An Animal Print Wren Dress

I managed to make quite a few things this summer despite my workload and travelling schedule. Most of them have been worn over and over and over again since I’ve essentially been living out of a suitcase for the past few months, and strangely, rather than getting tired of these repeats I’ve just grown more attached.

My Wren Dress is definitely on that list of attachments. I made it from an gorgeous animal print rayon knit I bought at Jospehine’s Dry Goods in Portland last fall; it matches my skin tone, so it feels like a nude but is broken up with the splotches of black.

I have worn this dress at least once a week for the last two months. It was especially handy when we traveled to Europe this summer, since it didn’t wrinkle much and made me feel put together even when I had just jumped out of the shower like I did in Spain when we took these photos.

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Ah Barcelona. You have to love a city you can walk around in while drinking a beer.

I really like this pattern. It’s a simple, classic silhouette with some nice details: I love the slightly lower curve at the back of the neck, the empire waist that drops as it wraps around the body and the light ruching at the shoulder. It’s feminine and flattering and a little vintage feeling; classic Colette.


The wrap depth is perfect on me – enough to not show too much cleave without being overly modest, and I didn’t have to adjust the skirt length at all (I generally find things too long or too short….)

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It came together very quickly on my machine, and I even got to hem it using my new coverstitch (more on that to come). The only thing I’m not crazy about is the joint where the wrap portions meet at the clear elastic waistband. There are a few  opposing forces at work there so it creates a weird little pulling above my belly button. It’s also possible it’s my sewing . I had to sew the elastic in several times – my serger was not enjoying all the layers and gathering and I think things got strangely stretched out down there. I’ll have to make another version at some point so I can see – I think it would be delicious in a merino wool knit for fall.


Making Wren reminds me how much I love a good knit dress, so I’ve been making some hard decisions about what to do with the knits that survived the vicious stash purge of 2016.

Have you made Wren? What’s your favourite knit dress pattern?

Details: Wren dress by Colette, handmade leather sandals from Etsy, vintage Coach purse (similar here)

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Closet Core Patterns

Hi! I'm Heather Lou, a pattern designer and sewing educator for the modern maker. At Closet Core Patterns, we transform your imagination into step-by-step implementation that helps you create a wardrobe you love - not one you're limited to buying off the rack.

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