Curious Cats Pattern COS Shirt Dress Review
Updated: May 16
Written by Alex Holt
This dress pattern is for a shirt dress with optional back darts. Include the darts for a fitted dress or leave untouched for a more relaxed style. Made using Curious Cats by Craft Cotton Co.
Purchased From: PatternCos Etsy (Celia Dress)
Size Range: 6 Sizes (EU 36 – 46, UK 6 – 16)
Size Chart available with measurements for each size
My measurements: Bust: 34" / 86 cm
Waist: 27" / 68 cm
Hip: 36" / 92 cm
Height: 5" 5'
Size Used: EU 40
Fabric used: Curious Cats by Craft Cotton Co
Recently, I've been trying out a range of patterns to prepare for summer, and with my twice postponed Florida holiday approaching, I have been on the hunt for casual tops and dresses that are comfy and easy to walk around in. As I will be walking around different theme parks with possible limited access to shade, I have been searching for patterns that will provide coverage from the sun that will also keep me cool. I came across this shirt dress which will do the trick nicely, and as I have had previous experience making shirts, I thought it would be easy for me to do.
As usual, I downloaded the pattern pdfs from Etsy and there were multiple versions depending on which method you chose to print it out. I chose the A4 version and printed it off at actual size. I found this pattern really easy to stick together, it comes with different coloured lines for each size which show up really well when using a decent printer. It also has helpful boxes which can be lined up easily. Out of all the pdf patterns I have done, the design of this one is the best.
Instead of cutting out the specific size I wanted which was EU 40, I chose to fold the pattern pieces along the size 40 lines, cutting into curved lines to lay down the excess paper. This preserves all the sizes so if I want to make a dress for someone else or if I chose the wrong size, I could open up the pattern and refold it to select a different size.
The pattern includes markings for the darts and for the buttons / buttonholes. To mark these on the pattern pieces without moving the paper out of the way, I made tailor tacks. I only recently discovered how to do tailor tacks, but now I can't go without doing them. It ensures all my markings will be in the correct places, making it easier when it comes to sewing.
The pdfs come with an attached 'indications' file, which has information such as the seam allowances. Certain areas of pattern pieces require different seam allowances, but these are easily labelled in the file using drawings of the pattern pieces. Again, coloured lines are used to differentiate these.
Construction instructions are explained in a video which you can access via a password given in one of the pdfs. The video is in Spanish, but there are English subtitles which are easy to follow. The creator of the pattern shows each step of construction, as she makes the dress along with you. I find following a video the best way of learning how to make a pattern, because I am a visual learner and struggle to picture what written instructions ask me to do. I find this especially difficult when patterns use techniques and terms, I am unaware of.
My practice dress was very successful, so I immediately made a second using fabric from the Curious Cats collection by Craft Cotton Co, which coincidentally I designed. A little secret is that the cats featured in the range are all past or present pets of friends, myself and our Head Designer Vicky!
The fabric is 100% cotton, making it comfortable and breathable, which is perfect for the summer. The fabric also maintains its shape so there is no need to worry about the collar losing its structure. There is the option to add stabiliser to the collar and interfacing if you are using a lighter fabric, but I didn't need it as the cotton is stiff enough.
The construction of the garment was pretty simple and similar to what I had done before. Although, this pattern adopted a different collar and interfacing method to the last shirt I had done. In that shirt the interfacing was separate and had to be attached which was more fiddly and awkward to do. This method this pattern uses is so much simpler, as the interfacing simply folds over and then is attached to the collar. I will be making a lot more shirt dresses using this pattern because of this, as it makes the whole thing so easy to make. I think for my next one I will try a viscose fabric to test my skills and have a floatier dress at the end of it.
Another positive about this pattern is that all the raw edges end up tucked away, as there is a lot of double folding seams. I chose to serge all my raw edges before I started making the dress, but it is not necessary. The only exposed areas at the end are the side seams and around the collar, but you have the option to use bias binding to hide the raw edges around the collar. Everything else is double folded and then topstitched.
This is a great pattern and one of the easiest I have followed. The final fit of the dress was perfect, and I plan to make many more in different fabrics. It is beginner friendly and teaches you how to create a perfectly finished shirt dress. I also like the method they used to construct the interfacing and collar, as it makes a tricky technique really simple. The final garment is very comfortable, especially if bias binding is used around the inside seam of the collar.
I hope you all enjoyed reading my first pattern review and found it useful. Keep an eye out for future pattern reviews and happy sewing!
To see more from Alex follow her on Instagram @alexkholt.
Written by Alex Holt for The Craft Cotton Co 2022.