Spring Nancy

Hi there!

Hope you’ve been enjoying the glorious sunshine this weekend, it’s been absolutely fabulous here, such a relief after what feels like months and months of grey skies.

I fit in a very quick make this weekend and for once, that didn’t mean anything made out of jersey.  Instead, I made the Sew Over It Nancy dress, which was the first pattern offered as part of their new PDF Club.


I actually bought the fabric for this in January, at the Crafty Sew and So shop meet up.  The bright floral on a black background really appealed and, with the appearance of the sun, seemed the perfect spring make.

For the pattern itself, I cut a straight size 10.  This is the size my bust would indicate; my waist and hips would normally be a 12 but in this style, I couldn’t see that being a problem!


The dress is a high necked swing dress with 3/4 length sleeves, fastening with a single hook and eye at the back neck.  The bodice is fitted to the bust and then swings from underneath with the use of side panels that fit in under the bust.  I’m sure there’s a technical name for that, but I don’t know it!  I liked the way that, on the envelope photos, it actually fits to slightly below the bust point before swinging, giving it rather more shape than is usual for this style of dress.


As ever, the pattern went together really easily.  The only slightly tricky point was attaching the side front panels to the centre front piece, but Lisa’s instructions were great and I was really pleased with the result, even in this rather shifty rayon.


I would say you could probably save a little on the fabric requirements; I had some left even using the single bias pattern piece (the neckline has a bias finish) rather than using a much smaller square to make continuous bias as I’d prefer these days.

I sewed everything up on the sewing machine but instantly overlocked all the seams.  This fabric would have frayed like hell without!


I left the dress hanging on the dummy overnight and I’m so happy I did; with the front piece being cut on the straight grain and the panels on the bias, the sides dropped a LOT more than the front so it really did need evening out.

Fit wise, the only adjustment I made was to go back and re-sew the sleeve seams with a much smaller seam allowance; apparently I have huge upper arms :-/  That gave me the comfort factor I needed.


I wore the dress out today for lunch and it is in many ways the perfect dress for this; let’s face it, you’re not going to end up feeling constrained in this style of dress!


I’m glad I tried it out, but I have to say that I don’t think this dress is going to get bags of wear.  For starters, it is very short, which makes me feel a little mutton dressed as lamb, plus in the floaty rayon…. well, you’d better be wearing sturdy pants if you’re planning on going outside!


The back slit extends well past the level of the slip I felt I needed, and I don’t especially like the way it shows.  You absolutely need that slit to get the dress over your shoulders though, so don’t skip it! I’m going to replace the hook and eye with a button now I’ve worn it; I love the neat finish but it comes open ALL the time, which drove me mad.

And, at the end of the day, I’ve had 2 kids.  I’ve worn a lot of smock like dresses, and they were all maternity wear.  Despite the nice fit under the bust which it does indeed have, this dress still feels rather maternity-like to me.


It’s a little better with a belt, but I’m still not sure this is my style.  However, if this is your style, I would definitely recommend this pattern; after a fairly labour intensive previous project, this simple, satisfying make was exactly what my sew-jo needed.

Becca x

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6 thoughts on “Spring Nancy

  1. Loving the fabric and it does look great on. I’m no good with short dresses/skirts (very knobbly knees) you’ve got fab legs and can definitely get away with it but it’s how you feel in it, swing tops always make me feel bigger.

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  2. I think it looks better on you than you are thinking! I like the styling with the belt but that does make it a little bit short, maybe over leggings instead of just tights would feel more comfortable/less worrying? Or could you add a little length with a contrast piece? The top is a lovely fit and the overall look is really pretty.

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