Sirocco Dress - Coffee and Thread

I had been hoping that the Sirocco Top and Dress would become a pattern for purchase ever since I saw this post on Coffee and Thread. And now I can rejoice!

There are so many things I love about this style - both the dress and the top! First, there are those pretty bell sleeves, which when you use a drapey fabric like rayon look so fluttery. A plus in my book. And then there is the high-low hem. I don't think I will ever tire of that element! And if that weren't enough, the deep facings are such a beautiful touch (I even *gasp* slip-stitched them by hand - what?!) along with the fact that there are no closures, yay! That means no struggling with trying to zip up your dress or reaching behind you to get that top button. I can dress myself like a big girl, haha! 

I also love that there is no waist seam in this style, because sometimes a girl just wants to be able to eat a proper meal without worrying about...well, wardrobe issues. But you know what - this also means that it is a maternity-friendly dress, too. (Just look at how radiant Fleurine is in her beautiful Sirocco!)

Like all of the other Coffee and Thread PDF patterns, this one has a tiled pattern that can be printed on US letter size or A4 sized paper and you can choose the size you want to print (though there are copy shop files included, if you prefer to go that route). The tutorial includes illustrations, a fabric requirements guide, and a size guide. 

I went with the size 2 based on my bust and hip measurements, figuring the waist has enough ease that I could get away with being a bit larger than what was listed for the 2. I made no length adjustments to the dress or the sleeves, as I usually prefer to wear my dresses at the knee or longer. I am 5'1" to give you an idea.

I debated over what fabric to use for quite a while. The dress requires about 3 yards of fabric, and I hardly ever buy that much yardage, being used to sewing for my daughters. But for some reason, I splurged on this beautiful rayon fabric from Art Gallery and had miraculously bought 3 yards of it from one of my favorite shops, Raspberry Creek Fabrics (I just checked my receipt. Yes, I keep all my fabric receipts now, so I don't have to scramble and try to remember the name of something, haha). It doesn't seem to be in stock now, but they have a great selection of Art Gallery fabrics HERE. I don't know what possessed me to buy more than my usual 2 yards, except that somewhere in the back of my mind, I might have known that it was destined to become something for me. It's from the "Little Town" collection by Amy Sinibaldi, and it's called "Winterberry Pine." Isn't it so festive?

I didn't actually use up all 3 yards, even with all the facings, so if you are making the smallest size like me, you might be able to get away with a little over 2.5 yards. Especially if you choose different fabric for the facings and shorten the dress.

Sewing with 100% rayon was a bit of a challenge for me, as I don't think I've done it before (in the past I have used a linen-rayon blend, which made for a much easier sewing experience!). But I followed the advice of my wise sewing mentors (& the tutorial) and stay-stitched the neckline, the armscyes, the sleeve hems, and the dress hem to make sure that nothing stretched out or got wonky, and I'm so glad I did! I always use a rotary cutter and weights, so no change there. I used a smaller (is that right? Smaller? Thinner?) needle than my usual size 11 and went for the number 9. I also made my stitches shorter and went a lot slower than I usually do. And just to show you how much I love this dress, I'll say it again: I slip-stitched all of the facings to the dress by hand. Yes, you read that right. By hand. And I am usually looking for ANY excuse not to sew by hand. Have I said it enough times now? Are you rolling your eyes? 

And yay, now I have a holiday dress that I can wear to the in-laws! And in the warmer months, I will wear it on its own for a more casual look, I think. 

Congratulations, Olga, on your first women's pattern! I think it's gorgeous, and I have loved all the versions that I've seen so far. It's suitable for the confident beginner sewist, so I encourage you to give it a go! The Sirocco Top and Dress is on sale until December 24, 2017 11:59pm EST with an additional discount for the members of the Coffee and Thread Facebook Group, where you will find lots of inspiration.  

Happy sewing!


  1. It's so beautiful!!!!!! Nice job handstitching!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you, Emily! And thank you also for acknowledging my handstitching - did I mention it enough times, hahaha!!

  2. So pretty! This pattern is an absolute winner. Now I am only wishing to have some time left to make one before Christmas....

    1. Thank you, Marieke! It really is a wonderful pattern and I am excited to make myself the top for the warmer months. I know what you mean about wanting to sew in time for Christmas - so many things on my list already!! Happy holidays <3


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