Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Swing Dress Free Pattern Review

This free swing dress pattern is perfect for a go to summer cover up, easy dress and no fuss sleepwear.

I found Straight Stitches Magnolia Swing dress while looking for something quick, summer friendly, not fabric hog, that I could sew up several of quickly for my summer rotation.

My phase of life means I need something easy to throw over a swimsuit. Quick changes when I hadn’t planned on being in the water but swimsuit clad children need to be picked up or hugged. Things I won’t stress about being covered in popsicle juice or …. whatever that is. I need to be able to bend, crouch, and lean over – bra strap coverage is important to me.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

Straight Stitch Magnolia Dress Review

What’s Included? 

Free PDF patterns range on what’s included. This is a Full Pattern download. Meaning when you click the ‘download pattern’ you get a pattern that is the same as the patterns available for purchase in Straight Stitch’s pattern shop.

This is a great way to test drive a new to you designer, or heck to see if this whole downloadable PDF pattern thing is for you.


Printing women’s patterns can require a lot of paper. This pattern is 23 pages, for the record, I would say that is on the lower side. The pattern has layers, which means you can choose to print only the size(s) that you need.

Pattern Pieces

The pattern includes arm and neckband pieces. Personally, I like this! I would rather print and cut the rectangle than measure and rotary cut. The pattern pieces include all the pertinent information, including the seam allowance. With quick sews that don’t really require you to open up the instructions after you’ve sewn it once, I think it’s nice to have the seam allowance on the pieces.

Sizing/Fabric Choice

The pattern has a lot of forgiveness at the waist and hip, so your bust measurement is the most important. I fell a little outside of the size my bust and hip were in at the waist, proof of those three kids, but made a straight size and it was just fine. The pattern includes the full range of sizes 0-24.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

Honestly, I wasn’t sold this style was going to do a lot for me. I’m much bustier than the pictured version on the blog. This made fabric selection super important. The pattern recommends a good stretchy knit. Many of the recommendations are on the lighter end. Which is going to be super important to get the right drape.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

I made the yellow versions out of a Target clearance jersey sheet. They’re comfortable, but they don’t drape as well making for more of a tent look from the side. These were really more of a size check, and I have intentions of sending them to the sleepwear drawer.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

Let’s talk length. The pattern does provide finished length measurements. They are to the back of the dress. Keep in mind it scoops up in front. Now I’m a towering 5’4″ when I hold my breath and believe so this dress is not really long. It’s teetering on the edge of too short for me. There are instructions to lengthen it. The good news is the length in back stops any wardrobe malfunctions when bending over. Worth noting I’m going with the knits don’t fray and have not hemmed any of these.

The pattern itself doesn’t actually include hemming instructions so this may actually be the intent.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

What’s the back look like? 

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

The back leaves you the opportunity to mix fabric or use knit scraps on the yoke if you have a small piece of something you couldn’t part with. The racer back style is just enough to give the look but still cover bra straps.

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

Fabric note. These dresses are all the same size. Cut with the same pattern, sewn at the same time. This is that stable jersey sheet. Below is the really drapey knit, see the difference in hang? The yellow dresses are cresting the top of the back of my knee and the two drapier versions nearly cover it. Fabric matters!

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress

Take Away

This pattern is well put together and is very beginner friendly if you are just starting out. I still don’t think this is the most body complementary style for me, but these serve the purpose of quick options really well. I actually think the shorter length will serve me well in the fall as layering pieces. Good bum coverage means adding a pair of legging and a cardi will work really well.

Find the pattern on Straight Stitch’s blog: Straight Stitch Magnolia Free PDF (affiliate link)

Have you sewn up the Magnolia?

Straight Stitch Designs Magnolia Dress


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Doray July 27, 2017, 10:37 am

    Hi! Can this be made in woven? I’m looking for a trapeze style maxi but in woven. I have one in rayon challis and would love to make a few. Tried drawing it in a pattern but didn’t come out right 🙁

  • I think you look great and it looks super comfortable. I really love the look of the fourth version you made with the contrast back yoke. Thanks for the tips about fabric and length! 🙂 Lisa

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