Well WOWEE what a start to 2021! I had an inkling that the new Upton Dress & Skirt Mix and Match Expansion Pack might be popular, but I didn’t think it would turn out to be our most successful pattern launch of all time (by far!). Maybe I shouldn’t have been THAT surprised though because 1) sleeves 2) when I was having these photos taken in my village I attracted a socially distanced crowd of people all telling me how much they love the dress. It’s literally a crowd pleaser!
In fact, that day we photographed two Upton Dresses, it’s just that the other one was photographed behind a cafe rather than on the main street, hence a few less gawpers. But let’s start with this beauty!
So as I’m sure you already know, the Upton Dress & Skirt Expansion Pack has over 350 options when you combine all the different features, and I wanted to make two dresses to show off the new pieces we’ve added (I managed quite a few, but couldn’t do them *all* in two dresses – there are just too many options!).
First up, I went with:
- V neck
- High back
- Princess seams (yassssss I love me a good princess seam)
- Tea-length, gored skirt
I wanted a fancy dress, so I chose this amazing metallic jacquard from Fabric Godmother (UK) – this colorway is sold out, but they still have it in two more! Jacquard is a really fabulous fabric for an evening Upton because it has a lovely weight to it, and gives you an almost sculptural effect on the skirt, as well as a super smooth bodice fit. If you’re unsure about fitting, using heavier fabrics can really help you to achieve a fantastic result.
As always, our signature cup sizes of C – H help you achieve an awesome fit through the boobs, and for most people, without an FBA. This is the size 20 G/H (I currently have a 45″ high bust and 50″ full bust measurement, and I’m a UK 38H bra size) and as you can see, zero gaping at the neckline or armscye. While it is a fitted style, the Upton does also have wiggle room at the waist, because the waistband is pretty high, where most people are smaller – I have about a 42″ waist at the moment, but the size 20 (for a 40″ waist theoretically) was totally fine.
The princess seamed bodice also has back princess seams and I just love how sleek and fitted it looks (but still very comfortable to wear). And critically, like all our patterns – no bra on show.
I put a small petticoat on under this dress and I love the way it gives the skirt just a little bit more flare, but it also totally works without one.
When you feel this good in your frock, who can resist knocking on a random stranger’s door?!
On to my Upton number two! For this one I went in a totally different direction – and you can see how it’s almost unrecognizable as the same pattern. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: the Upton Dress & Skirt Mix and Match Expansion Pack can give you a whole wardrobe full of dresses & skirts and no-one would ever know they’re all from the same envelope.
So for this Upton Dress I used:
- The square neckline
- The long fitted sleeves
- Princess seams again (gotta love ’em)
- The maxi length gored skirt
This look is so not ‘me’ and yet I love it! It felt like I was cosplaying Little House on the Prairie meets Cottagecore influencer. I threw on my fave boots, borrowed the belt and hat from a friend, and even found a little leather choker, channeling my mid 90s teen years.
This version was made from a super floaty viscose crepe from Atelier Brunette which is available directly from them in France, but is also stocked in lots of independent fabric stores. It’s a really nice high quality fabric, which doesn’t cling, and has the most fantastic drape. Although this dress is exactly the same size as the other one (20 G/H) you can see that the fabric makes it fit a little differently – more loosely overall, so the belt helped achieve a slight blouson effect which I really like!
The square neckline is really on-trend right now and very easy to achieve because the bodice is clean-lined and understitched. In fact, if you wanted a different style, like a sweetheart neckline, or a boatneck, it would be very easy to draft your own. We went through several rounds to stop my bra peeking out, but if your bra style does mean it would show, it’s really easy to raise or narrow the neckline for total coverage.
I used the high back again on this version (a bit more coverage is welcome in the winter!) and added a hook and eye at the top to keep it all flush at the neckline.
And what else to do in a dress like this, but lots of dramatic Instagram-influencer swoosh-jumps?!
So that’s just two brand new types of Upton Dress you can make from the Upton Dress & Skirt Mix and Match Expansion Pack – just 348 for me to go until I have a whole set! The funny thing about making a pattern with so many options is inevitably you’re not actually going to ever make them all, which makes it even more exciting to see what you, the community, make. Make sure to share your dresses and skirts and tag them with #UptonDress or #UptonSkirt so we can see them and you in all your glory!