Introducing the Mariposa Bow-Back Dress

Introducing the Mariposa Bow-Back Dress

Today has seen the launch of my newest pattern, the Mariposa Bow-Back Dress. I’m delighted to have this out at the start of summer, because it is absolutely the perfect design for all sorts of warm-weather events – garden parties, picnics (imagine the comfort of spreading out the huge skirt around you…), weddings, holidays…

You can get 20% off Mariposa this week by signing up to my newsletter. 

The design comes in sizes 6–20 (B-cup)  and 16–28 (B and D-cups) and both print-at-home and copyshop formats. It has been tested by a group of lovely sewists around the world. It has a self-lined bodice, and the ties are also self-lined. Then there are the three-tiers of the skirt, the bottom two of which are rectangles, making them particularly easy to shorten/lengthen.

One of the best features of the Mariposa is the lack of zips, buttons etc. The dress is fitted to your body using elastic channels in the back waist and the shoulders (which is especially good if you're asymmetrical like me), and then finally fastened using the two long ties. These can either be tied in the eponymous bow, or wrapped around to the front of the dress for a different effect. It also makes it a lovely, straightforward sew – you won’t need to change machine feet or even stitch type!

‘Mariposa’ means ‘butterfly’ in Spanish, which makes it the perfect name for this fabulous, floaty dress that’s all about drama in the back! But in keeping with my tradition of naming patterns after places, it’s also a commonly used place and street name here in California. In fact, all three addresses we’ve had here have been around the corner from a Mariposa Avenue or a Mariposa Street. There’s also a beautiful place called Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park – a grove of giant sequoias that feels like nature's cathedral. 

Fabric recommendations

Mariposa is designed for light-to-medium-weight woven fabrics such as cotton lawn, cotton poplin, lightweight chambray, viscose, rayon, viscose linen, gauze. I would recommend staying towards the lighter end of weights, because that wonderfully voluminous skirt could otherwise get pretty heavy. My red gingham version is sewn in a double gauze (yes, it’s all the same fabric – but with a small check on one side and large on the other!) and the coral version is a Lady McElroy viscose. For the sew-along I am using a cotton lawn. Check out the hashtag #MariposaBowBackDress on Instagram to see some tester versions and learn about their fabric choices. 

I have lots of additional support around the Mariposa Bow-Back Dress planned for the upcoming week – a series of blog posts telling you everything you need to know about bias binding (used on the inside of Mariposa), a tutorial on how to tie the bow in the back so it covers your bra, and a full video sew-along – my first ever!

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