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River dress and top pattern tester roundup!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

I’m so happy to share with you the River pattern tester roundup! Some of our lovely testers have been kind enough of let us share their makes – and i love how different each and every one is!

Thorough pattern tester is a huge pattern of our process, and I take the feedback from our testers very seriously. After our first round of River testing we made some changes to the pattern before beginning a second round of testing to perfect the pattern. Some of these makes are from the first round of testing, so you may notice that the neckline shape is a little different and skirt hems are a little shorter, but I really wanted to show you ALL of the test makes because I love them all and everyone made such beautiful garments. Just keep in mind that in the final pattern the dress hemline is a little longer, belt and pocket position is a little different, and the neckline is deeper.

Thank you so much to all of my lovely River testers, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Ok lets look at these beautiful makes, and please make sure to check out these ladies links to see more of their sewing journey!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Julie

MADE

Version 4 // woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I like a fast pattern that is also stylish and this exactly what this is! It’s also flattering! The pattern can be “hacked” in many different ways and is a staple for any wardrobe!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I added pipping to the arm seams which made the top ever more sporty. I have a scuba knit ready for the dress version. It’s kind of a cool fabric because on one side it’s suede like and the other side it’s plain black! I was thinking about making the top version and attach a gathered skirt at the bottom to make a dress.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design DiaryRiver dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Claire  // Find her on her blog I want to be a Turtle and on IG @iwanttobeturtle

MADE

Version 1 // Knit dress

Version 2 // Woven dress with pockets and belt

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

There’s a lot to like about this pattern – the relaxed style, the simplicity of construction, and the number of looks you can create through different fabrics. It is also a satisfyingly quick make.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

In addition to the scuba version, I made the dress in a bright African wax cotton. The drape is slightly stiffer in the cotton but it still looks great with a belt. I don’t currently have any future versions planned but I think it is only a matter of time!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Kara // Find her on IG @knitsandsews 

MADE

Version 2 // Dress with belt and pockets

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The deep hems give it structure and the belt nicely defines my waist.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I made a woven dress with pockets and a knit dress without pockets. I can definitely see myself making more knit dresses, and I’d like to try a knit version of the top as well!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Madeleine

MADE

Version 4 // woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The ease of construction and the versatility of the pattern.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I hope to make the dress variation in knit and I’d also like to see if I can make a version that could work with my slowly growing baby bump!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Becky  // Find her on IG @beckssews

MADE

Version 2 // Dress with pockets & belt

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The shape of the body portion with the length – it hit at a perfect spot for this look on me.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Yes – I will modify the one I made to have a deep v neck and shorter sleeves. I would be curious to try version 4 in a rayon or silk.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Kate // Find her on IG @katiep_sews

MADE

Version 4 // Woven blouses

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The instructions to change a standard sleeve hem into a cuff. They were very clear and make for a great finished product. I also like that its easy to have a reversible, round or v neck top/dress using this pattern and mix & matching. I love the ease of construction and the speed it came together. Just a quick and satisfying sew. The crop length of the top is on trend but it can easily be lengthened so its an all rounder!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I am planning a denim tensile dress, and a knit top version. I made mine with french seams, which is an easy additional detail for construction on a top like this and may be a good step-up for beginner sewers to try.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Ame // Find her on IG @wine_and_pie

MADE

Version 2 // woven dress

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

That it is reversible.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I cuffed the sleeves and shortened the length on this version. I plan to make a lengthier version of the top as a cover up with a white linen fabric.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Amy  // Find her on IG @cashmama1

MADE

Version 2 // Dress with pockets & belt

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I honestly love the length and width of the sleeves and the ease of the dress. It gives it a very beachy vibe. I also love the option of wearing it vneck or round neck.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I would love to do this in a maxi and a knit.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design DiaryRiver dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Leah // Find her on her blog Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

MADE

Version 2 // woven dress with pockets and belt lengthened to maxi

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

Design-wise, the sleeves, I like the raglan shape and fit.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Yes! I’m going to try a knit version tomorrow. And maybe something else, I don’t know! I want to do one with an elastic waist, that’s fun. Maybe a shirt in a drapey rayon? It’s a fun canvas!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Jenny // Find her on her blog Wardrobe Architect and on IG @thewardrobearchitect 

MADE

Version 4 // woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

How versatile it is

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

dress version with pockets and belt in a stable knit

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design DiaryRiver dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Ivana  // Find her on IG @ivanamania

MADE

Version 2 // Dress with pockets & belt (plus a patch work Version 2 dress out of scraps!)

Version 4 // woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I just like the fit, Cocoon shape and raglan sleeves. The neckline and the ease of construction.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I plan to make another blouse version V3 or V4 and the V1 knit dress  with extended sleeves. I love the fact that I can choose between woven and knits. The first one I made in poly crepe and I have been using store bought bias tape. Also, I have used embroidery stitch on neck binding – it is my cheating method – it holds everything in place even if you make mistake.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Marie-Fleurine // Find her on her blog Sew Marie Fleur

MADE

Version 4 // woven blouse with the belt from Version 2

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The v-neck and the option to add belt loops and a belt

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

A lengthened  blouse version to wear to work

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Eliza

MADE

Version 3 // Knit top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

Easy and quick satisfaction. Did not use a large amount of fabric so I can use my expensive 1-1.5 yard cuts.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I would like to try the dress and add elastic to the back and ties on front of the waist.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Megan // Find her on her blog Meggipeg and on IG @meggipeg

MADE

Version 2 // Woven dress with pockets

Version 4 // Woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I think the pattern has a flattering fit and I like the raglan sleeves and wide hems. I love a dress or top that is easy to wear and looks great.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I’ve already made a top and two dresses and will definitely be making more versions of this pattern. I would love to try this in a variety of fabric types and experiment with prints and colour blocking.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Miss Fedi // Find her on IG @miloupio

MADE

Version 2 // woven dress

Version 4 // woven top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The very simple and flattering form and straightforward sewing… and all the possibilities you can imagine to make with such a simple pattern!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I absolutely love the pattern and think I will make much more versions of it. I made the cropped blouse with 3/4 sleeves, the chambray dress with contrasting neck/sleeve and bottom binding and i am planning to make a more sweaterly-like version with long sleeves in a knit fabric for colder weather  and another dress for summer in a really nice rayon fabric … etc etc

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design DiaryRiver dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Caroline // Find her on her blog Full Time Vixen

MADE

Version 2 // woven dress with belt and pockets

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

It’s a breeze to make, very simple pattern with an interesting neckline concept.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

With this kind of neckline, it might be fun to make a dress version in a lovely drapey silk. I’ve now tried this pattern in a woven and knit fabric. I think I used a knit fabric which was too heavy and stretchy so I accidentally made something really low cut but contemporary!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Pascale // Find her on IG @pascalettre

MADE

Version 1 // Knit dress

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The fact that is was reversible.

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Rebecca  // Find her on IG @rebeccaw0w

MADE

Version 2 // Woven ress with pockets & belt

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

It came together SO FAST. And the ength is just right, the neck is cute but not too covered or open. I appreciate your easy style that fits into my life with versatility – I feel dressed but not too tailored.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I cuffed the sleeve for a shorter look and a little flair. I like the suggestion to cut them really short /cap sleeveless length, and will likely do that next time!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Sally  // Find her on her website Sally’s Angelworks

MADE

Version 1 // Knit dress

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

The top and the V neck! very flattering.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

Yes! I will make a bunch of t-shirts for me! Can’t wait! I made a version with a wider skirt for playing cello which I do professionally. Perfect!! Even though it is knit, it’s not too casual for my church gigs. And so comfortable!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Tami  // Find her on her blog Sew Sophie Lynn and IG @sewsophielynn

MADE

Version 1 // Knit dress

Version 3 // Knit top

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I love the ease and how quickly the pattern came together. The boxy style is so on trend!

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I would like to make a fun summer dress- an eyelet overlay would be super cute!

River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary River dress & top pattern tester roundup! Megan Nielsen Design Diary

WHO

Dorte  // Find her on her on IG @dragonfly_fabrics

MADE

Version 4 // woven top (with added waist tie!)

HER FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE PATTERN

I really like the simple shape and how wearable it is, also how easy it is to sew.

WHAT SHE IS PLANNING ON MAKING NEXT

I’m planning to make a dress version in soft chambray and another blouse in floral cotton lawn.

// SHOW US YOUR CREATIONS! //

What about you?! We’d love to see what you’re creating from the new River pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNriver and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet? Order River today!

Order River

Order River

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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PsychicSewerKathleen
3 years ago

I can’t wait for mine to get here Megan! There are so many features on this pattern that I love – raglan sleeves, V neckline, a top that can easily be a nice short shift dress. Perfection! I enjoyed seeing all your tester makes – it filled me with inspiration :)

Nellene Jooste
Nellene Jooste
3 years ago

I LOVED seeing what everyone did! I have to say, I would not have come up with half of the ideas you ladies did. I will definitely buy this pattern