Bonnell Dress Tester Round-up

I’m so glad that after months of hard work the new Bonnell Dress is finally out. I hope you all love it as much as I do.

But I couldn’t have done it without help from my very wonderful pattern testers. Testers are so important. They not only catch small errors that I seem to be blind to, they show how a design will look on many body types, they help me figure out what parts of the pattern are difficult to understand or should be altered, and their individual opinions help me decide how best to make necessary changes. If I get similar responses about one aspect of the pattern from several people then I know something needs to be fixed.

Like many people, it’s hard for me to take criticism sometimes, even when I ask for it. Yet I know all these testers want the same thing I do: a great finished pattern. Not every change can be implemented – no pattern will fit every body right out of the package and sometimes I have to make compromises for economy and ease of use. But with help from these ladies the end result is 100% better than the first version I sent them out to test and I am so grateful.

These are just a handful of the ladies who helped me out but I wanted to again say thank you to all my testers!

Click the photos or links to head over to each blog post:

Ashlee from Smash Knits



Lindsay from Design by Lindsay (who is also a fellow Austin-ite!)



Zoe from Hello Zoe B



 Caroline from CJ Made

cjmade1 cjmade2


Katharina from Froebelina



Mary from Mary is Sew Fast



Melissa from Mahlica Designs



Johanna from Old House Mama



Emily from Mai Attique


I loved all the different fabric choices everyone used from double gauze to African wax prints, two-tone color combos to border and panel prints. Hopefully their dresses will inspire you to sew up your own!



The Bonnell Dress is Here! Plus, How to Print your PDF Pattern

Bonnell Dress

The day has finally arrived! The Bonnell Dress is now available for purchase.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with testing, editing, proof reading and support. Couldn’t have done it with out you!

This pattern has instructions, pattern pages, plus a copy shop version all in one PDF file.


Since many of you probably want to get started on the pattern right away I’m going to take a moment to go through how to print the PDF at home.

I get emails from confused users because their test square ends up too big or some of the side borders get cut off when they print their pattern. The most likely culprit is page scaling.

To fix this we need to adjust some settings when we go to print the pattern.

Every program is different, and some details differ between version numbers, but all will have some option related to page scaling.


I’ll show some examples. This is version 8.0 of Preview on my Mac. When I click to print first I get a simple print window. I have to click on “Show Details” near the bottom.


The page expands and now we get some scaling options. By default Preview chooses “Scale to Fit” which is bad bad bad. If I just printed the pattern without changing this the pattern would print at 108% making the test square and all the pattern pieces too big.

Instead click on “Scale” and manually enter “100%” in the text box. Now you can print!



This is version 11.0.06 of Adobe Reader (also on my Mac). On the print page there are a few options listed under Page Size & Handling. Two options can work here, either clicking “Actual Size” or “Custom Scale” and manually entering “100%.”


However if you choose “Fit” then you’ll wind up with the pattern printing at 110%. Not good!


The pattern is designed to print on US letter size paper or A4. The copy shop version is very last page in the PDF and can fit on 36″ wide paper or one sheet of A0 paper (follows the same rules as at home, print at 100%, not bigger).

Hope this helps! Happy printing!

Coming Soon: The Bonnell Dress



It’s almost here! Next Tuesday (Texas time), May 19th, 2015 I’m releasing my newest pattern – the Bonnell Dress.

You might have already seen it but here’s the deets: sleeveless dress has bodice darts, jewel neckline in front and V-neck in back, waistband, gathered skirt with side seam pockets, triangle cutouts at bodice side seams, and a center back invisible zip. The PDF download is 24 pages. Measurements are in imperial and metric and has 10 (ten!!) sizes, the most I’ve had in a pattern before.

You can check out my previous posts on this dress for more pics.

I’m getting excited! Are you getting excited!?

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Well, in the meantime while we’re waiting here are some fun gifs to look at…






Official Call for Testers

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 12.03.43 AM

I know I’ve been a bit MIA these last few weeks but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy sewing.

Last week I sewed a shirt that seemed like it never wanted to be made. I struggled with the pattern, with the instructions and when I was finished I struggled with taking clear pictures of it because the fabric was black. Quite disappointing.

I really needed a quick win after spending so much of the past few months sewing endless historical costume pieces and different versions of my new dress pattern.

Blank Slate Patterns' Tulip Top

I did finish this Tulip Top for the Blank Slate Sewing Team! I had a fun time taking pictures of the shirt with some feathered friends (I got really excited seeing this peacock).

Charity sewing session for Dress for Success! I made these pants and a couple skirts.

A photo posted by Dixie (@dixiediy) on

This past weekend I participated in a charity sewing event with my meet-up group for our local Dress for Success. We managed to make three pairs of pants, five cardigans, several a-line skirts and a bunch infinity scarves in only a few hours! All were basic and versatile garments made in certain commonly needed sizes. It’s amazing how quickly you can crank out clothes when you’re all working together.

But onward to the important newsmy new pattern is spell checked and ready for testing!


Here’s the size chart above. If you’d like to test please shoot me an email with the subject “Pattern Testing” to the address below. Please include which size (or size combo like 10-bust, 12-waist, 8-hip or whatever) you’d be making. I’d like to get all the sizes tested.

Update: Wow! Thank you for the incredible response. I think I’ve got enough testers for now. I’ll be sending out emails to all of you soon.

And thank you all for your support and excitement over this pattern! It’s helped me so much to stay motivated to finish this project.