Peacock Dress | Ottobre 02/2016 no. 7 cross front dress

Ready for the hot 'summertime' in the colors of a Peacock.
Ottobre Design Woman 02/2016 no. 7 Cross-front Jersey Dress pattern is a sleeveless, faux wrap mini-dress that has the most comfortable wearability.  Fit is perfectly perfect as Ottobre Design Woman's patterns usually provide for me, but even this one seems exceptional.  Confession time though... the entire process of making this dress filled me with dread, to the point of almost not completing.  Dread because of the concern this dress would be too form-fitting and too body-hugging to be wearable.  It was quite an awful feeling of doom.... but kept telling myself to believe in the pattern.... to believe in the designer.  And am so very glad I did as this is probably one of the most flattering dresses I've ever made.
This pattern has been on my radar since 2016 when it was released.  The model is wearing one version on the cover, below, and Ottobre calls it Tropical Flowers Cross-front Jersey Dress from the 02/2016 issue.  My fabric is not jersey, but some sort of polyester 4-way stretch picked up at my only-open-once-a-month local textile outlet All About Fabrics.  This little dress uses minimal yardage.... maybe a little more than a yard.  I did not peg the skirt as per the pattern, but brought the side seams straight down from just below the hip.  Pleats, at both front shoulders and both bottom corners of the front bodice, create the lovely wrapped, draped effect.  Again, Ottobre has back neckline darts that give the back neckline a beautiful shape and fit.  Darts both front and back on the skirt.  No pockets.  I made size 36, graded to size 38 at the hips.
Loved this fabric the minute I saw it and purchased it in 2 colorways.  This one is my favorite.  Anyway, this morning was all about figuring out how to wear the dress without the faux wrap unwrapping, so to speak.... so in the photo below, you can see where I've safety-pinned the top closed at the top neckline overlap.  This is where photographs help so much as I had no idea there was this much 'pull' until I saw the photos and decided this was not acceptable.  So, let's try something else....
..... thought maybe putting a little rtw cami underneath and removing the safety pin might work..... and ..... it's quite clear to see the wrapped opening 'open'!  But not sure I like this 'look' either.  Seems kind of sloppy.
Soooooo.... let's try both the cami AND the safety pin pinned a little lower so there's no pulling.  Love it!  May go back in and make a little tack there, but for now the safety pin is working fine.
This dress has a nice silhouette for my body shape.  Having said that.... it is meant to be a mini mini-dress and fearing such I added 1" to the length, with a mere 5/8" hem and it's 'mini' enough for me.  I'm 5'7" tall.
No fitting modifications were made and it wears like a custom fit.  Interesting the pattern is meant for a woven or a knit.... with the instructions of course advising to accomodate the pattern for a zipper in a woven.  Pattern has you cut 2 back bodice pieces and 2 skirt back pieces regardless of fabric choice.  My knit has such a beautiful print I hated to break all that up with center back seams, so placed my pattern bodice and skirt pieces on the fold.  Super pleased!!  Also an interesting construction of the pattern included sewing 7 mm elastic within the seam that attaches the bodice and the skirt.  I used 1/4" elastic, as that seemed more sturdy and had no problems learning this new skill.  It gives the waistline a little more stability and holds everything together well.  My fabric was more on the thin side, than the thick side.  In fact, I was concerned it might be too thin and need a lining, but after all was done, think I'm okay.
Here you can see all the pleating and draping a little bit.  Put a LOT of thought in the fabric placement for the front pieces, and pleased with how that turned out.  Actually switched the wrapover piece to get that particular fabric pattern at the front.
Seams are serged....
.....and had a lot of fun loading my serger with all the colors of my dress!  Sometimes it is the little things, no?!
5/8" hem, serged raw edges first to give the knit some stability, turned up and zigzagged hemmed because did not want to take any chances on the twin-needle channeling.  Pleased with how the hem turned out all nice and even.... no waviness.  Experience really helps dealing with slippery-sliding material.
This will complete the Make a Garment a Month June's theme of 'Journey'.  There are no journeys nor vacations on the horizon, so I chose this little dress as if there were some sort of exotic trip in the future..... with the reality it will simply be added to the wardrobe.  And that's okay.
Suzi thought about joining me today, but then decided to bark, bark, bark at the back neighbors.  Up on our high deck, we have a sort of bird's-eye view of the surrounding land through the trees, and she was trying to be protective and let me know something was amiss.... but barking at the neighbors are not a good thing in my book!
Oh, hello..... I'm back now.  So funny all the drama that happens when one is trying to capture their new dress in photographs looking all calm, cool and collected!  Ha!
Happy Sewing All!!  :)


  1. What a lovely dress Lisa! The fabric is such a great colour and design for you and the fit is sublime.

  2. Your cami and pin are a good solution to the gap situation. That always happens to me and is one of the reasons I've sworn off wrap dresses. The drafting and the body type have to mesh perfectly to get a perfect, no gap wrap. I've never found it for me!

    You find such pretty fabrics, Lisa.

    1. Me neither.... clearly! Thank you so much Barbara for your always insightful, kind comments. :)

  3. Yes the dress is lovely and the fabric beautiful. I have this ottobre magazine and have been eyeing off this pattern. Thankyou for your review ! I am rather flat chested so have issues with wrap styles but they give me an opportunity to wear my brooches and this works well. Double win.

  4. This is such a lovely and fun summer dress which huggs you well, Lisa! How fortunate that their patterns fit you perfectly! For future knit wrapp dresses you could try using that elastic for the neckline, too, and stretching it just a bit, like when sewing lingerie.

  5. I love the (nearly) off camera action shot the best! It's fun and alive. I agree with you about barking at neighbours - on the other hand, you need to check to make sure all is well.
    Now to the dress, which I think is very pretty. I think for some occasions the opening neckline would work very nicely, and need not look casual at all - it's just a different look. I like this dress, and I am glad you finally sallied forth on your journey to make it. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the other colourway.

  6. Love this beautiful dress on you Lisa. The fabric is perfect and enjoying all details and photos :) Happy sewing.

  7. What a pretty summer dress, perfect fit! I love the print. I will have to search out the magazine. Thanks for the reviews.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa