For the May Bank Holiday weekend I made some sewing plans and the Darling Ranges dress was one of them. I absolutely love how this dress turned out. The fabric is so cute and the dress is very flattering. The Darling Ranges dress is a pattern from Megan Nielsen. Megan is quickly becoming my favourite indie pattern designer. I love her casual chic designs. Everything she puts out there is so wearable and effortlessly chic. Check out her recent Breakwater Collection for beautiful summer sewing patterns.


The fabric of the dress is a little bit wrinkled in these photos. Apologies! I wore the dress all day on Sunday with my converse shoes while doing the cliff walk by the sea in Dublin. It was a beautifully sunny day and the fabric this dress is made from is lovely and light. The nice thing about the design of the dress is that you can dress it up or down. I think it looks equally great with converse as it does with my fuschia Kurt Geiger wedges. The fabric is Kokka Muddy Works double gauze from The Village Haberdashery. Unfortunately it’s no longer available but I’m sure you can find the fabric elsewhere online.


The final dress is great but unfortunately I found this fabric incredibly irritating to work with. I’m not sure exactly what was going wrong but while sewing the feed dogs seemed to catch the fabric and pull some of the threads. I managed to fix most of the problems that were caused and the fabric is lovely and soft so it’s very comfortable to wear now that the dress is finished. However, I’m don’t think I’ll be running out to buy more double gauze any time soon!


I had to make a few alterations to the pattern but nothing major. As usual I had to lengthen the bodice. I’m tall and also have a long torso so this is something I have to do with all patterns. I made it finish at my waist which I think is a flattering place for the gathers to start. I also made another alteration I often have to make which was to move the bust dart down. My shoulder to apex measurement is way off the standard it seems!


The pattern contains relatively little pieces because it has no facings. Instead it uses bias binding along the neckline. This meant I was able to cut everything out in no time! I hate cutting out so that’s always a bonus. A lovely detail was the elastic in the sleeves. One thing I might do next time is change the neckline so that it finishes a bit higher. I’m wearing a slip underneath the dress because I am more comfortable that way. Otherwise it’s a little too revealing for me.


All in all I’m delighted with this summer dress and will definitely see more Darling Ranges dresses in my future. Next time I might leave off the sleeves and make some belt loops instead of the little tie at the back of the dress. Megan has detailed sewalong instructions on her blog as well as variation ideas.

I’ve posted this project up on Kollabora and my other projects are already up there. If you aren’t on Kollabora already you should definitely check it out! It’s a great resource for project inspiration, DIY and finding fellow crafty people.

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  • http://craftsanctuary.com/ Craft Sanctuary

    In love with this version of the darling ranges dress! The little yellow flowers are so cheery, but still subtle. I’m loving the new breakwater collection, especially the cascade skirt, but I’ve been trying to be good and refrain from buying new patterns for a while!

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Ya I was trying to do the same but I broke my ban to buy the Breakwater collection. Now I definitely can’t buy anymore patterns for a while 😉

  • Michelle

    Looks wonderful! SO, SO, SO many buttons, though! I would get cross-eyed sewing them all on. Are they functional or decorative?

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks Michelle! Ya the buttons are functional and they were a pain alright! But it looks so cute now so I guess it was worth it in the end :)

  • http://hayleeatkinson.blogspot.com/ Haylee

    This is absolutely beautiful Stephanie.

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks Haylee, I’m delighted with how it turned out :)

  • Katy

    Its gorgeous. I’ve been eyeing up both the pattern and fabric for a while! The fabric sold out before I could grab some but perhaps if its difficult to work with its a blessing in disguise. You’ve done a stunning job, a perfect spring dress :)

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks Katy! I really can’t recommend the pattern enough. It’s very flattering. I can’t wait to make some more of Megan’s patterns. I’ve gathered quite a collection now :) Perhaps it’s just my machine that caused trouble with the fabric I don’t know. Maybe I need to service it, it was a pain though

  • sewamysew

    As soon as you said Megan Nielsen I pictured you in the the Cascade skirt! You have to get it and make it up, you would look amazing in it, it’s so your style!!!!! I’m still trying to decide if it’s me or not.

    It looks like this fabric drapes really well, I’ve never come across it so thanks for the tip. Love the button choice as well and I would kill a family member for those beautiful shoes! 😉

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      I actually do have the Cascade skirt! I plan on making the crescent blouse first but the cascade was going to be after that. The fabric does drape well and it looks great. I think maybe it it was underlined it wouldn’t have been so much trouble. Or maybe there’s something wrong with my sewing machine I don’t know!

  • http://caughtonawhim.com/ Erica

    I’ve not tried a Megan Neilsen pattern yet, but I’m dying too! I’ve fallen in love with so many of her styles.

    The fabric you chose is such a pretty print and it looks so soft and lovely. I had thought about purchasing some double gauze fabric to try, but based on your experience with the threads pulling, I might hold off until I have a little more experience under my belt.

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Hi Erica, so far I’ve only made the Darling Ranges dress but I am going to make the Briar top soon and I’ve gathered quite a collection of her patterns. If the rest are like the dress then I’ll be very happy :)
      I’m not sure if the problems with double gauze are unusual and just something to do with my machine or not. I’m going to get my machine serviced and perhaps I’ll try using some of the fabric left over and see if it’s any better.

  • Thimble & Cork

    This is so beautiful! I love the delicate print of the fabric. You look terrific!

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks Kacie, I’m so happy with how it turned out. Now I really need to get working on my gatsby dress. Luckily the deadline has been extended! I love your beading work that I’ve seen on twitter. Looks so beautiful.

  • http://gingermakes.wordpress.com/ Ginger

    This is so cute! I love it on you! You’re right– it’s super flattering! The fabric is really pretty, too.

    • http://www.mabelmakes.com/ Stephanie

      Thanks, I feel very comfortable in it and I think it’s simply because it fits well and is flattering. I think I’ll make another soon but I’ve so many projects planned so we’ll see how long it is before I get to it. If only there was more time in the day! :)

  • http://makingitwell.blogspot.com/ Jo

    Very cute. And it looks so comfy and sweet. I’ve heard good things about double gauze! Sorry it was a pain to work with. :)

  • http://makesthethings.com/ stephanie u.

    Very cute! I really like the fit. Mine is a little tight, so I’d like to try again with a looser fit.

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