DIY Sweetheart Dress – Review of the Jessica Dress by Mimi G

All summer I wanted a strappy dress but could not find exactly the right pattern. I had a vague idea of what I wanted but it was hazy. It felt like when a word is on the tip of your tongue. The idea was there, just out of reach. And then I saw the Jessica Dress by Mimi G and SewSewDef magazine. And Bam! That was the dress I had been looking for all summer. It had the spaghetti straps and was fitted at the bust but still casual with big pockets and a gathered skirt. Exactly what I was looking for.

For the fabric, I used this navy linen from The Fabric Store. It’s a nice light linen but not at all see through. It’s actually the same linen that I used for my Flint Pants. As with most linens, it was very easy to sew with. The only thing I found this time was that the fabric did stretch a bit after cutting along the length of the skirt and the top of the bodice. Fortunately, it was easy to ease it back into shape and I don’t think it’s noticeable at all. 

This is the first Mimi G pattern that I’ve made and it was fun to try something by a new designer. The instructions were easy to understand and Mimi even has a sewalong video on YouTube that’s very helpful. Overall, the dress was fairly easy to put together. The one construction thing I did differently was to hem the dress at the very end. I like to be able to try on a garment before I decide what length it should be. 

I cut a size medium, which is a little bit bigger than my bust measurement. The dress has princess seams which makes it really easy to fit. Be aware though that the seam allowance is only 3/8” and the design is fitted so there won’t be a lot of extra fabric to let out if it’s too tight. I ended up taking in the side bodice seams 3/8” and I’m really satisfied with the fit. I originally cut the straps too short and had to redo them. When I cut the new straps, I also made them a little wider, for a finished width of 3/4”. I just thought that a wider strap would have a better visual balance with the dark color of the dress.

I don’t have a lot of navy buttons but I do have a lot of white buttons and I love the contrast the white buttons give the dress. I managed to find 13 white buttons that are the right size and all look very, very similar. I really like how they pop off of the navy dress. I used white thread to sew them on. When I sewed on the pockets, I positioned them so that they narrowed toward the top and would stand away from the dress a bit. Mimi does this in her sewalong and I really like how it looks. If they were just flat to the fabric, you might not even see them.

This dress is so perfect for warmer months. In case you're wondering if it's a versatile pattern, Mimi has a bunch of versions on her site. I really, really love this dress and I can see myself wearing it a lot and even making another one out of a printed fabric.