Deck the Closet with Winter Wear Designs

Special fabric deserves a special dress. And the Winter Wear Designs* Bateau Garden Dress has you covered for a special occasions and formal wear.

So welcome to my stop on the Winter Wear Designs "Deck the Closet" blog tour. It's been quite a ride, from PJ's through to casual holiday wear, and now on to formal wear. Make sure you check out all the other stops on the tour - see the schedule at the end of the post.

I found this fabric on sale after Christmas last year. It was ridiculously cheap, so I bought plenty. I think it's actually meant to be for a tablecloth. I knew I wanted a dress with some WOW, and because of the border print, I was limited to rectangular skirts. So when the option to sew up formal wear using a Winter Wear Design pattern arose, I took the opportunity to sew up the Bateau Garden Dress.

I love the low back, and lovely deep pleats in the skirt.

There are plenty of options in the pattern - a pleated circle skirt, a strappy back, and 3 options for length.

One of the features that really drew me to the pattern was the included instructions for a pettiskirt. The fabric has a bit of bling, but it's still a quilting weight cotton, so wouldn't have the body in the skirt if I had used a heavier fabric like a jaquard. So I figured the pettiskirt would be a good way of adding a bit of oomph to the dress.

Of course, when I suggested adding the pettiskirt to the dress, my daughter wasn't keen on the idea. Originally, I offered to sew in the pettiskirt, take photos, then take it out again for future wearing. That was before I realised the pettiskirt is added before the zipper is installed.

As comfortable as I am inserting an invisible zipper, I have no desire to sew them in any more times than necessary. So I used the measurements and instructions for the pettiskirt, and added a fabric casing at the top.

I was really pushed for time on the pettiskirt, so I had a go at using my overlocker (serger) to gather the ruffles. It's not the neatest job, but it worked better than I thought, and once I'd turned on the differential feed, I didn't have to adjust the gathers much at all.  I found it helpful to use wonderclips when holding the tulle in place (when possible). Otherwise, pinning twice through the fabric helps to keep things where they need to be.

So we both got what we wanted. She avoided the long-term prickle of the pettiskirt, and I was able to have one in for photos. Hooray for a compromise (and a stash of tulle in the cupboard).

The pattern has all the usual features you expect from Winter Wear Designs. Clear instructions, assistance on blending sizes for a fantastic fit, and a good finish to the garment. I was impressed with the consistency in the construction, keeping everything in place without visible top-stitching. The bodice is understitched at the neckline, the lining secured by stitching in the ditch, and the hem blind stitched. Details such as these help to give a lovely finish to the garment.

As part of the tour, there's also some awesome bonuses - who's ready for a sale?!

Save 35% off single patterns and pattern bundles Site Wide*
(*excludes WW Wardrobe Builders)
 use code: THANKYOU2018
BOGO Free - buy any* pattern get one of equal or lesser value free
 (*excludes WW Wardrobe Builders)
code: BOGO2018

Now get inspired to deck your own closet with all these inspirational posts!!!


Livia of Liviality

Meriel of Elli and Nels
Ilse of Sew Sew Ilse


Alyssa of The Sewing Goatherd

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase the pattern I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I received a copy of the pattern for the purpose of participating in this blog tour. All the opinions expressed in this post are my own.


  1. It's beautiful! You took full advantage of that border print, great job! And by making the petti detachable you can now have her wear it with other dresses for future photo shoots - it's a win-win! Every girl needs a petti in her wardrobe for when a little extra fabulousness is required!


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