Fabulous and FREE!

A review of Orla Dress (free)

Mel Forrest

Reviewed by Mel Forrest on 10th August, 2019

I’ve seen a huge number of beautiful Orla dresses on Instagram and when a friend offered me a copy of the pattern that she had printed but wasn’t going to use, I gladly took it off her hands!

I downloaded the instructions, which fit onto one and a half sheets of A4 paper – this should give you an idea of how basic they are! This pattern is really only suitable for dressmakers who have made a fair few projects, as it only provides the sequence of steps and expects you to know how to execute each of them, e.g. creating the darts, gathering the waist, inserting the zip and binding the neckline.

The pattern suggests fabrics with good drape such as rayon/viscose. I bought 2m of really pretty tencel lawn from Lamazi Fabrics with no particular project in mind. When it arrived and I felt how soft and fluid it was, I decided it would be ideal for an Orla! It’s incredibly lightweight and has been so comfortable to wear on warmer days.

I found choosing which size to make quite tricky and although I found lots of reviews of the pattern, not many people shared anything about sizing. I wear a UK size 8/10, so I could either choose to make the size XS/S. To decide, I wanted to know the finished waist measurement, which wasn’t shown anywhere. I measured the pattern pieces in the end and made the size S, which turned out to be a very comfortable fit for me.

I didn’t need to make any alterations to the pattern at all, but next time I might raise the neckline a tiny bit to make it more flattering on my small bust. I would also add in seam pockets next time – I chose not to as my fabric is a little sheer, but I definitely miss them!

I’m really pleased with the finished dress and I’m sure I’ll make another Orla! It’s a simple sew that’s great for showcasing a really lovely fabric and the dress is a comfortable and pretty wardrobe staple – what’s not to love?!