Victory Nicola Dress

—By Heather

Ever since the Victory patterns arrived in the store, I’ve had my eye on the Nicola Dress. A few weeks ago I made one up using this gorgeous Anna Maria Horner voile, Sinister Swarm. Although there are a few hiccups in the instructions and printing (which I’ll get to in a bit) I would highly recommend this pattern if you want a dress that’s special and unique. It’s a good one, friends.

I love the design details of the sleeves and skirt. Very floral. I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sure about the sleeves but with the right fabric choice they drape beautifully and have a slightly kimono flair. I also love that the skirt is fully lined. The bodice could be easily lined as well.

Below are my recommendation for fabric choices, modifications and the few little problems I found in the pattern:

1. Although I love this butterfly print, next time I would probably use something with a smaller or more subtle pattern so that the design details of the dress can really shine. A solid would also be beautiful.

2. Definitely shorten the skirt if you are 5′ 6″ or under. This model is about that height and is wearing a size 8 with no modifications. It think it would be more flattering on her if the skirt was a good two inches shorter. I might even consider shortening the sleeve a tiny bit.

3. There are no specific instructions to gather the sleeve cap and ease the excess length into the armhole. It is sort of implied: “Sew along the cap sleeve with a baste stitch…” and easing is addressed in the glossary, specific to setting in sleeves, but beginners might have trouble at this step without help.

4. I would recomend understiching the bodice facing.

5. Lastly, there is a printing error on the back skirt pattern piece. The numbers to indicate the tip of the darts are reversed. See photo below with the correction in black (a bit small here but hopefull you get the idea).

I would really like to make this dress again in a silk with very simple print or with one of the lightweight wool voiles we carry. If anyone has suggestions for how to do a FBA with the three vertical bust darts, I (and many others, I’m sure) would be eternally grateful!

Oh, I almost forgot—you will learn a super cool trick for how to make a thread loop on the machine! That’s a nice little bonus.