sewing the Fibre Mood Holly in Cotton Lawn fabric
Collabs | Fabric

Prairie Chic Holly Dress in Cotton Lawn with Minerva

March 19, 2022

Mustard yellow has been catching my eye over the past year. I’ve never been all about yellow, but there’s been something about this hue recently that has made me want to give it a try – especially during the autumn months. I will be straight with you here – I picked out this fabric last fall anticipating that I would make a fun dress for Thanksgiving. However, I absolutely overestimated how often I’d be able to make my way into the sewing room once I returned to work after maternity leave, and I’ve been running… Oh, a few months behind my own self-imposed schedule? 

While I didn’t finish this up in time for Thanksgiving, it was a lovely February addition to my wardrobe! The warm mustard color of the fabric certainly gives me cozy autumn vibes, but the floral has hints of baby pink and fern green that will transition it easily into spring! 

I’d had this pattern printed and ready to go for quite some time, and in my mind this fabric was a fun match for it. The Holly Dress had a lot of elements that had been catching my eye in recent trends, but hadn’t necessarily been included in my wardrobe frequently up until now. I was specifically excited to try the higher neck with bodice gathered at the neckline, and the fun sleeve shape! As I cut out the pattern and began to sew it together, though, I had my doubts. Maybe this was turning out a little bit too prairie chic for me? 

At one point, I told my husband that while I like to ride the line with quirky prints and fun florals, I was afraid I was toeing pretty near the deep end with this one! I brought him in to look at the dress, in its partially finished form on my mannequin, and received a solid, unmistakable grimace. He plastered on a nice smile and said “Oh no, I think it’s going to be good!” and quickly left the room before he put his foot in his mouth. 

I worried up until the last moment with this one. I would hold it up in the mirror and think man… I know they say you win some, you lose some, but I don’t often feel that I have full on losses with my garments! I was a little disappointed… I keep a pretty good stash of notions on hand in my sewing room, so I got to the point that the dress was finished with the exception of the zipper and hem, and found myself at a loss. I did not have a single suitable zipper in the right size and color combination! I tried the dress on one last time, continued to feel odd and frumpy about it, and set it aside. I resolved to grab myself an appropriate zipper and finish the darn thing, even though I had a feeling it might not ever get much use.

Finally, with zipper in hand, I headed to the sewing room. I was ready to finish this dress that was leaving me with very “blah” feelings and hopefully move on to something that gave me a bit more excitement. I inserted the zipper, hemmed up the edge, and headed over to the mirror… And loved it?? SURPRISE! I did not see that one coming. This felt much cuter than I could have imagined! (Full discretion – my husband still puts on the nice smile when I wear this one, but I can see in his eyes it is not his favorite of all of my makes!!) 

As can be expected with cotton lawns, this fabric was a pleasure to sew with. The colors are lovely and vibrant, the fabric is soft and lightweight, and behaves perfectly when sewing. You can achieve crisp edges that stay in place when pressed, but the overall garment feels soft, light, and breathable when worn. I love this with booties for cooler weather, but it will also be fun with sandals as the weather warms up soon. 

This turned out to be a pretty versatile piece – unbelted with some boots, you can get a totally different look than with a belt and cute pair of low heel sandals. Add a hat or swap that out for a low, loose braid and you can go from western to bohemian in a snap. So far, I prefer belting the dress. I believe the pattern came with a piece to sew a self-fabric belt, but with the busy floral I wanted something that would break up the print so I opted out of that option. I think a black or warm brown leather belt is perfect for this, and I’ve since found a black belt in my drawers that I think pairs a little better! Without the belt, the dress becomes a bit sack-like – it could probably be worn sans belt in a drapier fabric like a rayon challis, but cotton lawn likes to maintain its shape just a tidge too much for that.

Here’s looking forward to more florals and lovely warmer weather to match!!

Dress: handmade by me

Pattern: FibreMood – Holly Dress

Fabric: Minerva – Cotton Lawn Fabric in Mustard

Key Ingredients: 

Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 

Brother 1034D Overlocker 

Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat

Prym Sewing Machine Needles

Gutermann Sew All Polyester Sewing Thread

Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos of my finished garments and a review of my experience with the fabric, to be posted on their website. The pattern was purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!

  • XX Elizabeth

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