Sewing Pattern Review - Vali Dress By Pattern Fantastique

 Written by Caroline, made by Aimee, and worn by Arna & Emma

vali dress puff sleeves sewing pattern review

 We've sewn the popular Vali Dress from Pattern Fantastique to show off our Cotton Lawn Solids Collection  - a light weight (65gsm) smooth and crisp cotton lawn.  Perfect for spring time and summer sewing, available in a beautiful range of colours. 

With plenty of gathers and volume, the Vali Dress is a great match for this light weight fabric.  The dress would also look amazing in a bold print, but we love how a solid colour shows off all the design details.  Something that the Pattern Fantastique patterns excel at.  

Pattern  Vali Dress Pattern by Pattern Fantastique

Size - 12.  
Arna's bust = 95cm, Emma's bust = 97cm

Fabric -  2.7m from our Cotton Lawn Solids Collection, Peacock colourway. 

Notions -  thread, light weight knit interfacing, 6mm plush elastic

Skill Level - Intermediate - Advanced

Maker - Aimee

Skills Used - 

  • Stay stitching
  • Sewing darts
  • Using a loop turner to make ties
  • Gathering 
  • Topstitching
  • vali dress sewing pattern


    Pattern and Instructions

    The sewing pattern includes two length options - a dress or a top.  You can also choose between two neckline options - we've made the deeper V-neck with two ties.   

    The image below is the top version where the V-neck finishes at the bottom of the yoke.  

    pattern fantastique vali top sewing pattern review

    The pattern has been rated as skill level 'intermediate'.  The yoke and gathers are relatively involved, so we think that this sewing pattern sits at the more advanced end of the intermediate spectrum.  


    To create the volume in the sleeve the pattern piece is somewhat larger than 'normal' and it is very easy to confuse the front from back - so make sure to carefully mark all notches! Note there is an extra notch on the sleeve back. 

    vali dress sewing pattern review sleeve pattern piece

    The instructions also recommend that you make an extra mark on the fabric (with tailors chalk, or a safety pin) to mark the back.   Once the sleeve is gathered it is difficult to see the notches.   These extra marks will make life a lot easier when it comes to sew the sleeve in!

    The sleeves are gathered at the hem with narrow elastic - we used our plush elastic as it is lovely and soft, so a great pairing with the light weight fabric, and also very comfortable around the arm.  We used a bodkin to thread the elastic


    Both Emma and Arna have relatively wide shoulders and normally have to make a wide shoulder adjustment to patterns.   It also means that styles with a lot of volume (pleats, gathers, etc) at the shoulder area can seem a little too bulky for them.  

    The proportions of the yoke and sleeve head get a big thumbs up from us - our shoulders are nestled within the fullness of the sleeve head giving the drama and glam but without excess bulk. 

    vali dress shoulders


    The ties are made from the cotton lawn - a Loop Turner is a really useful tool to get the job done.  If you are using a thicker fabric or perhaps for a little interest, you could use a contrast ribbon or cotton tape instead. 

    vali dress ties


    We think the pockets for this dress are little on the small side, next time we would definitely make them bigger.  As they stand at the moment, they are great for a lipstick, but not too much else!

    vali dress pockets sewing pattern review


    We've sewn a size 12 dress which has a finished length of 114cm from the shoulder seam to the centre front (a little longer at the back).  The image below is Nita-Jane of Pattern Fantastique - looking elegant with the longer midi length. 

    vali dress sewing pattern

    Our store sample is shorter on Emma and Arna.  Arna is 166cm tall and you can see the hem ends approx 8cm below her knee.   For Emma, who is 174cm, the hem hits just at the bottom of her knee.  

    vali dress sewing pattern review.

    If you want to lengthen the pattern, we recommend you do so at a point below the pocket.  For details we have a step by step tutorial on how to lengthen a pattern piece here - we used our new Pattern Graph & Tracing paper.   The 1cm grid on the paper makes it a breeze and ensures the pattern pieces are correctly aligned with each other. 

    how to lengthen a sewing pattern piece

    If you lengthen the pattern, don't forget to purchase extra fabric.  You will need an extra:   2 x added length. 


    Cotton lawn is a versatile fabric - and a store favourite for spring/summer sewing.  It is stable - so easy to work with and sew.  It is a plain weave, is smooth and slightly crisp so holds its shape well, but also light enough to have enough drape for a style like this.  

    This pattern/fabric pairing gives lots of volume and a bold silhouette, but without the weight.  The fabric is light enough that doesn't swamp the wearer while also giving plenty of room to move! 

    Perfect for a warm summer day or to layer in winter. 

    vali dress styled for winter sewing pattern review

    Emma has layered the dress over a warm top and added a scarf for a little extra warmth.  Throw on some tights and boots for a great trans-seasonal outfit. 

    We also love that it is a beautiful and cost effective material that can be sewn in stunning garments. 


    Aimee loved making this dress and found it to be a really interesting make with lots of lovely details!  Both Aimee and Emma have added it to their personal lists of things to make and I hope it won't be too long before we see them wearing their own versions in store! 

    vali dress layered for winter



    If you've found this blog helpful, you might like to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest account for reading later.
    save it for later vali dress sewing pattern review

    On the Vali Dress Pattern Page there is a tab on the left hand side titled reviews, click on the plus sign to enlarge the tab and there is a form that you can complete to submit your review or any of our patterns.


    Hi Diedre – Yes, we stock the Vali Dress pattern. There is a link to it at the beginning of this blog.

    Emma - Miss Maude November 20, 2023

    Love the Vali dress. Can I purchase the pattern? How much is it?

    Deirdre Whitcombe November 20, 2023

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