Xerea (you’ve gotta see her)

Every time I see the cover of my Xerea dress pattern booklet I get ‘Maria’ by Blondie stuck in my head! Its a pretty tenuous connection, but it seems to be one my brain is fixated on. At least its a good song! I’ve made two Xerea dresses in the last week, so I’ve been singing it quite a bit…


This is view A, the shift dress with Dior darts and cap sleeves. I made it in some lovely soft cotton chambray that I picked up at The Fabric Store during their VIP sale a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t mean to buy it, but I saw it on the other side of the counter when my other fabrics were being cut and grabbed some on a whim. I had thought to make into another Dress E from the Stylish Dress Book, but then when I got home I decided it should be a Xerea instead. I think it was a good decision!


This was a really fun dress to put toghether. Its a simple shape, but I love the details that Pauline Alice has put into it. The pockets are awesome, I love the way the side panel curves into a princess seam at the top, and swooshes into the curve of the pocket at the bottom. I also love the inclusion of the Dior darts, so 60’s! Its funny, I had never heard of a dior dart until a few months ago, when I read about them on Pattern.Scissors.Cloth, and now I’ve made something with them! 


Another lovely detail is the V neckline on the back yoke, you know how I love surprising details on the back of my clothes! I considered topstitching the yokes to match the neckline, but the seam allowances go in different directions on the front and back because of the various seams which intersect them. I could have forced the front seam allowance down to match the back, but I decided not to bother.


I used some cute navy polka dotted bias tape to bind the neckline. I considered adding piping or something to the side panel seams to highlight the pockets, but in the end I’m glad I left them plain. I feel like this is a really good blank canvas dress for summer, good for showing off jewelery and whatnot.

There are a few changes I’ll make for next time, mainly around the bust. I think I need to move the bust dart up by a small amount, maybe only a centimetre? I took 5/8″ off the top of the dress before I sewed it to the yoke to accommodate my short upper body, but I think they need to come up just a smidgeon more. Or maybe they just need to be angled slightly less? I think the apex is in about the right place. I don’t know, I’ll need to have a play! I’m also considering adding some fish eye darts to the back, just to give it a bit more shape.


I’d love to make a long sleeved wool version for winter, I think that’d be really nice. The yoke and side panels offer lots of opportunities to play around with bias too, so plaid would be fun. 

This one is the second Xerea I made, the first one was for my friend Miriam. She picked an awesome cactus print rayon crepe, from Spotlight of all places!


She seems to really like it, which is good! Sewing for other people is much more stressful than sewing for me…


6 thoughts on “Xerea (you’ve gotta see her)

  1. Really nice! The pattern didn’t appeal to me at first because it’s so 60s, but it looks much more modern in chambray, and so easy to wear.

  2. It looks great in the chambray! Those pockets! I think the darts look good in the pic but it’s hard to tell. I always need darts in the back for more shape – have you another shift pattern like the Laurel with darts you can transplant? You could always baste some in…..

    1. Thanks Sarah! I’d love to try Laurel, but I always have the worst time getting Colette patterns to fit so I’m too scared…might be a good one to practice on though? I might just try pinching out some darts and see how they look!

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