oh my darlin’… ranges!

guys, i’ve been dying to share this dress with you! i have for ages drooled over the darling range dresses you all have made, but i’m cheap and it’s hard for me to buy an expensive pattern and then still have to go buy fabric. i start adding up the costs in my head: pattern… fabric… lining… thread… buttons… then i go buy a simplicity pattern on the cheap and complain about how sucky it is. i really need to be convinced that a $20 pattern will get substantial use before i buy it. since i have so many different versions of this dress floating around in my head, i think it’s worth the expense.

that said, a while back julie over at fabric mart contacted me about doing a guest post on their blog—fabric mart fabricistas—if they sent me some fabric. sign me up! she pointed me toward some new rayon fabrics and the darling ranges instantly came to mind. it was a match made in heaven if i do say so myself.


so here she is… new favorite dress! head on over to the fabric mart blog to see my write up there, then come back and see how i made the bodice adjustments!


much discussed over here is how wonky i am proportioned. i’m 5’8″ which is certainly taller than average. in fact i have four sisters who are all 2-5″ shorter than me. however, most of my height is in my legs making it so that i’m rather petite on top. i have a high bust, spindly arms, and have always had trouble finding necklines that aren’t indecent and armholes that don’t gape wide open. side boob is just not a classy look for me. i’ve finally come to the conclusion that, more often than not, i need to do a petite adjustment above the bust, then re-add the length under the bust. if you happen to need a similar adjustment, it’s very easy to do. here’s how…

pick a point above the bust (about 1/3 the way up the armscye) and fold out the amount you need to shorten by all the way around (i took out 3/4″).

obviously this is a not-to-scale drawing


then, smooth out the armscye curve and you’re good to go!


once i pinned out the room and tried the bodice back on it just fit and felt right; the neckline hit in a good place, the darts were in the right place, the arm hole wasn’t gaping. success! a few tweaks here and there, okay a lot of tweaks… and i had a bodice i was happy with. i decided to leave this fitted but still everyday comfortable. i left off the back ties and added darts, and i lengthened the bodice to hit my high waist. mostly i’ll wear the dress belted so i left about 2″ of ease at the waist. i did add lining to the skirt portion; since the fabric has a white background i didn’t think i could get away without it on a sunny day.


i am loving how this dress came out and i have ideas for a few more… sleeveless, short sleeved, scoop-necked… i really need to get more megan nielson patterns!

—lisa g.

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19 thoughts on “oh my darlin’… ranges!

  1. Susan says:

    Adorable, Lisa! Love the fabric choice, perfect for that dress. I hear you, it can be hard to spring for the independent patterns, but so worth it!

  2. Shar says:

    Congrats on the guest post and fabric (very pretty)! The dress looks great and very versatile. Four young children – and you still have time to make fabulous clothes!

  3. aleah says:

    Awesome job as usual! I keep really liking all the versions of this dress I’ve seen, but I also keep not buying it… I’ve never really made a casual woven dress so I’m not sure I would like it? Anyway, you’re tempting me further! And I love how you’ve styled it with the yellow tights!!
    PS welcome to wordpress! From a totally selfish standpoint, it’s much easier for me to comment now 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! knits are my go-to for casual, but i think this pattern works as well. i think it’s mostly because of the extra ease i left in and the fact that the bodice isn’t very structured. it’s already passed my “can i wear it all day?” test; i’ll definitely be making more!

      and thanks for your high recommendation of wordpress! i do agree that WP blogs are easier to comment on!

  4. Regina Hall says:

    Your dress is adorable and love the tights and thick belt with it. I know this is an old post but, I have a question about the alterations you made to the pattern. When you shortened the bodice how did you make adjustments to the sleeves? I too am very short from shoulder to bust and have always struggled with making the right alterations.

    • lisa g says:

      Usually I fold out (horizontally) the same amount on the sleeve cap as I do the bodice. I try to mark the front, sleeve, and back at about the same spot all the way around. Hope that helps!

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