I can see me making this up in hundreds of different materials and wearing it all summer long. I have made it here in very light weight fabrics. The orange centre panel is a light silky viscose, the side panel is grey marl t-shirting and the sleeve is a light polycotton in a tiny geometric grey and cream pattern.
(The Panel Dress is no longer available as a free single size download . It is now available to buy it as a multisize paper or downloadable pattern. Sorry for any disappointment, but there are lots of other free patterns on the patterns tab so please have a browse.)
altogether more glam. I have also done the side panels in soft silk for a little luxury twist.
It would work well made from any combination of jersey, light polycotton or viscose. I wouldn’t use pure cotton as it just sits a little stiffly – your fabric needs to have a bit of man made fibre or silk in it to drape properly. If your fabric is too stiff the dress just stands out a bit squarely.
There’s not a lot of fitting going on here, although there are hidden darts built into the bust with the panels. It’s very straight up and down – just an elongated t-shirt basically. But this simplicity is the perfect vehicle for three fabrics in one dress (which otherwise is pretty hard to carry off.)
Here is another version of the Panel Dress, this time made up in a size UK 22, which is a US18. I thought I’d show it in another size just to demonstrate how well it scales up.
(Thankyou Clare and Harriet for modelling – Harriet has grown up quite a bit since her modelling debut in the over-the-table-playhouse) It’s worth noting that the dress looks a bit shorter on Clare than it does on me, more of a tunic in fact, but she is over 6ft tall so you can see why.
This version is made in a really fabulous geometric patterned polyester that I bought from the Knitting & Stitching Show in London. The sleeves are just some scraps of black chiffon I had and the side panels are a charcoal grey linen (left over from the St Tropez Scoop Neck). My favourite finishing touch is the hot pink satin bias binding that I used to trim the sleeves. It picks out the pink in the pattern perfectly and adds a luxurious finish.
AND, for those of you who like this dress, there is also a top in really a similar style. Have a look at the Panel Tee post for more ideas.
(The Panel Dress is no longer available as a free PDF download – you can now buy it as a multisize paper or downloadable pattern. Sorry for any disappointment, but there are lots of other free patterns on the patterns tab so please have a browse.)