One Cuba Libre, please!

Now that the secret has been out for a while, I can share my dress with you. Although I am a little late to the party. However,  I am having a cocktail to celebrate anyway!

Sally, has  launched her latest collection of patterns, for  her company Capital Chic Patterns. The collection includes 4 patterns: Cuba Libre, Gimlet, Grasshopper and Sangria.

I was really honoured when she asked me if I could pattern test for her the patterns and gave me a preview of the patterns. I wanted to test them all, I just did not have the time to do them all. I really like the Gimlet dress. It has a neckline I have not seen before. ssI would have tested this one as well, but I knew I would not have time to figure out how to do a FBA (full bust adjustment) on the asymmetric bodice. If any of you has an idea how to do it let me know, I really want to make this dress as well. A bust reduction is not an option. Ha, ha…

Then I remembered I’ve had on my To Do List a shirt dress for ages, so the Cuba Libre was perfect. Only little trouble was I used satin to make it and I never made a full on shirt before. You know just a little challenge never hurt anyone. I chose to make the knee length version.p1200778As I am trying really hard not to buy fabric (My Fabric Shopping Fast is gone out the window since Sewup North meet up), I had to chose fabric from my own stash. And found this satin fabric. But it was not enough, so I ended up playing around with the pattern pieces to incorporate a different fabric – left over Liberty fabric (for the cuff facing and placket, inside yoke an under-collar and a self made sash to use as a bet). I chose to make a size 10 based on the finished garment measurements. However,  for my next one I will make a size 12. IMG_3246I like Sally’s instructions as there is a combination of diagrams and wording. I am more of a visual person, and i can figure out what to do from the diagrams, and if not sure I just read the instructions then. They are also carefully made so the whole construction is easy to follow.  This was the first time I made a shirt placket as well. So I relied solely on the instructions provided.  As I did not have enough fabric I made a test placket to make sure I get it right. Yes, I actually did it. Usually I don’t bother just go for it, but I thought it would be more difficult than it actually was.  IMG_3240IMG_3241I think the packet on my dress make it more interesting and definitely different. I like different in the details of my clothes. You know just a  little something that it’s not necessarily big, but a little accent to draw attention. IMG_3244IMG_3243For the seams that were not enclosed in a facing or the yoke I used my overlocker to finish the raw edges, you know I like the inside to be pretty as well. I currently use grey thread on my serger. It blends well with the majority of my fabrics. I think I like this to be one of my signatures in my garments, as well as I am lazy and do not fancy changing the threads on every project. Too much hassle! IMG_3248Originally, I used my slim-flex ruler to get my buttonhole placement, I only added 5 buttons. On taking some pictures for Sally to see how my dress looked like, I realised I  needed more buttons, so I doubled up. Again I decided to slipstitch the buttonhole/buttons plackets as I jut don’t like flappy bits. So good, I have come around, and although hand stitching is not my favourite sewing activity, I do prefer the quality of the finishes when I used this technique. IMG_3252I enjoy pattern testing and giving detailed feedback. Yes, the Virgo in me is at home with stuff like that.  Here are some pictures of me wearing my new shirt dress. I wish the warmer weather was back,  so I can wear my dress.cubalibre5cubalibre6cubalibre7cubalibre3



  1. Simona, this is such a beautiful dress and it looks great on you! I particularly love the contrasting plackets, what a fantastic idea, it really adds something special. Thanks again for all your help with testing! — Sally

    • Thank you Sally! It was my pleasure. Love giving feedback and I love to help. Besides your patterns are so nice it’s impossible not to like them.

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