Eve is a full wrap dress with a tie waist and is designed for feminine, drapey fabrics and comes with two sleeve options – floaty and short, or straight and elbow length – and either with a dipped or straight hem.
I’ve seen some glorious Eves on Instagram in fabulous floral prints… but I already have plenty of floaty, floral dresses, so, as much as I wanted to make Eve, I didn’t want her to be similar to other dresses in my (ever-expanding) wardrobe.
Then one day I was browsing the Boden website and came across this rather lovely dress and felt the inspiration hit me!
I already had some lightweight denim in my stash, so that was my decision made. I went with the elbow length sleeves and the straight hem, as I didn’t think my denim would work as well with the dipped hem or floaty sleeves. I always love SOI’s little details and the gathers at the yoke add interest without being too fussy.
As with all SOI patterns, the instructions were clear and easy to follow and it was a very straightforward make, so I agree that it’s suitable for an ambitious beginner. Just make sure you use cotton stay tape, as advised, to stop the bodice stretching out.
Size-wise, I cut the bodice between the 10 and 12 lines to give a smidge more room at the bust, then graded it to a 10 at the waist. (I’m 36,28,38). I sometimes struggle with straight sleeves, as I don’t have the slimmest arms, so, after measuring the pattern pieces, I cut them at a size 12 and made the seam allowance 1cm instead of 1.5cm, and so just needed to ease them in a bit more.
The sleeves are described as elbow length, but they’re actually ¾ on me. Also, the ‘level knee length hem’ is more like midi length on me, so I think this dress is designed for someone with longer limbs and several inches taller than my 5’4”, but actually I really like the length of the sleeves and the overall length, and the waist hits me in exactly the right place.
In other fit notes… it seems that the bodice has turned out too big AND too small on me. (Is that even possible?!) There’s quite a bit of extra fabric at the bodice side seams and on the outside of my bust (white areas on the pic below), but then as soon as I raise my arms – or pose with my hands on my hips! – the cross-over gapes and shows off my bra, which means I need to use a pin or wear a cami underneath for modesty. I think my biggest bugbear is that sleeve seams just don’t quite sit as they should on me. The back of the bodice and back of the sleeves are absolutely fine, but at the front the seams are too wide/far out where there’s that extra bodice fabric is (red lines below). I don’t really know how to explain it, or how to fix it, but it’s just not quite ‘right’. Maybe I need more fabric in the centre and less at the sides?
I love this dress in so many ways: I’ve never owned a denim dress before and I really like it in this style; the waist ties are nice and long so you can wrap them around to emphasise the waist; and it’s super-comfy to wear… But that gaping at the cross-over, the extra fabric on the outer bodice, and the sleeves pulling at the front… hmmm, argh…!
However, when all’s said and done, I’m sure no-one else would actually notice those niggles – us sewists can be super picky of our own makes, can’t we?!