The Capitol Hill Dress by Straight Stitch Designs

In 2015 we are pushing ourselves to be better: better seamstresses, better bloggers, better photographers, and better reviewers. We're streamlining our review process so that when our readers come visit out page, the reviews will have the same format, no matter who is doing the review! An easy-to-read checkbox will accompany all of our reviews, as well as the fun, personal writings and photos. Today we're giving you a sneak peek of this format with our review of the Capitol Hill Dress from Straight Stitch Designs.

Take it away, Gloria and Lisa!

I love sewing with knits.  I also love a twist on your average knit top.  The pleating on the front of the Capitol Hill by Straight Stitch Designs caught my eye.  If you’re a little squeamish about making pleats, the designer provides you with a video tutorial on her website (which, by the way, is fabulously filmed!)  And a pattern piece to make a circle skirt was a bonus -- I didn’t have to measure!

I am very pleased with my second pattern by Straight Stitch Designs:  the pattern pieces are marked with pattern name, piece number, and all necessary markings; the instructions are easy to read, and the dress (or tunic version) are wardrobe pieces both my 23 year old daughter and I both want to add to our closet.   

I have a new comfy and flowy casual dress with pockets (!) and I used shades of Pantone’s fashion color of the year (Marsala) to boot!  

Happy Sewing,

gloria june

The Capitol Hill is the perfect dress to get you out of that jeans and t-shirt rut for your everyday wear.  Add some opaque tights and boots and you have a quick and comfortable go-anywhere outfit.  I’ve made this with a nice heavy cotton lycra, in a simple solid colour that I love, and which I know will also look great with my favourite denim jacket on cold days.

Here are all the details:

  • Size 0-18 (32” – 44.5” bust).
  • Nested black and white pattern.
  • Dress or tunic length.
  • Elbow or long sleeves, with a banded option for the elbow sleeves.
  • Gathered, half circle or full circle skirt.
  • Optional pockets.
  • Tunic or dress length gathered skirt can be cut by measurements provided to save printing pattern pieces.
  • Bodice is made with knit (recommendations included in the instructions), and skirt can be made in knit or woven for a dressier look.
  • Measurements and yardage charts provided in both imperial and metric.

The gathered skirt falls above the knee, which is a look I really love for winter with tights and boots.  The dress is designed to have a relaxed fit around the hips, but I think next time I’d size down or take in the seams a bit more around the waist and skirt – I think a closer fit is more flattering for me.  And next time I’d also make sure my iron hadn’t run out of steam before I “pressed” my hem!  (Definitely no fault of the pattern!)

The instructions and diagrams are very clear and detailed, and this is a really quick and straightforward sew.  The only thing at all complicated is the pleats in the front, and the pattern comes with a link to fantastic video tutorial showing you how to do them.  With a practice run and a little patience on those pleats, this is definitely a pattern a beginner could make.  You can sew this up in 1-2 hours depending on your speed and experience with knits - a great quick project which will give you a comfortable and stylish new dress.