Victory Patterns ‘Nicola’ Dress

** Updated with new pictures!

I had originally wanted to make this dress before Mexico but didn’t have time. I really like many pattern from Victory but eventually decided to buy Nicola (it is more versatile) and Anouk (because it is just SO darn cute!). Basics of the Nicola dress below:

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 5.09.25 PMIt’s a pretty simple idea but with cute details. I really liked the tulip skirt and sleeves. A while back I ordered my first rayon challis fabric and it was so soft and drapey and wonderful and perfect for this pattern. So I used Anna Maria Horner’s Raindrops Poppies in Lustre from Hawthorne Threads.

Over all the pattern was pretty easy to put together, except for setting in those darn sleeves. I found the armhole to be pretty tight and it just didn’t come together so well. Much frustration and a hour or two later I finally had them in.

Of course I didn’t make a muslin because that would have been way too smart. So I finished the dress and then hoped to god that I could make it fit me somehow. The top took a little working to figure out how it fit me best. I should have removed some fabric around the bust but it turned out fine in the end (surprisingly). I didn’t use buttons as the pattern suggests instead I sewed on snaps because I wanted (no, needed) the dress to stay tight otherwise the v-neck started to gape. Snaps along with a belt kept it nailed down. Here’s the final product!

IMG_1249Turned out pretty nice I think – got a lot of compliments too! I lined the skirt with a raspberry rayon challis I bought online and realized I hated the color once I got it home. But it worked well for the skirt I think – a little burst of color.


Funny thing about the lining though…turns out I got a little ahead of myself and forgot to wash it before using it. And then I washed the dress…and the lining shrunk and the dress didn’t. I haven’t spent enough time yet to figure out what I’m going to do with it.

Tulip sleeves!


If I were to make this again, I would probably line the entire dress. Those darn facings just would NOT stay down. So to fix that, I used some stitch-witchery to adhere the facing to the dress…but I got to close to the pinked seam edges from the lining and the bodice and now there is a texture to the v-neck. Of course no one noticed but me…but still.

IMG_1252Overall nice dress with a nice pattern – but would recommend to make a muslin before starting!

A few more pictures:

IMG_0001 IMG_0002 IMG_0003 IMG_0004I know, I know. I look like a fallen dinosaur in the last picture.

  • Trudy Kloos

    I really like this one. Too bad the lining shrunk.

  • Mealnie

    Thanks for sharing this review. I actually like it better on you than on the model! I can see from your pictures how the dress really fits. Nice job.

  • MaciNic

    Thank you for your review, your Nicola is lovely, gorgeous fabric! She’s at the muslin-ish stage here, so I really appreciate your review ;)

    • Carrie

      Thanks so much! She was pretty fun to sew as well :)
      The only place I’d recommend keeping an eye out for is setting in those sleeves…it took me quite some time to get it right!