An archive of sewing tutorials and inspiration


Clara Dress // Reveal + Review

This week I realized that being a quilter has drastically made me a better general sewist. I began sewing when I was about six years old. My mom would make us Halloween costumes every year and I started to help her. I made a renaissance dress in middle school, various sweaters, skirts, shirts, pajamas and later I made my wedding vail. I was always a bit irritated with sewing clothes and was never super happy with the quality of my projects. For that reason I rarely got my sewing machine out. 1PA-SewLiberated-118_LRG When I began quilting I was immediately addicted and really didn't sew much clothing anymore. My memories of making clothing were never very fond, so why even bother? This week I was shopping at my local quilt shop, they have a fantastic selection of sewing patterns, I came across the Clara Dress by Sew Liberated and decided to give it a try. I made the dress and I absolutely loved doing it. Thanks to my quilting skills making this dress was easier than ever. You know how much I love glue basting and so of course I assembled the dress using glue basting. I added the bias binding to the sleeves and collar effortlessly. The only problem I had was with my machine, which was acting up while making the button holes. Besides that the dress came together easily and I can't wait to wear it. Our family is on a very serious budget right now so I needed to stick to my stash. The only print I had large enough was this unknown Timeless Treasures print. It wouldn't be my first choice for a dress, but I rather like how it turned out! IMG_0930-sm IMG_0929-sm IMG_0926-sm IMG_0940-sm

Pattern Pros

  • The overall experience making the dress was stress-free and super fun! I will definitely be making this again very soon.
  • The style of the dress fits my personality and it's perfectly modest.
  • The pattern comes with a password for access to a 1hr+ video tutorial on how to make the dress. This was especially helpful since it was my first time making keyhole sleeves.

 Pattern Cons

  • When I make clothing, I trace all the pattern pieces onto freezer paper (I use a pre-shrunk freezer paper you can use Reynolds, but you must iron one time before transferring the pattern onto the paper). Then I can iron the pieces onto my fabric and everything cuts out perfectly, no pins or annoying tissue paper. I positioned everything very strategically and I only used up 2 1/2 yards of fabric of the actual 4 1/4 yards the pattern calls for. As a pattern designer myself I understand it is important to include wiggle room for cutting errors, but this is really a lot of extra fabric.
  • The video is helpful, but a few things mentioned in the video that don't quite line up with the written instructions. In the video she mentions markings on the sleeves determining front and back of the sleeve. I thought maybe I just didn't transfer it all, but after double checking the markings really aren't on the tissue pattern. Good news is whatever those markings were they dress turned out fine without them.
Overall I would definitely suggest this pattern to anyone with some sewing experience that is looking for a fun project.


Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.