Carnaby dress – pattern review

When I first saw the Carnaby dress by Nina Lee, I must admit my first thought was, cute but not for me. However, Instagram is a wonderful place for inspiration and having seen lots of lovely Carnabys popping up in my feed lately, I thought I would give it a try. 

I have loved all of Nina’s patterns that I have made so far, so much so that she was the first pattern brand I reached out to to stock in my shop. Her patterns are just so cool and wearable, with lots of interesting details.

When I got the Florometry Cotton and Steel fabric isn’t the shop, my first thought was that it would make a great Carnaby dress. The dress calls for fabric with a bit of structure and is the perfect canvas to show off a bold print. This particular fabric is now sold out, but there are lots of other lovely mid-weight cottons that would work perfectly.

As I was off to the annual Blogtacular event, and with the photo walk approaching, I decided to give this dress a go. I only needed a metre of the main fabric for the sleeveless dress and I used 50cm of the Coin Dots fabric for the pockets and facings. The combination of the two fabrics work so well together.

I decided to go with the sleeveless version as the fabric is so bright and summery, but it will also give me the option to layer it over at t shirt if necessary.

I had heard that the back zip was slightly redundant as it can be slipped over the head without undoing it, so I decided to omit it and make a keyhole opening instead with a ribbon loop and bottom fastening. I’m really pleased I did, as it gives it a nice twist. I also really don’t like exposed zips on clothes as well so I would have changed it to a concealed or lapped zipper.

I adore the large deep pockets that are integrated into the skirt. I chose to make mine in a contrasting fabric so that they would give some interest.

I hemmed my dress using some pretty pink bias binding and turning it to the inside. Completely unnecessary but it makes me smile when I see it!

I’m really pleased with the fit and the look of the dress. As I said, it’s not a silhouette I normally go for, but I am trying to branch out and try new things!

I will definitely be in the lookout for some more gorgeous fabrics for my next version.

The Blogtacular photowalk was fab and we found Frank’s Café in Peckham was the perfect venue to get some pictures of my dress!

5 thoughts on “Carnaby dress – pattern review

  1. This dress is stunning and you look amazing in it! I love the photos too.

    1. thank you! x

  2. Hi Sarah – that dress looks so lovely on you. I too am a fan of Nina Lee and I already have a few Carnaby dresses with more to follow for sure. As you say, very wearable and a great fit.

    1. It’s so good for sunny days! x

  3. Yup – that is what we wore in the 60’s & 70’s. Still have the old patterns my Mom used to make me clothes. Cute!

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