A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Christine Haynes Emery Dress Review (Feline Frames Dress)

Hello everyone! This week's post will be about my experience using the Emery Dress sewing pattern by Christine Haynes. I realize that I'm extremely late to the party for this pattern, as it came out in 2013. However, the Emery dress features a timeless silhouette that is appropriate for many occasions. 

Let's get right into it!

Left: Unprecedented Panache dress from Modcloth; Right: Retrolicious 3485 Gallery Cat Dress

There were two dresses that served as primary inspiration for this dress. Both dresses were technically created by the brand Retrolicious, but one was sold at ModCloth. I liked both dresses, but they both had issues that I didn't like. Firsly, both dresses were sleeveless, and I don't generally wear sleeveless dresses unless I layer a blouse underneath or wear a cardigan over it. So, I didn't want to deal with having to style the dress. Other than that, the ModCloth dress had a low neckline in the front, making it more difficult to pair with blouses. 

Instead, I tracked down the fabric online and decided to make my own!


Here's the cover image of the pattern. I chose to make the short sleeve version without a collar or waist bow. I had been aware of this pattern for a few years and decided to finally give it a go! A few years ago I wore fit and flare dresses pretty much every day. Even though my style has changed a bit since then, I still really love this type of silhouette. Depending on the fabric used, this dress could also be worn in a professional setting. 

As of February 10, 2019, Christine Haynes's website is down! But the pattern is still available for download on Indie Sew


The fabric used is titled Eliza Kitten Era by Alexander Henry Fabrics. I purchased it from Harts Fabric, but it's also available from Feline Drive(click here) and multiple Etsy sellers. 

I had no trouble sewing or working with this fabric. It's pretty much a basic cotton fabric with a cute print that's easy for anyone to use.


I decided to make a muslin mock up for the bodice of this dress. The neckline of this dress is more of a boatneck neckline than most dress patterns (at least in my experience). After completing the mock up, I decided to raise the waistline by an inch and make the waist slightly larger-only about half an inch all the way around. I did this so it would be more comfortable and flattering. Other than that, I followed the instructions and the pattern as it was written. 

I found all of these at ModCloth at one point or another. 
Another reason why I chose to make the short sleeve version was to allow for easy wear regardless of the season. I had two different outfits in mind. One was for summer, with sandals, a straw hat, and a straw bag (Ah! I just realized I forgot to take a photo styled with the straw bag. It's the one linked here and pictured below). For the winter outfit, I wanted to style the dress with tights, cat beret, cat shoes, and cat bag (pictured above).

Whisker Taker Wicker Bag from ModCloth (no longer available unfortunately)

I figured this dress would be easy to layer with a cardigan or sweater in the winter; in the summer it could easily go solo.

Honestly, I don't think the "winter outfit" looks very nice. I don't think the black accessories pair with the colors of the print or the colors of my hair. Oh well.

Anyways, enough about the outfit, let's move on to the likes and dislikes of the pattern!


There were several things I really liked about this pattern! This was my first time encountering pockets that were sewn into the waistband. Although this causes the pockets to sit a little higher than I'm used to, the pockets look very clean in my opinion. Also, the instructions for this pattern are well written and illustrated, particularly in regards to the lining and zipper. I personally didn't encounter any problems. And last but not least, the silhouette for this dress is timeless and classic.

Overall, there isn't really a direct problem or dislike I found with the pattern. However, I could see the bodice fitting very awkwardly on someone with measurements falling outside of the norm. I grew to like the boatneck bodice, but I was initially very concerned that I might not get much use out of this dress. 

In summation, this dress is not perfect, but it turned out well enough to wear! I've worn it several times already since I've finished it. I didn't have any serious problems during construction. Just a simple and basic dress.

I definitely want to make another one of these dresses in the future. I even have a fabric in mind.

Thanks so much for reading! I'll be back next week with a Valentine's Day post.

P.S. When trying to think of a catchy title for this post, I considered calling it the "Pussycat Portrait Dress." I'm happy I didn't follow through with it. 

1 comment

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