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Duvet Cover to Dashing Chiara

What was once a nondescript duvet has found new life as a dynamite dress. Meet my Chiara which has emerged from her chrysalis of a dull bedcover to take flight as a graceful frock.

Designed by Make My Lemonade, the Chiara dress has many unique details that make it stand out from the crowd.

First, it has a fun vintage feel. This is achieved by the over-the-knee gathered skirt, boat-neck neckline and bust darts forming a V that meets at the waistline in the centre front bodice.

Second, the teeny cap sleeves are constructed from long slender strips that criss-cross under the arm. This detail makes the dress for me.

The skirt and the bodice are fully lined and the closure is an invisible zipper installed in the back. It also comes with a girlish waist-tie to pull the look together. And the deep pockets are a bonus in any dress. This pattern is doable for an ambitious beginner. It is rated "nothing difficult" by the pattern company. Just in case you can't fathom the instructions (which are probably translated from French to English) there's a sew along video here that can accompany you on your make. Even though it's in French, the visual is mighty helpful.


Paper patterns can be bought from Make My Lemonade (also known as Wear Lemonade), or there's a pdf pattern option where one can download unlimited patterns for a minimum subscription of 3 months. Not a bad deal at all since there's at least a new pattern coming out on a monthly basis, and there's already a treasure trove of patterns in the collection.

Sizes run from 34-46. My advice is to measure the actual pattern pieces to get a better idea of the finished measurements that go unlisted. I made a size 36 even though the waist measurement was listed as 2cm smaller than my 66cm waist. I did this because sizes tend to run a tad big in the patterns. Even with the sizing down, size 36 turned out large for me. In the end, I had to take in 1.5cm instead of 1cm at the seam allowance for the back seam, and adjusted the shoulder seam by 2cm. Long story short: next time I will size down even more and make a size 34.


It seems like I fall out of the range of the sizing chart with this pattern company. Mainly, the fitted bodices tend to be too roomy in the chest area for me. The chest measurement for the smallest size is 84cm/33''. I guess French ladies are more well-endowed than this Asian gal. However, I'm learning how to adjust to the patterns, and am most willing to deal with some sizing issues for a great design.


The Chiara is easy to love with its retro, coquettish charm. It is fun, feminine and fetching. Maybe it's time to make another.


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