We are so excited to welcome another Helen’s Closet pattern to the collection this week: The March Top and Dress! I couldn’t be happier to introduce this design to you—my March tops and dresses are truly some of my most favourite articles of clothing and I have many more planned. Let’s get to know this new pattern!
The March Top and Dress is 20% off during the launch! No code required.
The March Top and Dress is a whimsical and romantic design inspired loosely by Elizabethan-era undergarments and the fashion in the movie adaptation of Little Women (both the 1994 and more recent films). This new pattern is named after Jo March herself—a fearless creative and strong leader. I feel strong and powerful in garments like March that are super comfortable and allow me to be bathed in swaths of fabric—yes please! Jo March may have preferred a waistcoat and collared shirt to this interpretation, but I do still see her tenacity in this design and a nod to more tailored garments in the construction. Could you throw a waistcoat over this dress? 100% yes!
Enough about its origins, let’s talk about the features of this new pattern! March is available in sizes 0-30 US—up to a 58” hip in the size chart and up to a 94” finished hip with the gathered peplum/skirt views (Views A and B) . It has three views, including a dress and two top options. The pattern features dramatic gathered sleeves and a peplum or skirt that can be straight or gathered as well. Two length options are available for the sleeves and it is very easy to mix and match elements of March to get a custom look. There are inseam pockets in the dress version of March that are secretly anchored in the waist seam (yes, it has pockets!). An optional neck tie adds extra whimsy and the ability to tie the v-neck closed at the top or let it hang open. If you choose not to sew the tie, you get a nice clean finish on the neckline and a more structured v-neck opening.
The fit-profile of March is oversized and ultra-comfy. Folks can choose to size up to increase the drama or down for a less voluminous look. The pattern does not include cup sizing, but thanks to it’s boxy volume, it fits many bust sizes well with few adjustments. We have a blog post coming your way for doing an FBA on March if needed! Stay tuned.
One of my favourite design features of March is the center front and back panels. Not only do these interfaced panels allow you to achieve a really beautiful clean neckline finish, they provide an excellent place for embellishments such as embroidery, quilting, or beading! The center front and back panels are also a great opportunity to showcase a contrast fabric or print direction. Do you have a special piece of fabric in your stash that you have been saving? Maybe you can feature it on the March Top and Dress! This is a great place to practice scrap-busting.
There are two options for sewing the March Top. The gathered peplum and longer sleeve (view B) is quite similar to the dress pattern view. The straight peplum and shorter sleeve (view C) is a little different! I really wanted to include a slightly less frilly option as well as a shorter sleeve. This view might just be my favourite because it looks so cute tucked in at the front into high-waisted pants, and the shorter sleeve offers even more volume and gives a great spring and summer vibe! I also like the structure of the neckline when there is no tie—the way the V shape sites upright adds a lot of visual interest.
The March Dress is actually the first dress pattern in our collection—can you believe that? When I got into the indie sewing scene 6 years ago there were SO many dresses on the market. It felt like it was all about fit-and-flare garments. I wanted to go in a different direction with Helen’s Closet, and it feels appropriate that I did not force or rush this dress design. I was waiting for a Helen’s Closet dress to come to me. This one felt like a lightning bolt of inspiration running through me and now we have a beautiful dress pattern in the collection! I love how this design can be styled up or down and how comfortable it is to swan around the house in. It makes an excellent ‘house dress’ for sure, but it also looks stunning paired with heels and some statement jewelry for an evening out.
Thanks for checking out the March Top and Dress (#MarchTop, #MarchDress)! Head to the product listing to see more photos and get more information about each of the models, their measurements, and what fabrics they are wearing. Over the next 2 weeks we will be spotlighting each model’s looks, sharing several additional guest posts from sewists in the community, and posting tutorials and inspirational content related to March here on the blog and on Instagram. We can’t wait to share more!
You can grab the March Top and Dress for 20% off until the end of—you guessed it—March! No code required, simply head to the product listing to get the discount!