Makes: a Fen dress

I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?

The plan (which you’ll have spotted in this post on my Spring Sewing plans) was to sew myself the perfect casual dress made up in a subtle, fun print. Something loose but interesting.

Something like this. Bam.

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

I know, right?

I’ve been wearing this bad boy like there’s no tomorrow.

I even stashed it with me on my recent work trip to Australia where I met with some of pretty darn lovely Sydney/Melbourne sewing ladies thanks to the epic sociable and organisational skills of my gal Susan. This dress got a general thumbs up from some pretty talented ladies – which made my day.

And so I’m crushing on this even more now.

If that were even possible.

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

The hem looks oddly crooked in some of these pics, but I think that’s the way I’m standing. Just a general FYI 🙂

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

I don’t think it’s any secret that I’ve been crushing hard on Fancy Tiger Craft’s Fen dress.

It’s exactly the kind of dress I need more of in my life. You know, the kind of dress you can throw on for a casual day at work, but that also works pretty well for slouchy weekend get-togethers.

The Fen is a real corker of a pattern – a drop sleeve dress (or top) with options to add longer sleeves, vary the hem, and to swap between v-neck or scoop neck. Both the dress and top slip on over the head, so it’s a very easy make – no zippers or elastic to worry about.

A dress that’s easy to wear and even easier to sew up? Sign me up. Stat.

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

The skirt is gathered and has two beautifully drafted pockets. Seriously these might be my favourite drafted pockets ever. Wait, is it weird to declare your love for a favourite pockets?

Whatever. These pockets. Are. Awesome.

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

I’ve been quietly waiting for the right fabric to come along for this. I was really holding out for a pattern that would balance well with the relaxed shape. Something with a bit of interest, but not overly imposing.

Luckily I came across this fabric on a recent trip to Walthamstow.

The second I saw it I knew it was destined to become a Fen dress. It’s maybe not the nicest fabric I’ve ever felt – it’s some sort of rayon-poly blend. But I love the pattern. It’s like a cross between cheetah spots and eyeballs.

Now tell me honestly, who wouldn’t want cheetah eyeballs on a dress?

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

At first, I was thinking of lining the dress because of the slightly sketchy feel of the fabric, but with washing and pressing the fabric’s calmed down and is much more pleasant. I’ve been wearing this con-stant-ly so I don’t think it’s a deal breaker.

Plus it’s impossible to crease. Even scrunched up in the bottom of my bag. The perfect travel dress? I think so!

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

So, will there be a Fen dress number 2?

You betchya.

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

This is a quick and satisfying project that totally fills a gap in my wardrobe.

Now I have the pattern, I just need to find some solid fabric choices to make this again. Maybe some chambray? Or a soft Jersey?

So I’m super happy that I managed to make something that looks even vaguely like the inspiration. Maybe it’s just me, but that never happens! I feel like this is some sort of major win. Sad, right?

But what about you, have you been sewing up anything interesting lately? Any patterns that I should be stalking?

I only ever share products and people I think you’ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). The pattern for this make was kindly provided by Indiesew (they’re nice like that). All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

An easy Fancy Tiger Craft's Fen dress in lightweight rayon - the perfect go-to dress pattern with the pockets of dreams

Pattern: Fancy Tiger Crafts Fen dress with scoop neck and short sleeves

Fabric: patterned rayon from Saeeds in Walthamstow

What changes did you make to the pattern or construction?

I love the concept of a high-low hem, but they just don’t seem to sit right on me, so I levelled out the hem by cutting off the excess fabric. I also slip stitched the hem and the arms. I tried sewing them, but the fabric was so slippery I gave up and decided to do it all by hand.

I also cut the smallest size I thought I could get away with (size 4). I really wanted to avoid being overwhelmed by the loose fit.

Apart from those changes, everything else was by the book.

What are you mOst proud of?

This is pretty much exactly what I had in my head for this sew, so I’m really pleased it came out as I had imagined.

What did you learn?

I really like the concept of loose clothes, but prefer a slightly more fitted waist at the end of the day.I might try and fiddle with the pattern to see if bringing in the waist by a 1/2 inch or so gives me the ideal shape.

What would you do differently next time?

I’d like to play around with the neckline a bit more. It’s a great shape, but perhaps a little too wide. It risks sliding off my shoulder (which could also be down to fabric choice, ’cause this is one slippery fabric).

The solution might be to draft the inari neckline onto the Fen bodice to see what happens. It’s a bit narrower on the shoulders than the Fen, but still easy enough to pull on over your head.

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    • Thanks Joy! You could easily make it longer by adding length to the skirt section. It’s an easy enough alteration. You should give it a go!

    • Thanks Rae! I’m definitely moving towards are lighter colour palette. But good to know I’m not turning into a Goth!

    • I know, it is pricey, isn’t it? I think the number of options takes the sting out of the cost. And then there’s those pockets… 🙂

  • This looks lovely! and I don’t think anyone in the sewing community would think you’re weird for declaring love for a favourite pocket! This fabric sounds perfect too – no creasing is exactly what you want, especially for summer sewing. I haven’t been to Saeeds for a while but was thinking of a trip this week sometime, thanks for the reminder!

  • I couldn’t believe this was the Fen dress when I first clicked through from thefoldline…. I glanced at that pattern when it came out and dismissed it summarily as yet another shapeless baggy dress…. but yours looks anything but shapeless and baggy… relaxed, cute, and fresh, yes. I think I shall have to get it…. enabler:)

  • I recently bought theis pattern and have been trying to decide what size to cut. I love how yours fits and am wondering how much ease you allowed for. My bust is 37″. Thank you!