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Pattern Testing : Acton Dress

I have been excitedly waiting to share this make you all for quite some time! Back in the spring, I pattern tested this dress for Emily from In The Folds. The test went well, and she decided to take some time to update her website, add illustrated pattern instructions, and get professional photos before launching.  It all looks SO good. She just released the Acton last week and I can’t wait to show you my version of this amazing pattern.

In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet
In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet

Emily is based in Australia, and for you southern hemisphere makers, this dress is such a great pattern for warmer weather.  I wore mine a lot this past summer!  I have also continued to get use out of it in the cooler months with a cardigan and leggings.

In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's ClosetIn the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet

The Acton Dress by In The Folds

The Acton has two views, one with a faux-wrap front design that is unique and super pretty.  I went for the sans-wrap version, but I would really like to try the wrap one next time.  Please note that I was forced to add a center seam to the skirt of my Acton due to a cutting error; there is no center front seam on the actual skirt portion of the pattern . I also went rogue and cut my bodice pieces on the bias to achieve this chevron effect.  I think this pattern is so perfect for a chevron look, and I love the way this turned out in the front and back.

In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet

There are two back options for the Acton.  I made the back of view B with the view A front. I like the high back style.  Another one of my favourite things about this pattern is the high neck and the way it shows off the shoulders.  This is my favourite cut of dress and for a broad shouldered girl like me, I think it is very flattering.  The dress is quite flattering overall, in fact, I think the cut has a very slimming effect.  The pattern also has inseam pockets, which is an obvious win!

In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet
In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet

The fabric I used here is a woven cotton I picked up at an Our Social Fabric sale.  I used it once before for my maxi Nita Wrap Skirt and I just love the woven details.  I have officially used all 7 meters of this (which I got for $2 by the way), so consider this piece of fabric recycled!

In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet
In the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's ClosetIn the Folds Acton Dress by Helen's Closet

Special thanks to Laurie Best for taking these awesome photos for me. We spent quite a long time trying to find the right light, and I think they turned out great because of it.  Thanks for persevering with me, Laurie!

I definitely plan on making the Acton again, hopefully soon! I can’t wait to see more versions of if 🙂  Congrats to Emily from In The Folds on releasing another amazing dress pattern.


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

26 Comments on “Pattern Testing : Acton Dress”

  1. Ah Helen I love your version! It’s really flattering 🙂
    Desperate to make the wrap version, but I think I’ll need to do an FBA and some work on the bodice fit to make it suit me. It’s in the queue! x

  2. Beautiful dress – I was astounded to read you spent $2 on this fabric! Now that was a serious bargain because it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Love your dress! It looks great on you. 🙂 I am currently making the Rushcutter dress (also by In the Folds), so hopefully when I’m done, I can make the Acton dress.

  4. OH…so cute Helen! I love so much about this pattern…it’s just the bra wearability that is holding me back.

    I’ve only been to one OSF sale. It was a little overwhelming to me and I left with buttons. LOL…yes buttons. Ah well…more fabric choice for you.

    The instrument in the corner is beautiful. Is it yours? Or Laurie’s?

    1. Thanks, Sue! I find that most racer back sports bras work well with this cut of dress, but you can still see the straps a bit. I’m not wearing a bra in these pics, and the thicker fabric and fully lined bodice makes it comfortable for me 🙂
      I agree that the OSF sales are crazy, I tend to just grab as much as I can and then find a corner to sort through what I grabbed and decide which to actually take home with me. It’s always a frenzy, but I have definitely gotten some great things there.
      The instrument is my parent’s! I don’t think it has been played in decades…I should re-string it and give it a go! It’s called a Dulcimer.

  5. I am loving every version of this dress that I’ve seen since the pattern launch! The bias cut on the bodice is so pretty in your striped fabric. It fits you like a glove and is so flattering! Another dress to add to my mile long list…

  6. This is so pretty Helen! I love the effect on the skirt – hooray for happy accidents. Great colour on you too!

  7. Pingback: Floral Acton Dress – Helen's Closet

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