Pattern Review · Sew House 7

Pattern Review: Montavilla Dress & Top by Sew House 7



I’m excited to share about a lovely new pattern today, the Montavilla Dress & Top by Sew House 7.

I sewed two versions that I’ll share about, Version 1 and Version 2 (but there is also Version 3, maxi length version that is on my “to sew” list next).  As usual for Sew House 7’s patterns, this pattern includes beautiful and thoughtful details with the design. The side panels offer fun colorblocked or monochromatic versions.  Gathered and adjustable elastic at the underarms offer a nice and comfortable fit.  The belt is suggested be worn with the tunic or maxi length versions.

The pockets in the tunic and maxi dresses are amazing!  A ball of sock yarn along with two sets of knitting needles fit with room to spare (for sock knitting on the go).  The pockets are actually roomier than shown in the photo (I moved up the skein of yarn to the top of the pocket so you could see it better in the photo).


Pattern Description:

Although it’s a great way to stay air conditioned from the heat with it’s breezy sleeves, skirt vents and loose fitting waist, it also looks great belted with the tie for more waist definition. There are also options for a mini dress and a top. The top looks great tucked into a skirt or pants or worn more casually untucked.

Options & Features:

The details on this garment are simple yet unique. The outer leg of the shoulder dart gathers slightly to form a ruffle while an elastic tunnel gathers the sides at the underarm for an easy and comfortable fit with no closures to sew.

When sewn in a more structured fabric, the sleeve/ruffle is more crisp and prominent. Sew it up in a fluid fabric such as rayon challis and the ruffle floats or flutters gently.

The top (version #1) is somewhat cropped and lands around the high hip. The mini dress (version #2) lands a little above the knees and the long dress (version #3) lands just above the ankles. Both long and short dresses feature oversized pockets and the full muumuu features long front slits/vents at the hem. The waist tie is optional.

This is an advanced/ beginner level pattern.  Sizes 00 – 20

Pattern Sizing:



My versions:

Version 1 – Top: I sewed a straight 4 for the top.  This version is a cropped top so grading to larger sizes for the waist and hips was not necessary for me.  The sizing includes ease as well and is not intended to be a tight fit.


Version 2 – Tunic: I graded across a size 4 to an 8 across the bust/waist/hips.


Did it look like the photo/drawing when you finished sewing? Yes!

We’re the instructions complete and easy to follow? Yes!

Fabric used (did you use the suggested fabrics in the pattern)? Yes.

Version 1 – Linen


I used this linen fabric that I previously overdyed (I found a remnant at a local interior design shop).  I wanted to hide the animal print, it was previously a natural linen tone with darker brown tiger stripes throughout the print.


Version 2 – Chambray


I had fun colorblocking two different chambrays for this version.  I used a printed chambray for the front and back bodice with white polka dots.  For the side panels I used a plain stretch chambray fabric.


I like to piece belts together from a smaller length of fabric.  I will usually use two pieces of smaller fabric for the belt and will hide the seam at the back or side seam locations. I thought about sewing chain stitched belt loops in the side panels (to hold the belt in place) but as light as the chambray is, I’m finding that the belt is staying in place as is.  I may add belt loops later after I’ve worn the tunic a few times (but it has been really comfortable so far without belt loops).


I like the idea of keeping the pockets invisible but I decided to push myself a bit creatively and add lace trim to the pockets. I found this lovely lace trim from Minerva Crafts to highlight the pockets.



There are so many fun fabric combinations that you could chose with this pattern!

  • You could keep the fabric monochromatic for the front, back, and side panels but use a contrasting fabric for the pockets.
  • You could keep all fabrics monochromatic and use a contrasting fabric for the belt.
  • The thinner widths of fabric required (utilizing the separate side panels in the design) allows for a fun use of smaller scraps of fabric for a great stash busting project.  Stash busting would be even more flexible with Version 1, utilizing even smaller amounts of fabric with the cropped top.

Did you alter the pattern in any way? No

Was there anything you disliked or would change? No, I love this pattern!

Would you sew it again? I’d love to make Version 3 as well and do a pattern hack with the sleeves, replacing the flutter sleeves with the short sleeve design in Simplicity 8231 (a version of the Mississippi Ave dress by Sew House 7).  I really like the flutter sleeves but I think a pattern hack would be really fun for a third version of this pattern.


Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely!  I think the shape and design are very flattering.  I am in love with the pocket size and I think a maxi length would be beautiful as well.

Do you consider the pattern beginner/intermediate/advanced? I’d say intermediate to advanced beginner.  The shoulder seams are sewn with darts (so it is helpful if you’re familiar with sewing bust darts, for reference.  Although you could absolutely sew this pattern without having sewn bust darts before).

Does the pattern include layers for easy printing? Yes

Seam allowances used in the pattern: Mostly 5/8″ with some areas having a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Is the pattern cut or no cut pages? Cut pages

If you’re one that might be concerned that the cropped top Version 1 would be too short for you, I have to tell you a secret.  I’m wearing a sleeveless camisole underneath the top so there aren’t any worries about my midriff showing.  I have not yet sewn higher waisted bottom garments but I think they would go pair nicely with this top as well.  This top would even be really fun to make one size larger (than are recommended body dimensions) and wear layered over a sleeveless dress.


Go and pick up a copy of this lovely pattern!  The three versions included offer lovely options for everyone.

2 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Montavilla Dress & Top by Sew House 7

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