Let me introduce the Cassandra dress from Valentine & Stitch. I made this dress as part of the Facebook Group Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests “Something New: Breaking Ground” challenge. The idea is to challenge members to try a new to them pattern company and, although I have followed Valentine & Stitch for a while I haven’t managed to sew any of their patterns. Then Helen, from V & S agreed to sponsor a couple of prizes for the Sew alongs group and gave me the Cassandra pattern to try. So generous!
All this was going on whilst I was in Tasmania, so as soon as I got home I shopped the stash and found this lovely wool piece that I bought at Knitwit from their $20 pile (I bought quite a lot from that $20 pile!)
I printed out the pattern and chose the scoop neck with the straight hem and long sleeves.
I didn’t quite have enough fabric so lopped 7cm off the length which means that I lost a little bit of width, which is a shame, although I don’t think the longer length would suit me.
The only thing I wanted to change about this pattern was the addition of pockets. I didn’t want in seam pockets so faffed around and finished up drawing two circles with my trusty compass, and chopped the top off. Then I bound them with black bias binding. Then I panicked. Was I about to turn this lovely pattern into a 1950s apron? I sent my problem out to the brains trust on Instagram and got enough supportive comments that I pushed on. I am so glad I did, although I think I made the pockets a little small, but still, I can get most of my titchy hands into them. Diane from Dream.Cut.Sew suggested that the pockets gave the dress a ’60s vibe and so I tried it out with some flat shoes that always remind me of the 1960s. It works equally well with heels or flats.
Pattern matching was required with this fabric and I did ok with that. I was also concerned about pattern placement, but honestly, just gave up worrying about it and I think that worked out fine as well.
I love the fact that this dress is a little bit twirly in spite of having most of the flare lopped off. I need to mention that the hem is level most of the time and then it dips like crazy. I spent hours on it trying to get it consistently level but it seems to depend on how I stand.
This fabric is beautifully drapey and feels soft and lovely to wear, but it’s quite loosely woven and I did have trouble binding those pockets – the bias binding kept shredding off. I am not sure if this dress will stand the test of time in this fabric, but I am sure going to enjoy it whilst it lasts.
As soon as we had a whisper of cool weather I had it on and really enjoyed wearing it. I am already planning another.
The Cassandra also has an extension pack which includes a top with a high low hem and a cardigan. I have these planned for the cooler weather too.
Now for the bad news: Helen and her husband have had the security of their accounts compromised and are having to shut them down, which is just the most awful news. Helen has a lot of friends on IG and we are all devastated at the news. This means that if you want to buy this lovely pattern (or any other of the V&S patterns) you will need to do it before the end of March.
24 thoughts on “Cassandra dress”
It’s lovely, Sue. The pockets were definitely needed to give the dress a little extra punch. Re the V&S hacking problem, does she not sell her patterns through any 3rd party supplier? It’s awful to think her designs will not be available anymore.
The V&S problem is quite complicated. Hopefully she will resolve things at some point and we’ll see her back. I was pleased with the pockets, even as decoration.
You look really fabulous in your Cassandra Sue. What a great choice of fabric. It has a lovely weight to it despite the fact that you say it’s loosely woven. Bet it’s warm with wool in it too.
Thanks for the mention by the way!
The fabric is perfect for this dress. It’s not often I get it right! Altered the mention to link to your blog.
Lovely dress and with the size of the fabric pattern placement is not really necessary.
It worked out well so phew! I really like this pattern.
This looks stunning on you! The length is perfect for your long lovely legs! 🙂
Thank you so much. I think the longer version would have made me look frumpy.
Your dress looks lovely Sue, and the shorter length works – certainly more 60’s short! I pulled out my Cassandra pattern today and felt quite sad looking at Helen’s face.
Yes, it’s awful news, but perhaps if we all keep making her patterns she might feel that it’s worth rebranding and selling through a third party.
Sue, this is so cute! I love the shoes as well!
Re Helen, I have had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she is so so lovely. Makes what happened even more terrible. I don’t know the details, but I hope for her sake it will all get sorted. In the meantime, we will keep her vision alive by continuing to make her beautiful patterns!
These pockets were a great idea and they really jazz up the whole dress, which looks wonderful on you. I can imagine how comfy it must be to wear it bare legs! Regarding Helen’s situation, we were all so surprised and sad to hear the bad news. It’s a shame given her talent and lovely personality!
Yes, it’s terrible news as her designs are quite lovely. This is a really comfortable dress and I thought I could wear it with tights in the winter.
I love this dress, Sue. It falls very nicely and looks fabulous with the pocket detail. Geat shoes too!
thanks so much Rachel!
I love this dress and the way you styled it. Perfect length and it suits you beautifully.
Thank you Hana, it’s one of those easy to make, easy to wear kind of dresses.
What a cute dress! I think the pockets work great for this silhouette and I like the length as it is 🙂
Thank you Katharina, quick and simple to make and so comfortable to wear.
Love love love this dress. The addition of the pockets are a huge success. Ideal fabric choice too.
Thanks Jean, I’m about to make a black one for an event. Easy to make, easy to wear, such a winner.
Such a cute and cozy dress. The pockets with the black piping are a great addition.
I really love your dress as So flows without being swamped by too much fabric. It looks like a dress you will want to wear a lot as so comfortable but smart😍
I agree Ruth, it is sitting there waiting for the coller weather to appear.