Desert Rose Dress and Tunic : Pattern Release


I’m so excited to have been a selected pattern tester for CailaMade’s new pattern release of the Desert Rose Dress & Tunic.

I am at a mild beginner level when it comes to sewing.  I bought myself a machine in late December 2013, opened it up sometime in January and started watching tutorials, scouring YouTube and searching Pinterest for the best advice on learning.  What I found was, jumping right in and sewing, sewing, sewing was the best teacher.  Let’s just say my seam ripper and I have become quite intimate friends over the past 6 months.


So as I have continued to try new projects: camera strap cover, pocket tissue holders, coffee sleeves, and the occasional skirt for my daughter, I found a lot of sewing and craft bloggers to follow.  Along that path I found Caila Murphy.  I read a post where she was looking for people to apply to “test” her new pattern she was releasing.  When I saw a picture of the Desert Rose Dress on her daughter, I fell in love instantly and applied to “test” it out.  On my application I told that I hadn’t used a pattern before, let alone tried to sew a complete, functional and wear out of the house dress.


There were over 300 applicants, and I was one of the thirty-ish chosen!  Why?  Caila said that I had no idea what I was doing (in a nicer way of putting it, though) and I would be a perfect candidate to test a pattern since EVERYONE of all levels would need to understand it and complete the project.  Wow!  So, they needed me, because I had absolutely no knowledge on sewing!  Awesome.

Desert Rose Floral Collage

We worked over a few months testing and sewing and trying and measuring the dresses / tunics.  Luckily, I have been blessed with a beautiful model that is sometimes cooperative.  So I began to test the pattern by printing it, cutting out my daughter’s measurement on the chart (Size 7), piecing it together, and planning what fabric to use.  While I had fabrics in mind, I wanted to do a “test” dress that allowed me to make mistakes unforgivably and not waste a ton of cash in the process.  So I decided to do the bodice out of Muslin as a cost effective choice.  Once I had the pattern cut out and laid out my fabrics to cut, pieced the bodice together and then sewed it, WOW!  I was amazed!  It worked!  I did it!  Almost, effortlessly.  Sure, it took some time to figure out how to properly pin, how to carefully stitch because the seam allowances would make a difference if I screwed it up…. but wow.  I did it.  I actually then decided to use some “real” fabric for the skirt.  I was able to cut, sew and piece that to the bodice making a complete dress!


I am so impressed about how easy to read and clear the instructions were (written and visually) for the pattern.    Caila has made this beautiful dress pattern to be so detailed that even novice sewer can pick it up but yet, so aesthetically pleasing for even the expert seamstress.  I am so happy to have had this experience with the pattern process that it makes me appreciate the dress that much more!  I had so much fun with it that I finished my “test” dress then quickly whipped up a second one using my “real fabrics”.

Eggplant Desert Rose Collage

My little girl was so excited to wear this dress as soon as I finished it, she wore it to school the next day.  Not only being proud of myself for sewing this, I’m even more excited she was anxious to wear it (as she’s a pretty picky fashionista)!


This pattern has officially now been released and is available for purchase on Caila’s site.  Head over here to purchase the Desert Rose Dress and Tunic .pdf Pattern.  This dress and tunic (option) have so many different alternations you can make to complete the dress for your needs.  There are steps for adding pockets, one button or two button, making a tunic or dress and more.  I love this pattern as this dress can fit for many seasons and be warn year round with a little sweater or shirt  and tights layered underneath.  


I am so happy to be a part of this release.  I was not compensated for my review and blog post.  I was provided a free copy of the pattern to test, love and make a thousand varieties for my daughter.  :)  Opinions in the post are ALL my own.


  1. says

    These dresses are so, so, so lovely Brandi! Thank you so much for sharing about my pattern and giving it such a great review. I’m so glad you were one of my testers! :)

  2. says

    Wow Brandi – you should be so proud of your dresses!! The first clothes I sewed were not even wearable, let alone wear to school the next day worthy – super effort :)

  3. says

    OK, it’s me again! I just came back to read the post again because I loved it so much the first time. I think it is so wonderful that you were able to sew the dress with no pattern experience. It was SO FUN to have you in the group and see you sew your daughter’s first two mama made dresses! You will treasure these forever. I still keep the first dress I made my daughter in a very special place. Thank you again, Brandi, for being willing to jump right in with the Desert Rose dress. Thank you for all you shared in the group, and for your excitement which reminds me why I started doing this in the first place. I hope to have you as a tester on my next patterns, whenever they may come!


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