The Perth Dress : : A Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co New Release

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Well hiya.

Back again. And soon.

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Today, it’s all about my tester version of The Perth Dress by Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co. Many of you already know Carolyn via her blog Handmade by Carolyn. This is Carolyn’s first pattern release. Her daughter Cassie was so enormously helpful with all things techie that they decided to make it a shared creative partnership.

The Perth Dress gives a nod to menswear style with its traditional collar stand and generously shaped collar. If you love a good shirt dress, but dislike buttonholes, this is a make for you. The silhouette even has a traditional back yoke….Carolyn includes instructions for the burrito method of installation. 

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Like every good pattern drafter, Carolyn has included in-seam pockets in the dress version.  When I make my next Perth I will set the pocket slightly higher. *See next paragraph for my fix. The front closure is unlike any I’ve seen before….a single button and two buttonholes. 

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

So. Let’s chat dress length. I am about 5’2″ and I routinely shorten my dresses by 3″. This time, however, I only shortened my dress by 1 1/2″. When I submitted photos of a very rudimentary first draft, the lovely Carolyn pointed out that her vision for the dress was for it to be shorter and she suggested I consider lopping off a couple of inches. I tried to shorten this make…I really did…but after pinning it a hem length shorter, I worried it would be too short when I sat down. Of course. Now…looking at these photos…I can totally see how 2 extra inches of leg would do me, and the dress, greater justice.  Note to self: When a pattern designer makes a suggestion….give it a try.

*FYI…the shorten/lengthen line is above the pocket placement. When I shorten my next make, it will automatically bring the pocket up to the sweet spot.

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The fabric is a tencel denim fabric from Dressew. It has some slight variations in colour similar to natural cotton denim. I think the weight works well for the garment. It brings a fluid movement to the dress, it’s not too heavy, and it has just enough body to support the collar and collar stand. That being said, I’m not sure I’m a fan of tencel in general. Is it just me, or does it smell slightly odd…especially when pressing? 

Carolyn has made the Perth Dress {and top}  in several different fabrications and you can see them in her blog post here. I love the look of the linen one. I also think a pin-striped shirt weight cotton with a white collar/stand would be really nice.

Perth Dress, Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

I love the relaxed silhouette. This is a super comfortable dress. It’s a little like wearing a man’s shirt. I say relaxed but I do not mean sloppy. Personally, I think it takes a good eye to draft a dress that looks as effortless chic such as this one. 

*Please note: this is a tester version and there have been a few minor changes made to the pattern as follows:

  1.  Sleeves have been shortened by 5cm…that’s about 1/4″.
  2.  Collar has been shortened slightly. I rather love mine as is…it really accentuates the menswear vibe of the dress.

The pattern is available in both PDF format and print. Both a dress and a shirt option are included.

Wearing : :

Perth Dress : : Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co


  • Reply Sabine March 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    One of the best shirt dresses I ever saw. You look fabulous, Sue!

    • Reply Sue March 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks so much Sabine.

  • Reply Priscilla Bettis March 5, 2018 at 9:07 am

    OMGosh, I love it! It’s cool! I can envision it on a 24-year-old and an 80-year-old. It’s SO flattering. Carolyn’s are nice, too. The white looks particularly fresh and summery.

    • Reply Sue March 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks Priscilla! You are so right…the silhouette of this dress would look great on women of any age!

  • Reply fran March 5, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Really like this one. Very classic.

    • Reply Sue March 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks Mom. Especially classic with the solid blue, I think. I just saw one made up in a pretty floral and now I want one like it.

  • Reply Elisa March 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Looks beautiful on you. I actually like the length just a bit above the knee as you have it. I am also petite, and find that dresses that are too short make me look shorter.

    • Reply Sue March 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Oh….thanks so much Elisa. You’ve brought up a very good point…I read somewhere years ago that the sweet spot for dress/skirt lengths for petite people is from just above the knee as you’ve mentioned, to just below the knee. If you are tall, you can wear dresses much shorter and also much longer.

      I’ll wear this one as is for awhile. I will let everyone know if I make my next one shorter, keeping in mind that it will probably be only a hair shorter, LOL.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion March 6, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Right, here we differ in our opinions. I think your dress looks splendid with this length, much more sophisticated than the intended length. I adore this dress, you did such a good job. Your button is a nice touch, is really stands out. Great dress, worth repeating. In this length .

    • Reply Sue March 6, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      Weeeeellll…not sure we differ in opinion now. I think I was just doubting myself, like I often do. I did try the dress pinned up a couple of inches shorter…not much really…and it just felt unbalanced. I think Elisa is right…the sweet spot for petites is just above the knee. You got it right too…you have a good eye!

  • Reply The Sewing CPA March 8, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    You did such a wonderful job! It looks really great and suits you so well. I’m thinking of buying this pattern . Denim was a great choice of fabric for it.

    • Reply Sue March 8, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much! Most of my dresses are colourful prints and I’m really loving the simplicity of the solid blue. That being said…I’m itching to make this pattern up in a pretty print, LOL!

  • Reply Sherry - Petite Over 40 March 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Sue, when I saw a photo of you in this dress on IG, it took my breath away. The design of the dress combined with how you’ve styled it has a chicness and elegance that is a cut above “just a shirt dress.” Perhaps the smelly tencel is what gives it the elegant drape? Or is it the cut of the pattern? Either way, I really love this dress on you. Combined with those beige heels, you’re a knock-out.


    • Reply Sue March 12, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      LOLOL…it’s getting better and by that I mean less smelly, haha.

      I’m trying not to make this dress up, like tomorrow. But my willpower is wavering. I do have a few other late winter, early spring makes I want to complete first.

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista March 14, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    This is a very cool dress – I like the inverted pleat in the front, and the denim fabric.

    • Reply Sue March 14, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Carolyn really did come up with a neat design. The closure is worked into the pleat.

  • Reply Melanie March 15, 2018 at 12:56 am

    That is one splendid dress and I am beaming that I know who designed the pattern. Really chic, and fun at the same time. The button at the collar is a fantastic feature. And this fabric drapes really well. The nude shoes works well with this too. You guys are so good at fitting – I don’t think I’d know a good fit if it came out and bit me!

    • Reply Sue March 17, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      I KNOW! I agree 1,000%…it was an honor to be a small part of the process!

  • Reply Louisa March 17, 2018 at 9:47 am

    What a fabulous not-quite-shirt-dress! Carolyn is brilliant, yes? I think the length is perfect on you as is. Now I’m wondering if that style would work on my body. And how much fiddling it would take to make it fit…

    • Reply Sue March 17, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      YAAAASH! She is brilliant…both clever and an all-round beam of shining light!

      I think we are all agreed that the length WORKS! Woo Hoo! I can absolutely show you the dress if you are on the fence about trying it…

  • Reply Carolyn March 26, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Thank you so much for making the design look so amaaaaazing Sue!! I was so happy to see your name pop up amongst the testers, and so happy that you made such a beauty too! Extra special that we met for real, making us real life friends as well as online friends. All these lovely comments are making me blush! Thank you for being such a helpful, cheerful and enthusiastic part of helping us bring our first pattern out; you’re the best 🙂 xxxx

    • Reply Sue April 10, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Carolyn….the pleasure was all mine. It was such an honor to be able to part of the process! THANK YOU! xoxox

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