Shay Dress from Chalk and Notch - Pattern Review


I was so excited to finally make this dress! I used the Shay Dress pattern from Chalk and Notch. 

I made a few changes - most notably adding pockets, because of course! Raising the neckline by about an inch in the front. And lastly, making a puff sleeve instead of the tie sleeve included in the pattern. In hindsight, I wish I had made the sleeves slightly longer, so they had more 'puff', but overall I am extremely happy with this dress! 

Like the other Chalk and Notch pattern I made, this is extremely well written, with great tutorials available. The files printed easily, and with Adobe Acrobat, you can print just the sizes you need. 

She has great information explaining how to get a great fit. I reworked the bodice a bit, grading between two pattern sizes and it worked perfectly. I did make a muslin version first, and I highly recommend doing that as princess seams can be tricky. 

I used a very light weight cotton gingham in a sunny yellow. The bodice is fully lined (and interfaced) , but this is definitely a 'wear a slip' dress if I'm going to be outdoors. 

I love the scoop back, and the tiered skirt is a dream to wear. I love how flows it is. This pattern's construction is also very straightforward. I didn't make it in one sitting, like I have others, but in about a week of evening sewing I had it completed. 

I actually had a very similar dress years ago when my husband and I were first dating. He has mentioned several times how much he loved when I wore that dress. We had a date planned to see Willie Nelson, which seemed like a perfect opportunity to make something special. It was fun to surprise him with this dress, and of course fun to wear it!

Here are some detail shots of the dress:

I love how it worked up in this ultra lightweight gingham, but I think it would also work with a slightly heavier fabric or a linen. I will be making this again for sure! 

- Cris