Introducing: The Sienna Dress

It’s here!
It's a pleasure to introduce you to the Sienna Dress, our newest design to join the Modern Sewing Co. range.
I’ve been working to get this pattern out since January but the idea for a statement summer dress had been brewing for some time. I really wanted to add something elegant and classy to the range, something that people could wear to weddings and parties but also to the beach or a day in the city. In the northern hemisphere we’re well underway with wedding season but I hope this launch gives people time to make this piece for events this summer.
I always want my pieces to feel as versatile and practical as possible so I’ve always steered to very classic designs with familiar construction techniques. This dress is completely different and it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Staying clear of designs that are rooted in collars, cuffs and yokes has resulted in the most feminine piece in the range to date. It was a challenge to get my brain into a different pattern cutting zone but I’m so pleased with the outcome.
Below I’ve shared a gallery of images along with the design journey. And at the bottom you’ll find details of a launch offer as always.
I hope you like this pattern - the response on instagram indicates it could be a winner! - and if you have any questions just hit reply.
Design Development
I love to share the design development behind my patterns as it's my favourite part of running my business. I think it's interesting to see where an idea comes from and it enables you to understand the outcome a bit better.
This design started on a dark, rainy January day when it was hard to imagine brighter summer days. I knew I wanted to make a statement summer dress but I had no idea where to start. After hours of sifting through images and not getting anywhere I decided to drape directly on to my mannequin and see what would come out.
After a couple of false starts I started to get hooked on pintucks. I pinned a few and then some more. I liked the way the end of the pin tucks were spilling out to create volume. I'm always drawn to structural design - surface design doesn't work for me - so it felt familiar to use something as straight and severe as a pintuck and result in something voluminous and feminine.
I annoyingly didn't take pictures of this initial drape but I moved on pretty quickly to make the toile shown above and below. I absolutely loved how it looked on the mannequin but when I tried it on it didn't feel right. The waist sat quite high and didn't look flattering on the body. I played around with lifting and lowering the dress and thought the dropped waist silhouette was really quite nice - this is shown below.
So I had my idea... a pintucked bodice witha  dropped waist skirt. Next it was on to refining the bodice shape which I draped on the stand again.
After getting an initial bodice shape I toiled the top half on its own - it needed some adjustments as shown below.
Then it was on to the first full toile. I was really pleased with how this felt. 
On to the first wearable toile which turned out to be not so wearable. Something went awry with this yellow sample so I made a few changes.
Then it was on to the navy sample which I loved! Here I am test wearing the dress while shoe shopping on Oxford Street (absolute hell on earth)! A reminder of why I make my own clothes.
Next it was time to make the statement silk piece I'd been dreaming of.
I really wasn't sure how the contrasting colours would work so I was delighted when it turned out they worked really quite well! 

You have a lot of freedom with this pattern to choose different colours for your panels. Even choosing the strap colour changes the feel of the dress. We draped both options on the stand to get a feel.

And voila! I'm really pleased with this piece and I'm looking forward to wafting around London in my navy linen version this summer. The silk dress has already had an outing to a wedding and it was the most complimented piece I think I've ever worn which was lovely to hear! 

I look forward to seeing what you all make with this pattern - I think it might be the most elegant piece of the Modern Sewing Co. collection to date.