The Rivier Dress - New pattern release by The Eli Monster

by - 10:12

This is the Rivier Dress, the new dress pattern by The Eli Monster.

This cute faux wrap dress features a ruffle along the bodice wrap, little cap sleeves and a large bow.

I chose to add all the options in testing, but you could instead have a more simple, and quicker to sew dress, by omitting the ruffle and cap sleeves, or even leaving off the bow. There are two cut lines for the shoulders, a slightly narrower line for sleeveless, and a wider shoulder, like I chose, for the cap sleeve version. Little Miss wanted a ruffle, she wanted cap sleeves, and most importantly, she wanted the big bow! You can't mess with a 5 year old when she is choosing dress options.

This is what happens when you mess with a five year old, they give you this knowing look of 'aren't you silly, Mummy.' then they roll their eyes at you!

I had to make some adjustments to the bodice, well, pattern grading between sizes. It turns out I should have made another to her shoulders, but it's all sewn now, so that will have to be one for the future. I made a size 5 bodice, and graded it in to age 3 at the waist. This took out a big excess that I got as her waist is still so tiny. She actually measures just into the size 6 for chest, but once I'd made the necessary adjustments, it took it back down to an age 5 just under her armpits. Where I should have paid more attention was her shoulders. From looking at the pictures, I would say I probably needed an age 6 or 7 across her shoulders. She is wide, presumably developing through frequent gymnastics training. The age 6 cap sleeves that I used on the age 5 bodice were much too tight, but I didn't realise until it was all sewn up and I was photographing her. You can see in this picture of the back that there are a few pull lines and the cap sleeves are tight to her skin. I would adjust this to her body for the next dress.

Despite the slightly tight cap sleeves, Little Miss was more than capable of getting up to her usual antics, and was cartwheeling and leaping around. It's hard to keep her still for photos sometimes, she's naturally active.

The dress has hidden sew-in snaps to the inside wrap, and to the outer wrap to snap it shut at the side seam. Next time, I might investigate using plastic snaps, or full metal snaps that have say a pretty bow, or butterfly to the outer. I would then snap them through both the lining and outer fabric for a bit more strength. I've found that simply hand sewing these little snaps to the cotton lawn lining is a bit precarious, and if Little Miss gets dressed/undressed with her usual vigour, then they are just going to rip a hole and fall out of the lining.

The skirt is a simple gathered rectangle attached to the outer bodice wrap piece, and all the way around the back bodice to the side. A small skirt placket at this side seam then allows enough room for the dress to be put on over the head, or pulled up from the floor and then up and over the shoulders. It allows just enough gather to twirl to the standard my Little Miss expects!

Like I have become accustomed to with The Eli Monster patterns, the skirt is finished with a blind hem. I like this finish as it can give an almost invisible hem line. I used this method again with this dress, but I think the thin weight of the fabric went against me. Either that, or I didn't pay enough attention to my needle position, and the stitches are a bit too visible for my liking. Can you guess where I bought this fabric? Yep, it came from my favourite online mill shop, Fabworks. I bought both fabrics last year at the same time, always with intention of pairing them together. I did make a little cropped jacket last summer to wear with a sun dress from the check fabric.

The check is a lightweight thin cotton, it is very bright and bold in real life, with large checks, it's actually quite hard to get the whole pattern in a small dress. The bodice is made from my favourite red chambray so has a bit more weight. I hoped this would enable the bow to stand up by itself, but I think it could possibly do with a bit of interfacing to add just a touch more stiffness.

The Rivier Dress pattern is on sale through 22nd July for the offer price of $7.

Did you know you can follow me on Instagram and I'd love for you to give me a like on Facebook.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (the price stays the same for you) which will help me in the future to buy more patterns to share them with you!*

You May Also Like


  1. Love your fabric choices!
    The ruffled part of the plaid is really surprising.

    1. Thank you! I wanted the ruffle to 'pop' and I think it had enough brightness against the red to do just that.