Outfit of the Week - Pauline Alice's Malvarosa Dress

This week's 'Outfit of the Week' is another great dress pattern by Pauline Alice - her Malvarosa dress. 

Here's what inspired the outfit:

Photos from Gal Meets Glam, Cupcakes and Cashmere, The Blonde Salad, Eat/Sleep/Wear, and Cupcakes and Cashmere


I have to admit that this isn't a silhouette that I've worn before.  I'm really not sure why: have I been avoiding it in the stores over the last few decades or is it a silhouette that hasn't really been in vogue until recently?  I've definitely been seeing a good stream of dropped-waist dresses in recent fashion collections and across the fashion blogosphere over the past few years, and they're really growing on me.  You can see the images I've collected on my 'dropped-waist dresses' Pinterest board.

I particularly like Pauline Alice's Malvorosa pattern, which has a lovely bateau neckline, a full skirt, and pockets hidden in the waistline seam (such a great feature!).  I love that there is both a sleeveless version and one with three-quarter length sleeves: it makes it a good, all-season pattern.  I also like that it works with a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, wool, crepe, linen, brocade and more.  It means that you can make both casual and dressy versions: very versatile.


In terms of fabrics, drawing on the inspiration images, I've recommended a few of our cottons broadcloths, crepes and suitings.  These will all give very different looks - particularly in terms of the amount of body.  The crepes will be drapey against the body, while the suitings will give the dress (and particularly the skirt) more body.  The cotton broadcloths will be somewhere in-between.

I'm pleased to announce that I added four new cotton broadcloths by Art Gallery Fabrics to the store this week!  Three of these are plain-coloured and one is a print. After buying my first plain-coloured fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics a few months ago - and being so impressed by its quality - I've decided to expand our selection.  It is really a beautiful cotton, with a fine thread count and a beautiful lustre.  It would be lovely used for dresses, shirts, and full skirts.  

(Those of you who have bought our Madeleine poplins will probably be wondering what the difference is between this range and our now-expanding range of plain-coloured AGF broadcloths.  Well, a very quick glance reveals little difference: poplin and broadcloth are extremely similar fabrics.  However, while the Madeleine poplins are a good-quality cloth, the AGF broadcloths are even better.  They're a step up in quality, with the most visible difference being the lovely lustre that they have (a result of the cotton being mercerised).  Not surprisingly, the step up in quality also has an associated step up in price: the Madeleine poplins are £10.40/m and 150-cm wide, while the AGF broadcloths are £11.40/m and 110-cm wide.)

You can see three of our new AGF broadcloths below.  They will work really well with the Malvarosa dress.  With their lovely lustre, they've got a somewhat dressy appearance (which you can sort of make out in the photo!).  Our Spencer shirtings would also work well with this pattern.

AGF Pure Elements Snow Cotton Broadcloth, AGF Squared Elements Kings Road Turquoise Cotton Broadcloth, AGF Pure Elements Caviar Cotton Broadcloth (you can see all the recommended fabrics at the bottom of this page)


Crepe will also work well with this pattern. Below are two of our Sibylle crepes - in ivory and black.  They're medium-weight crepes and are extremely crease resistant - real wash-and-wear fabrics!  With the ivory crepe (and possibly also with the white shirtings/broadcloths), you may want to underline or line them, or wear a slip underneath, as they're not 100% opaque (have a look at the last inspiration image above to see what a slip might look like underneath).  

Ivory Sibylle Crepe, Black Sibylle Crepe (you can see all the recommended fabrics at the bottom of this page)


Finally, we have two of our Dorothea wool suitings (which are made in England!).  These are lightweight suitings which should work really well with this pattern.  Great for a nice warm, smart dress for wearing to work or to events.

Black Dorothea wool suiting, Light Grey Dorothea Wool Suiting (you can see all the recommended fabrics at the bottom of this page)


Further Details

Pauline Alice Malvarosa Dress
£12.50 (£11.25 until noon on Monday!)
Sizes: 34 to 44
Level: 1 (Pauline Alice's easiest difficulty level)
Reviews: 1 review on PatternReview.com; it's positive!
Similar patterns: Burda 7079


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February 20, 2016 by Amy Lloyd
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