Handmade Wardrobe / Inspiration

always a darling

It kind of doesn’t matter how many things i sew, i always find myself coming back to the Darling Ranges pattern with as much love as when i first drafted it. Funny how some things are just really close to your heart hey?

This fabric is actually left over from the Matilda Bay dress from my Perth Collection – i stupidly did not keep a sample of that dress for myself, so i kept some extra fabric for years so i could make myself one. Do you ever save fabric like this and then wonder why you’re being so obsessive? just me? I seem to do this a lot where i’ll earmark fabric for a project, and then have piles of fabric that i can’t use because its being “saved”. This year i’m trying to be better at not doing that, because fabric that isn’t being used is just being wasted, right?

Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges sewing pattern // Version 3
Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges sewing pattern // Version 3

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen a behind the scenes peek of this particular version. As often happens i had one of those moments of “oh no what was i thinking?!” when it came to the topstitching. I made version 3 of the Darling Ranges (leaving off the sleeves). I’m a huge fan of topstitching so of course you give me some chambray and i just pull out the denim topstitch thread without a second thought… but after going over the pockets i did kind of freakout. A lot.

Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges sewing pattern // Version 3

But I pushed on, and once i was done i really loved it (phew!). Which is good – because if you’ve ever unpicked topstitch thread you’ll know it’s a massive pain in the butt!!

When i got to the end i got a bit lazy. There is only so much you can get done in baby naps – so i called in the easy option and used snaps on the placket instead of buttons, so i could get this dress DONE. And can i now declare my undying love for snaps?! I will probably be doing this on everything now hahaha. lazy lazy lazy. But seriously, it was so nice and easy and I feel like it give the dress a very different look than my usual inclination for shell buttons.

Overall i’m really happy with how this dress turned out, and it was definitely one of my most worn items over the summer. Next up i think i’ll be making a straight up Version 3 with the sleeves, because its just way too cold in Perth right now to go sleeveless anymore!

Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges sewing pattern // Version 3
Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges sewing pattern // Version 3

[photography by Sabatomic]

[Make this look]

Dress: Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges // pattern + similar fabric
Shoes: Swedish hasbeens // T strap sky hi in natural
Sunnies: Ray Ban // RB3025 in red
Bag: vintage Coach 

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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8 years ago

Oh Megan, I LOVE this variation! I hope that one day you might do a “how-to” for it. I have the old pattern with the darts up top instead of the waist, so I’m unsure how I would modify it just right.

I love the top stitching :)

8 years ago

Oh, now I have to pull my pattern out again and make this version. I really like the silhouette! Yours look wonderful on you!

8 years ago

I would never have thought to topstitch the pockets, but I love it!

8 years ago

I think your dress looks great! I have lots of fabric that I am “saving” too – I really need to stop doing that.

8 years ago

Love it! This is just such a great pattern. I never would have thought to topstitch the pockets like that, but they look awesome!

8 years ago

This is so super cute! Oh man, I am a serial fabric saver! It’s awful!

8 years ago

I love – no, LOVE – topstitching! It simply transformed the dress! As much as I actually now believe I need this pattern!


[…] first time i made these culottes it was a fight. Like this dress, i used fabric i had been “saving” for many years – and it was just a disaster. […]

3 years ago

love the pocket topstiching!
i tend to save fabric for projects that require the entire length of the fabric – so if i have 2.5 metres i can’t use it on a project requiring just 2 but then the fabric just sits there as fabric forever – must get better at just accepting having leftovers!