The Blue Ridge Dress

Endorphins. Any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that act as neurotransmissors and have a number of physiological functions. They activate a specific kind of body's receptors, causing an analgesic effect, reducing the sensation of pain or stress and inducing feelings of excitement and satisfaction. I think the word "endorphin" here could be fairly replaced by the word "fabric". Don't you think?

Fabric makes me have an endorphin rush. There is just something about those colors, color combos, prints, textures... all the different weights and softness... and the draping, the flow-iness of it all when it moves... and the way the light goes through some fabrics and makes it glow... The world stops and I feel like I'm watching some sort of poetry... 

I love using all kinds of apparel fabric. Baby wale corduroy, wool, tweed, linen, chiffon, charmeuse, crepe de chine, georgette, silk, shantung, twill, silk twill, satin, dupioni, taffeta, suiting, voile, cotton lawn, gauze, double gauze, broadcloth, shirting, flannel, poplin, sateen, denim, chambray, tencel, velveteen, jersey knit, French terry, iterlock, ponte di roma...

I have used them all in these last (almost) two years of sewing as a junkie avidly and blogging frequently. All these are different and I love them all just the same. As if they were all my kids and I couldn't really tell which one I love the most... But then there is one that you know it's just after your own heart... For me that is viscose or rayon challis. I must look really silly - believe me, I know - for using this kind of fabrics on my girls clothes but it is just so, so soft... with the perfect drape... It is perfect! And this dress just proves it. Again.

Oh well, I  just realized that maybe you are here because of the dress. I am such a chatterbox sometimes. :) Sorry. Let's go on with the blog post, shall we?

I was lucky enough to test this dress, the debut pattern of Holli Coats from Hello Holli. I can't wait for her to release the next ones! If you saw her spread over Stylo magazine you can have a glimpse of what is coming next! A-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Pattern: the Blue Ridge dress, by Hello Holli.

Fabric: viscose (from my local fabric shop, Feira dos Tecidos).

Size range: 12m to 14 years. (Super!)

Level: Intermediate. But perfect for a confident beginner that loves a good challenge and aims to go further in their sewing skills. The instructions are easy to follow and full of clear diagrams (no photos).

This dress is perfect for Summer! It is a sleeveless dress with a fitted curved bodice that encases a trim (flat piping kind), high neck, full gathered skirt.
It comes with two length options: tunic or dress. 
This dress is constructed in a way that will blow your mind... All the seams are hidden! Even the skirt seams are enclosed by French seams. Perfect!.
It closes at the back with a single button on a button loop.
The neckline and armscyes are embellished with bias binding which is perfect for playing with color combos.

I have opted for the dress length and I have made two slight mods to the pattern that didn't changed the overall construction: 
1) I have add piping (in a light mint green) to the bodice seam, on top of the flat piping, because I wanted to add some contrasting color.
2) I have add an hem band because I wanted to play with those printed bands on the fabric. To do that I have cut the pattern piece where the tunic length is marked and used that piece to cut the band. I had to add a new seam allowance to both skirt and hem band pieces so the overall skirt piece would have the same length as the original skirt piece. It is a simple modification to make. 

You can find the Blue Ridge pattern here. Use the coupon code BLUERIDGELAUNCH for 20% off through July 3rd! And please join the Hello Holli Makers Facebook group.

Holli is offering a copy of this pattern to two different sewists! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win until July 4th. If the winner has already purchased a copy the money will be refunded, no worries! 

Here is the line up for the Blue Ridge dress tour just in case you would like to see other testers versions:

June 30th | Life With Zeke | chelsiebrady | Made by Sara 

And just because this is actually how she spends most of our photo shoots - jumping, twirling and dancing - here it goes. My ginger princess in all her glory. :) 

Happy sewing!


  1. I love the modifications you made, Sara! Especially that beautiful hem! What a gorgeous dress for a lucky girl!!

  2. That is a beautiful dress Sara!!

  3. I don't know if my comment got deleted or not, but here it goes again :)

    Great job Sara! I totally relate to your analogy of sewing and endorphins. Sewing is such a good therapy for me. It is relaxing and rewarding when I look at the finished product. Pattern testing is also rewarding, in the sense that we get to meet such wonderful people who share the love for sewing and being creative in general.

    Your creations are always beautiful and inspiring. Keep up the good work!


  4. Well, piping - of course my dear thought sister ;) You chose perfect fabric for this dress. Also, love how you played with the print on the hem. I can totally relate to how you feel about fabric! When I first started sewing I used a lot of quilting cotton. A looooooooooooooooot. Then one by one I started discovering other fabrics... it is like discovering there are other flavours of ice cream other than vanilla! They are so different and yet so exciting :)


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