Axis Dress revisited

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I’m still holiday sewing. This is my second Axis Dress by Papercut Patterns.

It is made in this beautiful linen cotton mix fabric in a bamboo print gifted for this make by Fabworks in Dewsbury . It is an ex-designer fabric and has a really smooth hand, making it feel really expensive to wear and perfect for skin sensitive from perhaps a little too much holiday sun. There’s a little red in there too, but it’s not showing up on these images.

It didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to recreate the Axis Dress with this fabric. I would say it feels like cotton with linen as opposed to linen with cotton and more a light bottom or dress weight than blouse weight.

My first Axis Dress was made this time last year, preparing for another holiday.

I love this pattern, I love all the versions on Instagram. I loved mine, but it did have some issues.

Described as a dress with a vintage-inspired straight neckline and waist ties that can be wrapped around to tie at the front, or fastened at the back to form a plunging back. You can choose between a figure-hugging pencil skirt with front split and an equally classic and flattering A-line . 

The ties, as I have tied them, hide the invisible zip at the top of the rear of the skirt. Only the front bib is connected to the skirt.

Previously, I couldn’t find much guidance on the sizing or fit in the reviews of this dress, so you’ll forgive me for going into great detail for anyone else carrying out some research on this pattern.

For my 2022 version I had made the size 3 to 4 at the bust, grading to a size 5 at the waist and back down to a size 3 to 4 at the hip.

I was using inexpensive fabric and so did not make a toile; I just adjusted as I went along.

With hindsight I could have started a whole size down every where.

It gaped at the front of the arm, so I took it in at the side seam and inserted a dart where it was gaping, without first taking off the facing! It was pretty ugly on the inside but only I knew that!!

I also noted to lift the waist seam by one inch, next time, and drop the top of the front by an inch too.

Roll on one year and I’ve lost some weight, since this time last year, and my 2022 axis dress didn’t fit at all.

So I took it apart and used it as a toile, taking out the ugly bust darts and trimming it down a size everywhere.

After lots of trying on, unpicking and trimming down, I’ve ended up within a size 1 to 2 at the bust, size 4 at the waist, size 3 at the hip.

My measurements of 34:29:37 would have put me at a size 2 to 3 at the bust, 4 at the waist, 3 at the hip.

Going down a size at the bust has completely removed the gapping I had at the side bust.

I did also drop the height off the top at the neck by 1cm and lengthened the straps accordingly. I slightly widened the straps by about 5mm too.

I used the waist cutting line for the size 3, taking the waist up by 1cm from the size 4 line.

In my finished version I cut the front of the skirt in one piece, not 2 as per the pattern. I also switched the split to the rear. Again I took several inches off the bottom.

The improved fit is really noticeable in my new version, I’m pleased to say. Next time I would give myself an extra 1 cm on the hip for those larger days!

The biggest other difference I’ve made to this dress is to replace the facing to the top with a full lining in the same linen fabric. This has made for a much neater finish inside and is something I’d repeat next time.

I’ve now got this dress to where it needs to be. I’m loving the silhouette so there’ll definitely be more in the future.

Love, Lucie xx


  1. Thanks so much for the comments on sizing. I am planning to make this with some nice fabric and will definitely toile first. I love your print.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another lovely dress from you. You have the fitting sorted out just right.
    I’m looking to make a dress to wear for a wedding in July but haven’t found a pattern I like yet. I want it to be semi fitted with maybe 3/4 length sleeves and I’ve purchased a couple of retro style patterns but not sure about them.
    I followed up your link to Fabworks and really like a linen cotton blend they have in a shibori print. Maybe I should try fitting a pattern to the fabric rather than the other way round.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you thought about a shirt dress? Or were you thinking more formal? A lot of weddings are a lot less formal these days. Relatively easy to sew up and super comfortable to wear.
      The vogue 1672 that Fabworks suggests for the Shibori print would indeed be fabulous


      1. Yes! That vogue pattern looks great but can I justify over £17 for another pattern??
        I do have a shirt dress pattern though – I could maybe even hack the Cheyenne tunic (one of our favourites) which might look good if I straighten the hem. Even if I don’t end up wearing it for the wedding which, by the way, probably won’t be at all formal as they’ve been together for years ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The neckline reminds me of a boat neckline. Sort of continuing that thought, I thought you could odd another shoulder strap – at right angles to the current shoulder strap. Longer so it drapes over your arm – so it looks like a “cold shoulder” top, even though there’s no sleeves. (A total of 4 shoulder straps.) A bit crazy but I wonder if it would work. Also, thanks for the info on sizing.

    Liked by 1 person

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