Introducing: The Melissa Dress by Muse Patterns

Disclaimer: I was asked to test the Melissa dress by Muse Patterns. I was not asked to write this blog post or give a review. My opinions are my own and they are for the test garment only. I know it’s hard to be objective when you are friends with the designer and get really excited about something, but I tried to be!

Further Disclaimer: I know my collar is not turned the right way in my pictures and my hem caught on my leg in a couple of pictures. I cannot tell you how I didn’t notice that, but it drove me nuts. I thought about doing all the pictures over, but I’m just too lazy for that! Just know the collar sits just fine, I just didn’t primp accordingly. 

I was going to hold off on testing more garments until after the wedding in July, but it is really difficult to say no when Kat throws the words: shirt dress, 1940s influence, pocket details, and sizing for B-cup and D-cup.

I thought maybe it should be called the Andie dress, because it seems like it was made for me!

I’m all about vintage styles. I would love to work from actual vintage patterns one day and add a modern flare to them for my own particular style. One day, I will do that, but first wedding planning and upping my sewing skills.


The Melissa can be made in either a blouse, dress, or skirt. It has v pockets on the bust and on the skirt as well as a v on the back. These lovely details along with the sleeve cuffs allow for contrast colours to make them stand out. The Melissa has princess seams which add a feminine shape and make it easier to alter for fit.

DSC_0885 DSC_0886

I sewed a straight size 50 with the D-cup variation. My Melissa dress is made with pink and black cotton and in one weekend. The cutting process is lengthy as there are a lot of pattern pieces. I suggest marking all pieces and laying your front pieces together and your back pieces in a separate pile. You will thank me.


When I cut my pieces out, my fabric slipped a little. I didn’t use enough weights to keep it in place, I think. As a result, my dress has puffed sleeves, which was a way for me to deal with the slippage and extra fabric in some areas. I will be making another Melissa dress so that I can show you that the sleeves do in fact work. I even went through the work of ensuring that the pattern pieces were correct and it was in fact my wonky cutting (was I drinking?!) that caused it. In spite of the wonky cutting, I ended up having the most amazing seam match-up at the shoulders there. Look at that! Dance party! Not so much in the back v. 😦 It’s off by half a centimeter and is driving me nuts…

Kat’s instructions were very clear as always. The sewing process was made a lot easier with her instructions and the pictures in them. I would say that the pattern is more for an advanced beginner or intermediate sewist, because of the different construction methods for the pockets and facing. I highly recommend following the instructions very closely. Be prepared to press a ton! I mean, you should be anyway. Pressing is important. A lesson I’ve learned in the past year.

Kat listens very well to her pattern testers and also lets them know how their feedback changed the pattern. It’s really a great thing to hear and see the things I suggested on the long list. I can’t say no when Kat asks me to test her patterns, because it’s such a pleasant and wonderful process. 😀 Okay enough gushing over how much I like Kat…. 😛 Let me gush over how much I love this pattern.



(WTH, my hemline caught on my leg, there? The hem is fine… I just failed at this photoshoot!)

Edit: There is some pulling in the bust. My high bust measurement is more than 4 inches for the D-cup specifications. I also spaced my buttonholes out further from the edge than necessary. My next version will accommodate that fitting issue.

This was the first time sewing up my Melissa dress and, while there are some fitting tweaks I will make, overall I love how it looks and how it fits. I even love the fact that with the fabric I choose I look like a waitress from the 1950s. It’s perfect! Want a milkshake, dearie?


Mmmm…. milkshake…..

I love how the pattern is drafted and the pocket construction with the v details is very smart. You fold and press a lot of areas. I won’t go into much detail, but it’s a neat way to do it!

DSC_0869 DSC_0866 DSC_0864 DSC_0859 DSC_0855 DSC_0854

It was very bright when I did my photoshoot (yay Spring!) and that damn upturned collar! Photoshoot fail, I guess, but lazy me means that’s all you get until my next Melissa dress. 🙂 I’ll make sure that photoshoot doesn’t fail so much…Sorry…

My only issues with the pattern is how tiny the pockets (they are meant for a small smart phone or pen and not for my entire purse…crazy!) and that the sleeve cuff was tight on my large upper arms. Kat has increased the size of the sleeve cuff for the final pattern by 1cm. I will report on that change in future versions.

The princess seams and the flare of the skirt at the natural waist give a great shape to the dress and the details/contrasts are fun for the eye. It’s definitely going to become a TNT (tried and tested) pattern for me!

I can’t wait to make another version. I just need to see what fabric works best out of my stash. I want

As with all of the other pattern releases, Muse Patterns is offering the Melissa dress, blouse, and skirt at 15% off for the first week and 100% of the sales are going toward the Life Flight air rescue and air ambulance services. Check out Muse Pattern’s blog entry for more details on the sale code and the donation.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Muse Patterns’ Melissa dress, blouse, & skirt (Test Pattern)
  • Pros: Interesting design/details, clear instructions, good structure/fit
  • Cons: Pockets are for a pen or smart phone, but too tiny for hands/my purse/book  (unreasonable criticism alert!). Sleeve cuffs are a little tight, but I have large upper arms and this is something that has changed for the final version.
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I plan on making it using the final version of the pattern and reporting on that.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars



25 thoughts on “Introducing: The Melissa Dress by Muse Patterns

  1. That’s a pretty cool dress, my friend. I’ll take a banana milkshake please. 🙂 I love all the little details and the double princess seams. This fits you wonderfully. I can’t wait to see your next version!

    1. Thanks, Tanya! I cannot wait to make another! Oh man, I love banana milkshakes! My fav! 😀 😀 Wish I could make you one. 🙂

      1. There’s a place here in Austin that does brown butter & roasted banana milkshakes! How ’bout you both hop on a plane and I’ll treat you guys to one! 🙂

    1. It’s going to take some time to get to you, but I’ll send you a strawberry milkshake! 😉

      Thanks, Marike. 😀

  2. This immediately made me think of the diner waitresses on the show Alice (or some people will remember Mel’s Diner). Does anyone remember that show or am I totally showing my age here? Andie, this turned out really cute!

    1. THANK YOU! Oh my goodness, I was trying to think what the dress reminded me of. I thought I Love Lucy with her chocolate factory uniform, but it’s the uniforms on Alice! 😀 I no longer have to break my brain finding that memory. 😉 LOL

      Thanks so much, Alicia! 😀

  3. I’ll have waffles and caramel sauce if that’s ok! This dress is fantastic! I’m so tempted, especially for the skirt. Will check it out on the muse website!

  4. Being a sewing of the old school variety this dress reminds of me the uniform that waitresses back in the day would wear. And, as usual, you rocked the pattern and your selected colours make it pop. I too can’t wait to see what else you do with it, girl.



  5. Yesss!!! You hit it on the nail (I am going back and reading comments and the post) . . . “Alice’ Yup, yup, girl!!!! Giggles. Oh, and Alice had a nice shape like you. 🙂

    1. Thanks. 🙂 It’s true there are drag lines. I’ll be doing a full bust adjustment for the next one, as mentioned in the post. 🙂

      1. No worries. 🙂 I appreciate the comment, because if it was something I didn’t notice, I would definitely want to know! 😀 😀

I love comments, but sometimes I may be slow to respond/approve. I will respond though. :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.