The Staple Dress #1 : Field Study Rayon

I couldn’t hold out anymore. The more I saw the Staple Dress on my IG feed, I knew I was going to have to give this pattern a try.

I’m so glad I did because I love it!!!! The Staple Dress is an incredibly versatile (and very well-written) pattern by April Rhodes. Because I’m really unsure of how I feel about a dropped hem, I went with the straight hem. I don’t have the legs to pull of a dropped hem. And I’m 23. That’s too old for a dropped hem, right? I’m so overthinking it!

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As with any garment, I made muslin version to begin with. And like any other pattern, I was able to use that version to modify the pattern to make the perfect just-for-me dress! After looking at the measurements, I was sure I would need an XS on top, but graded the pattern to be S on bottom just in case. I realized that the XS would be fine on bottom too, so I cut down the pattern to be even.

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After sewing in some shirring, I realized that even with several rows and steaming and all that jazz, I wanted the dress to cinch more in the waist. So I cut down the pattern piece at the shirring line. I marked 1″ in on the pattern piece and curved it from the sleeve bottom to the bottom dot to cut in the waist size. I then cut that piece out and used it as a guide to repeat the same curve on the back piece.

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I did exclude the pockets because I was afraid they would be too obvious under this lightly colored fabric. I used french seams, which I adore because of their clean appearance. The only other modification I made was shortening the dress. I used a 2″ hem to bring the dress just above my knees.


I sewed in six rows of shirring. There was some initial frustration with this new skill, but I think I kicked its butt. Once I was able to do it successfully, I didn’t want to stop!


I’m thrilled those little changes made the dress absolutely perfect for me! I made my first wearable version in Field Study rayon that I had set aside. It was certainly different to work with, but I just LOVE the drape and the feel of the fabric. With summer weather in full force around here, I’ve been yearning for a really simple not-very-dressy-dress to throw on any day for anything. I adore my My Belle dresses, but they are far too beautiful to be worn on an everyday, any day basis. Those are reserved for church, work, dates, and the like. The Staple Dress is just what I need for running errands and taking Layla to the pool and just about anything else.


I can’t believe how much I’ve come to love garment sewing. It has quickly become a love and obsession for me. And I love that every time I finish something, Justin tells me how much he loves it. That may seem lame, but for me its big. He even helped me look through pages of fabric online to use for my next Staples Dress(es). And believe me, there will be more. Many, many more.

Olivia wishes you a happy Monday!



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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

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