Would I love it on me? Maybe?

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  20. This dress is divine hippy chic. I love the faux ruffle skirt extension

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  21. Oh this dress is gorgeous! I don't think I've heard of Kate and Rose, which is obviously a failing on my part, but this pattern at least looks amazing :-) I agree with above comments, no way do you look shorter than me (5'4). You look beautiful :-)

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  22. After pattern testing a couple times, I realized that it is definitely not for me! I appreciate those who do it and for their honest reviews. This dress is stunning on you and I would have never known about the pattern unless people posted about it, so thanks!

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  23. I absolutely love the dress and the print!

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  24. Honey that's just delicious!! And you're my height?!! Love it! You look like a tall willowy hippie goddess :)

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  25. That's just lovely! I'm positively smitten with floor length maxi dresses. Unfortunately they always trip me up the stairs and I end up tearing them. Nevertheless, I think I am dreaming of another one anyway. I never learn!

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  26. I lovelovelovelove this dress and I think it looks amazeballs on you! On a side note, I always thought you were taller, like 5'7" ish taller... wierd.

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  27. You look EPIC in floor-length, and wow, the fabric! I am 5'8" and I always feel stumpy in long skirts (maybe it's because I have the torso of someone who is 6' but the legs of someone much shorter).

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  28. Lovely dress, reminds me of the dresses I wore in the 70s. I've just bought fabric for two maxi dresses so this pattern would be perfect for one.

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  29. I looooove this! I've been on such a maxi kick lately. Also I'm pretty sure you're 7 feet tall with legs for daaaaays.

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  30. Looking at you in this dress, I feel like I'm at some sassy party in London in 1973! This is so Ossie Clark!

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    1. oh my sweet jumped up jehoshaphat. i just googled him and am in love.

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  31. YES PLEASE I'd love to win this cramazing pattern. Even if I, too, lack highlights with fuschia and blue and whatnot.

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  32. I love a positive review too, but also appreciate when there is honesty about possible design/sizing issues. I think that helps with knowing if a pattern is worth investing in. However, the biggest gauge for me is looking a pattern up via google images, and seeing how it looks on different body shapes. Love the dress and the fabric!

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    1. oh yes, when i'm buying a pattern, i always look for images! but *not* always reviews... another sewist's adjusting nightmare might not be my own (and vice versa). of course if you're testing, there's nothing to google-- you're kind of in a void, wondering if your issues happened across the board. i've been in situations where my issues were solitary, so why cut an indie business off at the knees? people have major love for patterns i've loathed!

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  33. Omg this is like my dream dress! I am going to be adding this to my post baby to sew list for sure. I can't wait to give it a go. Your version is absolute perfection!

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  34. Contest entry! I love your blog. My grandma is from Kalkatroona, I never knew it til I found your blog through dairy of a sewing fanatic.

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    1. well well well! please holler an OH HAI! to grandma! (the traditional kalkatroonaan greeting.)

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  35. Love your dress! The bodice shape is very cool. And I think honest pattern testing/reviews are good stuff...

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  36. I am thinking that you just nailed the reason why, even though my blog reader says OHGAWD HOW MANY POSTS DO I NEED TO GET CAUGHT UP ON?!, and even though I should certainly be planning for tomorrow's lessons for class, I still manage to stay all caught up on everything oona. Everything is so gawd darn positive around here and if I can't help but read about your sewing even if I haven't so much as looked at my sewing machine in months (not that there hasn't been so. much. yearning.), then you know it has to be good reads. Thanks for keeping us positive. And the dress makes me happy too! :)

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    1. carlee, you just put a big ole grin on my face!

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  37. this looks great on you! love the dress, the wide midriff is super flattering. definitely have my eye on this pattern!

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  38. I don't often wear dresses, but this is beautiful! Would love to have the pattern. And thanks for being honest in your reviews.

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  39. I am a short little thing who should not be running around in a floor length maxi dress, but hot dog do I want to make this anyway...

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  40. I love this beautiful BEAUTIFUL dress! You look so amazingly lovely in it! I passed this pattern over at first glance, but this definitely makes me want to try it! And I love your positive outlook for sure :)

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  41. The dress looks lovely - I'm glad you beat your higher self into submission!

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  42. I LOVE your dress! You look so beautiful and really happy in it :) I'm glad that you decided to give it a try :)

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  43. cute dress. want more dresses in my closet. Please send pattern here.

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  44. This is a beautiful dress and I love your blog... you always make me laugh! I would definitely love to win a pattern.

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  45. Lady! You make everything look good. That dress is especially gorgeous.
    I would love a copy for me!
    ~Michelle

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  46. Love, love, LOVE this dress! You should listen to higherOona more often- she was right on target!

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  47. 1. I appreciate positivity.
    2. I appreciate honesty.
    3. I appreciate honesty expressed positively.
    So, if a pattern has a major issue, or even something the average sewist might find tricksy (say, a third armhole centered between the breasts). I would like to know this, in a positive way (perhaps the reviewer could say: "the third armhole didn't quite work for my body type, since I don't have three arms. However, if you do, this might be the perfect pattern for you").
    4. I honestly and positively would like to be entered in the contest.
    Thanks!

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    1. hahahahahaaaAAAAAAAA that is fabulous!! i'm going to be thinking about third eye armholes for days!

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  48. Fellow shorty here! I have found that there is something about clothing for tall ladies that often also looks fab on those of us who are south of 5'3". This pattern is no exception!

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  49. I appreciate you only sharing what you cam support! I hope this pattern comes in larger sizes too!

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  50. Eeeeee I love how much skirt this dress has!

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  51. Soo perfect and floaty and I wish it was Summer here and I want one!

    Honestly, I don't know what all the fuss is about short people not being able to wear maxis! Wear what makes you happy, people! Then you'll always look great - just like Oona!

    Love the fabric, and the gathered panel at the bottom is even more adorable!

    ~Zoe

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    1. :))

      yes, who made this no maxi length for shorties rule? it's rubbish! like white after labor day!

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  52. I'd also like to be a 5'8" giselle (my daughter aged 4 is showing tendancies that she will grow into one - not that I'm jealous at all..well maybe a little) rather than a 5'2" shorty. I think the dress looks great on you, I love the flowery print - maybe I should take your lead and branch out into maxi dresses rather than living vicariously through my daughter and her long legs.

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    1. daughter can't have all the fun. your turn.

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  53. Oooooh! I LOVE this dress! I would want to spin around in it & maybe even (whisper it) wear high heels! I'm a tallish lady (5"7) but since I started sewing, I've lived mainly in countries where everyone else is short so I tend not to wear heels for fear of being too gigantic, but for this dress I would (although I'd probably fall flat on my face...!)! You're totally convincing as that chilled out hippy chick in this dress! I feel your pain though - how do they look so floaty & effortless?!

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  54. I love this dress! It looks beautiful on you. That fabric is delicious.

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  55. Really cool flowy dress... and your writing makes me smile.
    I see the largest measurement for a bust is 45 1/2 inches.
    I do need to diet. Very lovely pattern!

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    1. diet shmiet!!

      there is some ease in there, but i'm sure kati would love to hear from you about upping that sizing for the future...

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  56. Jeez, that dress is amazing. And the fabric is gorgeous. Maxi's are my go - to summer style so I think I need this one in my life!

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  57. So pretty. And definitely a head turner!

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  58. Shocked to discover you are not a six foot tall amazonian princess … well, everything other than the six foot bit obviously still holds true! Still rockin' the look lady. High fives from another paid up member of the Short Arse club.

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  59. I am truly impressed, you never cease to amaze me! I went and looked the the pattern and none of their style offerings had what yours does. Must be the "Ooooooooonnnnnnaaaaaa"UMPf. Amen! I need me this pattern so I can attempt my own "Oooonna-tactic" attempt.

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    1. thank you honora! though i must say i am lusting after the knee length version on the pattern model :)

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  60. You look gorgeous in that dress! I would love to try the long version myself...

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  61. It's really lovely - gives me hope that my 5'2 stature could carry this off too!

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  62. This is a shape I admire on others, but don't think I could pull off myself. Lesson learnt: take more risks!

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  63. You look like a modern day Lizzy Bennet in this, which is a look I can get behind. I also love that you're such a positive little sunbeam - it makes your blog a pleasure to read :)

    Oh, and don't worry about entering me in the competition - I've got enough to be getting on with without adding another pattern to think about sewing!

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    1. hahaaa my mind went to lizzie BORDEN!!

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  64. Oh I reeeeeally like this dress! Always a sucker for a maxi, may just have to conquer my fear of jersey for this lady.

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  65. I adore the colour of this dress, blue is my favourite. It looks lovely on you. I'd love to be in with a chance of winning the pattern

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  66. Ooooh! In goes my hat! Gorgeous, gorgeous. And I'm totally with you on publically praising happy patterns staying schtum on the unoonables - better by far that we all develop our higher voices and decide what will work for ourselves.

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    1. we're all so different-- we just have to be true to ourselves, to get all hippie dippy on ya :)

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  67. Love your version Oona! Thanks for the chance of winning such a beautiful pattern. To reconcile who I would like to be and the real me - I may have to make it in black... I understand that you want some positivity in this blog - I don't watch horror/depressing movies just for that - I just have to switch on the news - I think it would be interesting to have (sometimes) a peak of what went wrong with a pattern or how/why it did not work for you - I tend to wait before buying a new pattern, see what fits, who does it fit and learn by their experience, and I would just find it useful. But also very happy with a very happy Oona on every post ;)

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    1. oh yeah, i used to be a horror film junkie, can't stand them anymore (unless it's cabin in the woods). i appreciate good reviews too-- and there are some level headed critiques that do keep me from clicking that button-- but that said there are glowing reviews that have introduced some clunkers into my collection! when that happens, i have to think that it's more about my personal experience, rather than think a mass of sewists drank the koolaid:))

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  68. Beautiful dress, it's so romantic. I'd love to win a copy. I think I'll have a go at sewing styles I want to project too.

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  69. you totally rock that willowy romantic hippie free people look, sis! and i dig it (and that's totally a look i planned for me to wear this summer).. totally respect your musings on pattern testing, and couldn't agree more (on a normal day or a week, would have something to add to that, but i can't really think about sewing nowadays, with all the horror happening around me, floods and shit).. also, do not count me in for the prize, cause i have a pretty similar pattern in one of my 70's burdas..

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    1. sis, i hope you're well. enough calamity in the world, evidenced right here. stay safe.

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  70. Two things, I keep meaning to wear more maxis, as I am usually a strictly knee length girl, but am feeling the need to break out of my mold a bit. Second, I have a real thing for those midriff yokes. I think that they are so flattering. You look just stunning in that dress, and I want to be too!

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  71. I love that dress it's amazing! Totally my style, 70s boho chic is right up my alley. I'll surely be off to buy a copy of the pattern if I don't win!

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  72. Thanks for your beautiful positive attitude. It's a pleasure reading every word x

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  73. Stunning is all I can say. I LOVE it. I am a sucker for a bohemian maxi and this hits the mark.

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  74. I'm 5'7" and far from willowy, but I think that pattern would work for me too! Love, love, love it on you...I'm convinced you have magic "tall" mirrors or something going on. Gorgeous!

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  75. i've got my eye on this pattern! i would love to win!

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  76. That is one awesome dress! I'm adding it to my pattern wishlist (for when/if I find a job). That vintage, boho flowiness is going to haunt me!

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  77. That's a lot of skirt. But my inner gypsy princess says yes please!

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  78. I have this dress cut out and sitting on my sewing table right now!! I cut the sleeveless Maxi version in an XL. So for those of you wanting to know about a larger size I hope to get it done today! Will send Kati pics. (p.s. don't enter me in the contest since I already have the pattern) Thanks!

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  79. I checked out the pattern and I love the look of the shorter skirt too! I don't believe I could pull of the maxi look, you look gorgeous in it though. :)

    Also thanks for taking care of the hard testing work and for not just writing down the stuff you don't like. It's always so easy to criticize, I don't think the world needs way more of that. Love reading your posts. :)

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  80. Love this dress! The maxi version is soooo cool. I totally went and stalked her patterns after I saw your IG post. I'd love to win a copy. As for soapboxing, do it all you want. I love testing, too. I think the free pattern and the chance to see the designs before everyone else and to be a part of the production process is totally payment enough :)

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  81. Oh Oona, I fucking love reading your posts. You crack me up and sew wonderful clothes. I need to go check this out, I'm short but not as svelte as you. I wonder if I'd look like a box.

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    1. tracy, thank you! those side ties are the anti-box :))

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  82. This looks so pretty on you! I'm also 5'3", so it makes me wonder if a dress like this could work for me after all? I've always shied away from dresses like this.

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  83. great pattern! and i'm in awe of all you lovely sewing bloggers who give their time to test these indie patterns, so the rest of us schlemiels can see how they turn out!

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  84. I love this! And, I had so much love for their peasant blouse/dress and wear several versions all the time. I'm in. But, God, that fabric. That is so so so beautiful. Why don't more people put roses on electric blue/cobalt/whatever that blue is more? It's just such a beautiful combi.

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  85. What a great dress! I think I would love that on me, and would look for fabric close to what you did - drapey cotton in a floral print.

    And Oona - what a great attitude about keeping criticism private. Somehow being on the web instead of face-to-face has people thinking it's okay to be a troll. Not!!!

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    1. oh, and it is so hard to get tone across a computer screen! half of the tone is in the writer's words and half is in the reader's mind! it's too easy to click send.

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  86. I've just recently started following your blog.. BUT OMG I love your writing style and your frank and direct explanations of things. You are so funny. Love the dress on you by the way

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  87. Love this dress. It makes my little happy hippy gypsy heart happy. And I'm with everyone else that I never would have guessed you were 5'3"!

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  88. Only because I have met you in person and have looked you eye-to-5'3"eye would I know that a maxi dress can look so great on a shorty like me (and you). Love all your maxis of late. I am determined to join the long-length party. I just need to pick a pattern.

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  89. I just wanted to say how pretty the dress looks on you and that you look like a giant lol
    I don't want to be entered in le giveaway :-)

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  90. Love that little rant at the end.... I love your positivity and your enthusiasm and I trust what you say because I know you wouldn't blow smoke up asses unless the smoke was okay to begin with. This was especially nice to read after I caught up on the "incident" from last year - tha whole thing made my skin crawl!

    Now, on to this FUCK YES LET'S DANCE TO THE DEAD DRESS - it's stupendous. The fabric is making me die of joy inside and I just LOVE a maxi ruffled skirt. I'd live to see this sleeveless, in layers of white cotton batiste... How many yards did this dude eat?

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    1. i mean, just because someone's positive doesn't mean they aren't being real. and YOU NEED THIS DRESS. i think i had four yards of fabric, but ended up with about 3/4 yds left over? the longer maxi panel was cut on the crossgrain.

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  91. Well, Oona, I basically don't know you, at all, but this seems a bit different in fact of the things you usually wear. But it's a lovely fabric, a grrrreat color on you, and a really flattering design, with the imperial waist and the perfect lenght of sleeves, and the detail on shoulders. I LOVE it.
    And you always make me happy, I enjoy your writing so much!
    :)
    hello from Brazil

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    1. totally agree, it is different! and now i want twelve...

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  92. That dress looks gorgeous! And higheroona was cracking me up. And I love everything you said about testing patterns. It's definitely something you have to put a lot of thought into. Definitely paid off this time!

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  93. Another awesome maxi dress, Marci. You were made to wear this type of dress. Love it!

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  94. So in love with this dress! The fabric is amazing, and as you said- the boho vibe is right on. Add this to my list, sigh...

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  95. I love this on you! It's so fabulous! I tend to fear the empire waist, but this works beautifully on you and makes the skirt look even longer. Fab!!! I really appreciate your positivity- there are enough haters in uglier corners of the internet- but I also know that you wouldn't say you liked something that you don't. Being positive, honest, and giving other people the benefit of the doubt is just a great way to live and blog and BE.

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    1. well said. and living in new york is already critical enough, yo!

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  96. Not throwing my hat into the ring for this pattern, as it is nearly identical to a 70s pattern that I made over and over again for Darling Daughter in the 90s.(Still have the pattern, am saving it for any grandchildren in the future.) It's been nearly 20 years, so high time for this delightful silhouette to make its presence known again. You look so good in deep, saturated colors! I salute your recent indigo phase.

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    1. thank you lynn! your grandchildren are luckier than they know.

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    2. At one point in my life, it seemed that I would never have children. Swallowed the bitter pill, cried and cried, then packed up all the toys and goodies to save for my grandchildren. When I realized what I had just told myself to do, I cried some more, rolling on the floor, laughing.

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  97. Oooo, preeeeety.... I too harbor fantasies of the sunkissed, walking-through-a-field-wildflower-gathering, boho-chic life (and wardrobe). But being both short (5' 2") and chubby, I end up looking more Earth-mama than hippie chick. That said, I ADORE maxi dresses, and am working on cutting out several now. The Giselle is really sweet--love the sleeves. They give it kind of a Western vibe that would be perfect for a transition into Fall! The fullness on your skirt is great, too. It looks so flowy and breezy and comfy. Well done!

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    1. thank you steph! i was thinking this is a two season dress too, bonus :)

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  98. I'm also short waisted and love where the empire waist lands on you! Lengthens your torso, but looks like it'll hide my post-baby belly that I can't seem to get rid of. :/

    Thanks for sharing your thought process on testing patterns too. I'd like to design knitwear and have tried to test a couple patterns as part of the learning process, but faded out of the projects because I think I approached them the wrong way.

    Anyway, the dress looks amazing on you! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. haha! good for eatin' too!

      it's a hard process, i applaud the work that sewists put into it!

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  99. I think you're inner voice was right. You definitely work this dress and look gorgeous in it. With regard to testing. I think it's great that you choose to support products that you believe in. It's absolutely a pleasure to read about people's positive experiences with a pattern. Those experiences and reflections are a strong endorsement for the products being tested and sewn.

    I also think there is room for negative experiences and critical review of those same patterns. If only one side of pattern making is revealed there is an incredibly skewed portrayal of the products being put out, and it is misleading to persons who pay and support those companies successes monetarily.

    If every tester who had a bad experience chose to put those projects to the side and not to talk about it, it would be a disservice to the community of less experienced sewers who look to those reviews as a basis for deciding whether or not to purchase a pattern. And, I mean that to apply to indie and big four companies.

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    1. I agree with you, personally I have to read the good reviews with the bad and then make a decision on whether to purchase a product.

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    2. with so many inner voices to choose from, i'm glad i listened to the right one ;)

      on testing-- in my opine, that's a service for the pattern maker. it isn't about putting critique out in public, it's about giving critique directly to the designer so that they can improve the pattern. after the finished product is released (which a tester gets a copy of) *then* it's all systems go on a review.

      and i hear ya on reviews, but my real life business is critical enough. i leave those reviews to those that enjoy writing them-- there's room for both, i'm not bashing critics! i'm just not interested in writing them. especially if the pattern is something others love--then i've got to think it's just not my bag. but less experienced sewists should know that raves here are real.

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  100. Beautiful dress, I loved it as a maxi! Thanks for the giveway!

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  101. The long version on you looks great. I'm not sure it would on me, though I'd give it a go. I admired the short version when I saw it, think it's more 'me'. I'm 5'10¹/²" BTW. Yes, please enter me into the draw. I appreciate your honest reviews - it's good to know that you mean what you say.

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    1. that i do! and the short version would look loverly on tall frames, methinks.

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  102. I like the honesty. There are a few (non-sewing, style blogs) that I used to love that have basically become advertorial. If you write about something I know it's because it made you very happy, and that makes me happy too.

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    1. i know what you mean, i've stopped reading blogs where the voice seems to be coming from elsewhere.

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  103. I love and want this dress. It is definitely my style! (Maybe not maxi, I'm still not sure if maxis are my style, but the nice thing about maxis is that you can always cut them off at the hem if they're too long.)

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  104. love the fabric and the dress is just perfect - i can see why you love this.

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  105. Beautiful, beautiful! I'm so inspired.

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  106. Looks great on you!

    I'm like you - i want to love this pattern. I have a hard time thinking to try a pattern that may not look good on me. but winning the pattern would definitely make it easier! :) I would definitely do the maxi style.. i love everything maxi. Okay maybe not everything, just most.

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  107. i would love to be a part of this giveaway! thank you :) the fabric you've used is amazing

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  108. LOVE this! put me down to win, please. thankyouverymuch xx

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  109. This dress is TDF! Very boho chic. I stand at 5'6". My flats have 3"heel. But that's neither here nor there. ACH-I-TOOD is what makes one seem more "present" than others. Babygirl (yes, I am probably old enough to be your mother) you got it in spades. And I love it. Keep bringing your faboonalosity to the interwebs and toss my name into the hat.

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    1. hahaaa! i think my attitude brings me to about 5'8 sometimes!

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  110. Love your posts, they always make me smile! Please throw my name in the hat as I love the empire line of that dress. I'm also on the short side 5ft 2in on a good day but I think I have body dysmorphia as I always imagined myself to be a willowy 5ft 10in. My me made May pics have however made me think otherwise! Helen x

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  111. This dress is amazing on you! Seriously loving the maxi dress. Oddly, I'm 6ft tall, so I don't tend to wear maxis because then I feel like a giant, but I reckon if give this one a go... I love your attitude as well by the way- I think it's important that the sewing community is so lovely and supportive.

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  112. Oh my goodness, I love this dress! I hadn't even heard of Kate & Rose patterns! Beautiful fabric choice too.

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  113. Wow! What a lovely dress, and in that fabric. Such a flattering shape and looks comfortable too. Please put my name in the hat, thank you!

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  114. I absolutely ADORE this dress!!! I'm in love with that fabric, the sleeves, your added gathered panel to maxi-fy it, the shaped front yoke, the ties... sigh... I'm in love! Want to copy so SO SOOO bad!!! So, yeah, you can keep me in the giveaway ;)

    I've often thought about taking a 'hell no' approach to pattern testing - just because it always seems to come at a particularly stressful time, and, like you said, it's soooo time consuming, not to mention it usually requires a quick turnaround. And I take it very seriously - taking notes as I go, giving thoughtful honest feedback... It ain't easy! But I always cave because some of these people who are asking are people I truly want to support, in any way I can. I love the options and scope that the indie pattern companies lend to this community, and I WANT them to succeed! So I usually say 'yes' more often than my schedule (or, let's be honest, my interest too) allows.

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    1. same boat sallie! 90% of the time i'm absolutely certain i don't have time, but it's so hard to say no. in a country where we accept shoddily made RTW, substandard customer service, and bail out major corporations, i WANT (*talented*) small businesses to succeed. who else is supporting them if not us?

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  115. Wow! Just stunning! The fabric is great, even though I would not think to choose it, you made it look gorgeous. And, of course, you look beautiful.

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  116. You look so gorgeous in that shade of blue! I love the pattern as well I think lol I have always loved hippy dresses and even more so I love Gunne sax dresses and this pattern really reminds me of that. Altogether-beautiful! Thank You for sharing I will put this pattern on my "want to buy" list poste haste.

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  117. That dress reminds me of a favorite dress I had in 1976, throw my hat into the ring for this one!

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  118. It's beautiful! I wanna get in the giveaway!

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  119. I don't comment here often, but it's mainly because I read blogs on my phone and commenting is a hassle and as I have nothing much to say other than "squeee! You are amazing and your [insert garment here] is amazing!!!" over-and-over again, I figure you'll cope without a comment. But it feels kinda ungrateful to be all "well, there's a giveaway on, so NOW I'll make the effort to comment" even though that's exactly what I'm doing, so I just wanted to say:

    SQUEEE! This dress is freaking AMAZING! Seriously, everything you do turns to gold, you are a sewing goddess, sent from the heavens to bring garment fire to warm our hearts. This is no exception!

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    1. hahaha!!!! i love your introductory-entry-statement! there are times when i leave 20 blogs open in tabs because i sooooo want to comment, and then life happens.....so no worries, and thank you for such a beautiful compliment!

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  120. You almost made me like blue. Almost. And an empire line that does not make the wearer look pregnant = win :D I believe this may even suit stumpy 4'11" me.....

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  121. Hi there - long time reader, first time commenting (hmmm...or would it be commenter?)! I love your truth! Integrity & honesty are priceless, which is probably why pattern designers are so happy to ask you to test. As someone who is on this very same path (Indie pattern designer), I hope the people I ask are as honest as you are. As always with your outfits, this dress is AMAZE-BALLS!!!

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    1. thank you! i really try to be diligent in my homework for testing-- part of why it's such an investment of time! it's always wonderful when the designer appreciates honesty.

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  122. Wow, there's a lot of gathering and puffing going on in that dress, but you've pulled it off beautifully. Your initial instincts were right, as it could have turned into a "12-year-old Amy Carter" look in a millisecond. And now you have wardrobe should you ever be required to do a matinee of "Carousel" followed by an evening show of "Hair".

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  123. I lurv your maxidresses! This one is super pretty - I'm glad higher oona didn't win!

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  124. Pls, count me in! I love, love, love your version... would like to copy cat it!!!!!!

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  125. This is so beautiful!!! I LOVE THAT FABRIC!!!! We are SO going to janky store, next time!

    ps- count me out of the giveaway.

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  126. I love this dress! It looks some comfy and feminine and summery. Send me the pattern!

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  127. Oh that is a huge, big, shout it from the rooftops hell yes! When I saw the first photo where you can't see the full length, I thought iiinteresting, it was going to be a bit of a departure from what I'd expect, and then I saw the full shot and it all came together as pure fantastic. Just SO right. The print, the elastic on the sleeves, flowy nature and length. Argh, I love every bit!

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  128. LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress!! I think I know which janky store you got that fabric at (looks familiar). I'll totally buy this pattern if I don't win it. Enjoy your fixed up machine!

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  129. ohh, lovely dress, how did you know I was thinking of making a maxi dress for summer but wanted one that covered bra straps and had sleeve options. Coolio.

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  130. Beautiful dress. You did a wonderful job with it, and I love the idea that it can be worn for more than one season!

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  131. Love this dress so much! If I had access to the fabric I would do a complete copycat. Thanks for your blog and the giveaway

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  132. Love this dress! Not surprising though, since I love everything that you make--congratulations on yet ANOTHER HUGE SUCCESS!!!

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  133. This dress is epic. Great line and what looks like a flattering cut. Given my shortness? id need to keep it at the original length.. otherwise id probably just trip myself up.. whoops.. Ps while im commenting, I love how you tell your story, it feels like we are having a chat over coffee.

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  134. I nearly fell over my own feet dashing to the Etsy store for this pattern. I need this dress! Immediately! I want to approximate some Oona swirliness in rainy London.

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  135. Well said Oona, well said! I love your blog for that very reason, you are always positive and encouraging. That dress looks lovely on you!!

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  136. I like that you don’t dedicate blog real estate to the un-oonables. I want to read everything and you can certainly keep me entertained with the oonaballoonas!

    Keep it up and thanks!

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  137. Higheroona knows what she's talking about! First, this kind of sapphire blue is just stunning on you. And 2nd, I always love your 70s inspired clothes! Who doesn't imagine themselves to be a sunkissed Free People girl at one point or another? You are such a maxi goddess.

    Also thanks for sharing your thoughts on pattern testing. We have so so many choices now! I think it's a good thing. It forces me to keep focusing on what I can do, what I want to do, my style, and what I want to support. On the rare occasions I've been asked to test something I just don't think it's fair to critique publicly. It was a testing process that I willingly entered for their benefit and development, so clearly I want them to succeed!

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  138. Oh I really love your dress! I would love to enter the give away as the pattern looks fantastic.

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  139. This dress really is adorable -- and I have *so* much trouble finding maxis that fit OK *and* have sleeves. Crossing my fingers!

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  140. Gorgeous! You can totally pull off the romantic hippie look lady!

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  141. I love that dress and I think that you've converted me to wearing maxi dresses since I'm as short as you!

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  142. Giselle is so much Woodstock that I can almost hear Jo Cocker when I 'm looking your version. People maybe look at you are a bananas, but, God, what a nice bananas.

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  143. You've got me thinking maybe I, a fellow 5'3er, could pull off a maxi dress! I'd love a chance to give it a go ;)

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  144. Oh my goodnesss. I love this dress. I have decided that this is the year to start making my own clothes and embrace my inner hippie with long tunics and cotton flowy tops. I would love to have a long dress just like this for summer.

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  145. Count me in, another 5'3"er (and about the same around the hips haha)! So if I have no qualms about walking around pretending that I AM indeed that willowy romantic hippie chick, neither should anyone else!! You look fab in this dress, I love what you've done with that front yoke and empire-line, it works perfectly. And thanks for telling us about all the good bits, that's why we LURVE reading you!

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  146. It's so pretty! That color...the flow....love it!

    Nubiannut100(at) earthlink(dot) net

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  147. I adore the bodice, the little gathers under the bust!

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  148. Thanks Oona, your blog is always inspiring!
    If I don´t win this pattern, will definitely have to buy it.
    Cheers,
    Milan

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  149. I love this dress on you. Would you say it was a difficult sew? Or could an eager beginner tackle this as well? If so I'd love to participate in the give away:)

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!