Cut-out Dress Version 3.0

Bonnell Dress
I’ve been busy busy busy working on all kinds of sewing but it’s been so cold and rainy lately that I’ve not yet been able to take pics of anythingย until now.

This is my third iteration of this dress and I’m quite excited to share it with you!

Bonnell Dress

The Pattern: Self-drafted. I only made minorย adjustments since my second version but nothing that is noticeable.

Bonnell Dress

The Fabric: A brilliant silk/cotton blend with a paneled border print from Austin Fabric Co-op. Alas the Co-op is now closed – the third fabric store closure in the last 6 months. I’m so sad.

I snagged the final two-ish yards of this fabric on the very last day the shop was open and I struggled to fit my pattern pieces just right to take advantage of the print. I barely squeezed out the front bodice with some scant seam allowances on one side.

Bonnell Dress

I love the geometric look which compliments the triangle cut-outs, I think. The border print makes it look like I’ve got a niftyย yoke on the bodice.

It was difficult to match up the print when cutting because the fabric shifted so much. I had to spray starch most of it.

The lining is plain ol’ white muslin.

Bonnell Dress

The Changes: The only real difference – I lined the skirt. The fabric was too sheer on its own.

Bonnell Dress

The Results: This dress probably now resides in my top 5 garments I’ve ever made. The print, the colors, everything just screams ‘cool.’ And the cut-outs just add to the fun factor.

Which brings me to the good news – I’m making a pattern for this dress!

Bonnell Dress

First of all, I think I need to mention that skirt. I know I said I was planning on releasing a new pattern for a skirt months ago but I kept running into problem after problem with it, including major measurement issues. At this point I figured itย might be easier to just start over from scratch. With that setback I felt like I needed an easier pattern project. One that didn’t frustrate me. One with fewer pieces. One that I could feasibly finish within a reasonable amount of time.

And huzzah! This dress pattern I’m almost finished! The PDF will have TEN (10!!)!!! sizes!! Also, full illustrations, detailed instructions, sewing tips, and more.

I’m nearly ready to send the pattern out to testers so if you’d like to test for me stay tuned in the next few days for more information!

  • Siobhan

    Oh my god, that dress is amazing! It looks like the fabric was designed just for it.

  • Wow! That is just beautiful. The fabric is stunning and your design has certainly done it justice.

    • Why, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Aw man, I didn’t know the Austin Fabric co-op was closed now too! We really need a new apparel fabric store around here. ๐Ÿ™

    But on a brighter note, THAT DRESS! That fabric with that pattern is absolute perfection. Love it!

    • Ugh, I know, right? I’ve heard about a new fabric and yarn store opening up in the next couple months. Fingers crossed they’ll have some apparel fabric.


      • Also, I’ve seen your blog before (and patterns) but never made the connection you lived in austin. You should come by our little meet up group sometime. We’re all very nice and you might even see some familiar faces.

  • Naomi

    Agree with everyone, that fabric is awesome and you have used it really well!

    • Thank you so much!

  • Amy

    I agree that it’s a great pairing of fabric pattern with dress pattern. The faux yoke is my favorite part!

    • Thanks, I’m glad everyone is digging the fabric as much as I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Emily Adams

    ooh I’d love to help test!! I’ve loved seeing the pattern evolve on your blog – looks like a real winner!

    • I’ll put you on my list ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

  • Wow, that fabric is incredible, and the dress is gorgeous! I’m looking forward to you releasing this pattern, its definitely something I’d love to make and wear. I’ll just have to wait for next (Southern Hemisphere) summer!

    • Thank you!! Opposite seasons just means more time to get inspired ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Oh I love
    that dress, the high neckline and the cutouts, is so beautiful. And the fabric
    is stunning, its suits the pattern really well. Iโ€™m so happy that you are
    making a PDF pattern.

    • Thanks very much, glad you like it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • It’s a great dress anyway, but that fabric just makes it perfect! Looks like it was made for it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • That dress is gorgeous! I love love love the fabric and your pattern placement, and the cutouts work really well with the print!
    Sadly I have really limited amounts of sewing time right now, or I’d love to help with the testing…

    • No worries, I know what you mean about limited time. Gotta make the most of what you have. I’ve had to turn down a bunch of testing offers just because I was too busy.
      And thanks!!

  • Elena

    This dress is amazing!! I love the print you’ve used and the incredible pattern matching. Can’t wait for the pattern release, would love to make my own!

    • Thank you! Glad you’re looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I think this is my favourite outfit you ever done. Love the cut outs.

  • Carolyn

    The print placement on this dress is to die for. WOW. Just stunning. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on getting the new pattern almost ready to go! BTW, your photos here are gorgeous! The scenic backdrop complements the dress beautifully.

    • Thank you so much! The location is a scenic overlook park that’s pretty popular. I know I can always get good pics there if I take the time to go, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Adriane

    Wow, this dress is so beautiful on you! A Mt. Bonnell photoshoot never disappoints ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! Justin was like, “didn’t we have a birthday up here one year?” ah memories…

      • Adriane

        Yes! We had your 19th up there (cookie cake!) and then another one….23rd maybe?

  • I love the way you used the border print. Such a cool fabric for a cool dress!

    • I think I’ve been having a moment lately with border prints. they’re so fun. Thanks Liza Jane!

  • Gorgeous!! I love it! I can’t wait for the pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks and thanks!

  • Steely Seamstress

    What a fantastic dress! I really think you’ve nailed the fit. Cotton/ silk is one of my fave fabrics too. I find it is a little less slippery that silk itself, which makes the sewing easy, but feels luxurious all the same.

    • Thank you! I did a bunch of little fit tweaks to get the pattern just right. I’m hoping it’ll be adaptable for others as well.

      This fabric was quite smooth and shifty which makes me think it might have had more silk than cotton but I was able to wrangle it with some starch. I swear starch is my best friend these days!

  • That fabric is incredible! You used it so well in this dress too, and I’m really impressed you were able to use the pattern as well as you did with just two yards!

    • I know, right? I’m so glad I bought it and was able to make it work. Thanks!

  • AnnaVespa

    Love it!! I was hoping you’d share this dress with us

  • This is gorgeous! The colour looks fabulous on you and I agree the print is so cool! I’m excited for you about the pattern, I hope it all falls into line for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is the kind of sewing success I wish for; where pattern and fabric meet for a glorious result. When your still excited to see a third version of a dress you know it’s a winner.

    • Ha, you’re right. I’m not one to sew multiple copies of the same pattern. I get bored easy. It’s actually one of my least favorite things about pattern design, the endless sewing of the same dress. But I think the fabric really helped keep me inspired with this one. Thanks!

  • Beautiful design! I’m sure you will sell many because it’s adorable.

  • Beautiful dress!!

  • Angela

    I’d love to test for you. Really love the fit and design.

    • Thanks! I’ll make a note ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Love everything about this dress. The print is adorable!

  • This dress is so cute! The fabric is perfect.

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks!

  • This dress is awesome!! You just made me so sad about the co op closing though! They had some really great apparel fabrics there, where the heck are we austinites supposed to buy good apparel fabric now? ๐Ÿ™

    • Thanks! And yes, so sad but I’ve heard that a new fabric/yarn store is opening up off Burnet soon. I’m hoping they’ll carry some apparel fabrics.

      PS: you should totally come and say hi to us sometime…

      • Um, yes! I’ve been dying to meet other people who love sewing as much as I do! Thank you for the suggestion!

        • You’re welcome! Hope to see you at a meet up!

      • Oooh, exciting! Do you know where or what it’s called?

        • Me and Ewe (or Ewe and Me, can’t remember.)

  • Melissa Hollenbeck

    Stunning! I hope in time I can come close to your fabric matching ability. In the meantime I’ll keep reading your posts for more inspiration.

    • Thanks! This one was tough because the pattern was so large and I only had such a small amount. I rearranged my paper pieces on the fabric so many times trying to pick the best possible layout.

  • A Stitching Odyssey

    Dixie, wow! I’m almost speechless…but this version of this dress is particularly cool! I’m over the moon that you’ll be releasing it as a pattern, I’ve been hoping you would ever since your first blog about it :o) Any idea when that might be? I have 3 weddings this summer and would love to wear this dress to at least one of them ;o)

    • Ha, thanks!! I’m probably a week out from sending the pattern to testers. After that probably two-three weeks for testing to finish, then maybe another week for any fixes and then launch. It’s looking like end of April/early May. Just in time for our hemisphere’s summer!

  • Zoe B

    Amazing, I just love this pattern, soo looking forward to the release!

    • Thank you so much, Zoe!

  • Just beautiful! The fabric looks as if it were made for your dress. Also, I lived in Waco, Texas for a while and can definitely see that bright Texas sunshine coming through these pictures. The greenery and river make me think of Waco.

    • Waco’s only a couple short hours from here. I’m getting excited for more of that bright texas sunshine. I’m over winter at this point.


  • Perfect sewing matrimony!

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Wow, this is seriously my favorite thing you’ve ever made, hands down. It’s like that pattern was made for that fabric. Maaaajor props to you on that awesome placement!

    Funnily enough, I *also* snagged two yards of that fabric from the co-op before it closed. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but I don’t think I can compete with this awesomeness!

    Cannot wait for that pattern to be released! I’ve learned I don’t really enjoy testing, but I’ll definitely buy it once it’s released!

    • Wow, thank you, Nicole! Whatever you end up making that fabric is going to look spectacular.
      And yes, testing can be kind of a hassle. Especially if you’re the kind of gal who doesn’t like deadlines or restrictions on what you make. Sometimes I know I’m going to be too busy so I pass on testing for other companies, too.

  • That is *amazing*! I love it! What a great fabric, and what a great pattern to use for it. And I’d definitely be interested in testing, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your announcement!

    • Thanks a bunch, I’m making a kind of pre-list of testers for when the pattern is ready to go.

  • DDDiane

    I love everything about this dress! It’s great that you are releasing a pattern for it! I’d have to see how it looks on a more full-figured lady before I attempted it, though.

    • Thanks, I’m looking for people to test all the sizes so hopefully I’ll have some finished examples of other figures pretty soon!

  • There is SO MUCH win going on with this dress. You’re pattern matching and placement is epically amazing – perfect matching and THE coolest front bodice placement which makes the fabric look like it was printed precisely for this dress. I am so very impressed! It’s beautifully made and looks amazing on you! Well done, well done indeed! (And I’ll be keeping an eye out for this pattern, such a great summer dress design – as I currently get excited that the grass is actually becoming visible from under the mounds of snow that were taller than me, lol)

    • Thanks so much! It’s starting to warm up here, too. I know I always complain about the TX heat but I’m just not built for winter. Bring on summer and summer dresses!

  • Lindsay Schwarz

    I was SO excited when I saw you were releasing this pattern. It’s the perfect dress. And then, I just ran into this when doing some online fabric browsing:
    Obviously, this dress is destined to be out in the world, though I’m sure no one can copy your sublime pattern placement. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Whoa, great find. That’s exactly it! This is good, tho, because the store here that sold that fabric is closed so if anyone ever wanted to buy it it’s good to know it’s out there. Thanks!!

  • You did a great job! Having worked with this fabric I know how fiddly it is to match the pattern. I love the way it looks like a yoke at the neckline.

  • Love this dress! The print and pattern are a fabulous combination.

  • Sewing Belle

    Great dress, I love the fabric!

  • Awesome!!! I’m glad that you decided to make a pattern out of it!! I’m a great fan from the start.. I would be honored to pattern test it for you ๐Ÿ˜‰ good lucj with it!! it suits you great!!

  • Wow, this is a pretty great pattern! Loved version 2 but this one is even better!

    I realize 8 million other peope have offered, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to put it out there. Size 8 waist, super curvy/hourglass, intermediate level. Either way I have the perfect fabric for it!

  • Amy

    You’ve got your summer dress down! And in my favorite view in all of Austin ;). I’m so glad the sun is finally out, too! It’s been just perfect this week.

  • springystitches

    Wow! Amazing work and that fabric is gorgeous! Great pattern matching too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marie @ Substance of Living

    Beautiful dress and the design really is perfect with the side openings.

    If you are still in need of a pattern tester, I’d love to throw my name in the hat.

  • Those cutouts!

  • This dress is freaking incredible!

  • I love this fabric – I am always drawn to geometric patterns and this ones a stunner!

  • I Heart Fabric

    Wow so clever this is the cutest dress design love the cutouts. The fabric works perfectly with it. Very pretty!! xx

  • Kiri Masters

    OMG I love this dress, and the fabric you chose is just the best!

  • tinygoldenpins

    The dress is adorable and I know you’ll have a success with it. It’s different from any other Indie offering I’ve seen. What is really blowing my mind, though, is how you saw that fabric and figured out how you would place it. It’s pure genius!

    I, too, would be devastated — three fabric stores????? I thought we were all giving new life to them….that’s terrible news.