Yoke Dress by Rebecca Page as a Brand Ambassador

I am extremely behind on blogging as can be imagined. This year has been a difficult one on all accounts but I am making it a goal to get through the items that are completed and hanging in my wardrobe before the year is over.

                 

First up is the Yoke Dress (**affiliate link) by Rebecca Page. It is a summery floaty, V-neck, sleeveless dress and top available in both ladies and children’s patterns. Sizes range from XXS-5XL with the optional top, mid-thigh, and knee lengths. It is a relatively easy item to sew with the fiddly parts being the yoke and arm binding.

The dress is quite loose and forgiving, perfect for a summer feast. I must admit, I do prefer mine belted however as I feel it’s more me. I used some satin in sandwash army (100% polyester). I made the knee length version in a medium and required close to 3m of fabric. It is hard to see from the photos but from the line drawing you can tell the dress is made up of multiple panels rather than just a front and back. It is extremely important however to label all the pieces once cut out, to distinguish the front from the back. I chose to use french seams for all of mine which is detailed in the instructions. This takes longer but my internal finish is nicer and more long lasting considering the fabric isn’t the best quality. Speaking of fabric, although this one feels and looks great, it shows marks and stains.

I was concerned about the fit around the armscye as sometimes it can feel tight in this area and as I was constructing the dress it felt that would be the case however once it was completed this wasn’t an issue. If you are prone to this problem I would perhaps recommend a muslin. The instructions are extremely thorough and guide you through understitching and edgestitching to create a flat crisp edge in the armhole and keep the seams from shifting in the binding and also for the yoke.

The yoke dress can be made to suit any occasion from a dressy night out, to a beach day and even a fancy nightgown. It is highly versatile and feminine.

 

**This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page Patterns

India Camisole by Wardrobe by Me Patterns

I know we are in the middle of winter now but I’m doing some forward planning for my summer wardrobe and so I put my hand up to test* the India camisole (**affiliate link) as it had a nice bodice detail which also serves as a potential modesty panel.

The India camisole is cut in the bias so it’s a bit more forgiving but also means that it is best suited to light weight fabrics to give the flowy, gentle and feminine effect. The potential to make not only a fancy version for a night out, a casual everyday version or as a bedtime camisole is endless.

Because I actually wasn’t sure what I would pair this top with or if it would be a dressy or casual version, I went with some in between fabric that could serve both purposes. It’s a pink gorgeous garden printed rayon (100% rayon),  although was a bit of a pain to work with. I did stay stitch my neckline as per the instructions but my pattern markings still didn’t line up perfectly. I guess when making things that are cut on the bias there is always the possibility that they can stretch out and some other testers didn’t seem to have this problem depending on fabric type. Regardless I got through it in the end. I will admit I had a head scratching moment when it came to the neckline detail but it does come together neatly, just make sure to follow the pattern markings and maybe make a mock up first.

I made a straight size 12 (42) without any pattern alterations. The side seams are finished with french seams and there is a pattern piece to make the bias binding that also becomes the straps or you can use pre-made bias if preferred. I guess if using a light weight fabric however you want to ensure your bias weight matches. I placed the straps as suggested on the pattern piece but shortened them to the length I felt comfortable. I also finished the hem as per the instructions and didn’t shorten the top as all.

The darts in the bodice seem to be in the right place for me but again this is why a muslin is key when sewing as you don’t want things pointing in the wrong directions. I must admit though, personally I feel a bit exposed in this top, especially if bending forward and have decided that a bandeau style top underneath would probably make me feel more comfortable. I just need to find one with cups for support or make my own.

The India Camisole is on sale for $ 8.50 (reg. $10.00) up until Friday, July 17th, 2020⁠.

I am eagerly awaiting summer now to show off my summer makes. I have also discovered a few UFO’s that have short sleeves so you may see some more seasonally inappropriate items coming up. I’m really trying to clear out my UFO pile as some things in there I’m actually excited about.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Wardrobe by Me Patterns

Legends 2.0 Dress by Stay and Stitch

Stay and Stitch was formerly known as Sew Straight and Gather but had a recent rebranding along with some updates to their current patterns and Terri also redrafted all her blocks in doing this.

I noticed in my recent move that I am lacking a number of essential wardrobe pieces that still fit but are also still “fashionable”. I also did put a lot of clothes in the refashion piles, well three tubs to be exact, so there is definitely space for new clothes.

I really needed an “LBD” for colder weather and so was fortunate to test* the Legends 2.0 pattern and use up some more fabric from my stash but I didn’t really have any suitable black fabric so went with what I believe is some manhattan crepe knit in olive (95% poly/ 5% elastane). I made view A, the straight dress with long sleeves. I wasn’t sure if long sleeves would make it look too dark considering I made the calf length version. There is also a tunic and knee length option. Sleeve length can also be made up in 3 other lengths and view B is more of a swishy, lose fitting, flared style.

I went for a size medium but graded to a large at my hips and below. I wanted to make sure it fit well and am happy with the results. Shame on me as I didn’t do a muslin first otherwise I would have realised I needed a sway back adjustment but it won’t stop me from wearing this dress. I really like this style collar, more than I though I would actually.

As I am trying to slow my sewing and be neater both inside and out, I am a little bummed I didn’t think ahead to serge all my side seams before putting the dress together. This is because I opted to do the side vents and serging each seam once the dress is sewn isn’t as neat as I’d like. Additionally it may be easier to do at the start if you decide to do the optional pockets. I omitted them as this view is quite form-fitting and my fabric was thin, so probably wouldn’t have been a favorable outcome.

The update is FREE to all customers that previously purchased this pattern, check your account. Otherwise the Legend 2.0 is on sale from Friday 3rd July – 11th at 30% off.

I’m glad this is in rotation now and am pleasantly surprised how much I like it that I’m sure you will too.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Saki Snail Skirt by Designer Stitch Patterns

Although I won’t elaborate on what is going on in the world right now, I will acknowledge it’s a difficult time for everyone and I send hopes and prayers to all. I haven’t been sewing much but am starting to slowly fill that void again as it’s giving me some mental reprieve.

My most recent make is the Saki Snail Skirt (**affiliate link), made during testing*, for Designer Stitch Patterns and best of all it’s a free pattern.

                                              

I used black palm rayon spandex knit (97% rayon/ 3% spandex), made a pattern size 5, and although I normally shy away from bias cut skirts because of my pear shape, this eliminates all those concerns for many reasons. Unless you look at the line drawing it’s hard to tell that this isn’t a simple design, nor is it a bias cut skirt, but it sure is clever. There is one pattern piece that’s cut out four times and sewn together to create and swishy, twirly skirt. For this reason, it does require more than the standard amount of fabric than a typical skirt.

It has an elasticised waistband and although it’s not a complicated sew, it wasn’t so fast for me as I sewed everything on my sewing machine first and then overlooked the seams. I’m really trying to work on good finishes to increase the longevity of my clothes and not be such a slapdash sewist just to get things done.

I was tossing up between the knee and midi length and opted for the longer in the end, I think it will be more versatile. I also opted not to hem my skirt as the fabric doesn’t fray and I find it difficult to hem rayon knit at the best of times but this would be particularly fiddly with curved pattern pieces. I feel personally the nicest finish would have been and overlocked edge and at some point may revisit it. I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern otherwise.

If you look at all the tester photos, this skirt is flattering on everyone and definitely worth it’s addition to any wardrobe. The added bonus is that it can be made up with woven fabric due to the elastic waist but it is recommended to go up one to one and a half sizes to ensure it goes over your hips.

I’m definitely happy with my version of the Saki Snail Skirt and although I think it’s a great pattern, I’m planning on a few other wardrobe additions before I make this again, having said that, a black version would be a work horse.

As aforementioned, this pattern is free and you won’t be disappointed. May it give you much hope and self love during this time.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Designer Stitch Patterns

 

Sabalito Top by Itch to Stitch

It’s a new year and I have a new top to share that I tested*. The Sabalito Top (**affiliate link) is the first thing I have sewn in about 4 months which was a great way to get inspired again to sit at my machine. It’s a relaxed fit, dolman sleeve top with a v-neck front wrap and nice front knot detail. It’s a great pattern that comes in a number of cup sizes and also a large size range. It is marketed as a beginner + level which I agree with but I did scratch my head a bit when attaching the bottom bands to the bodice only because I think I was out of practice, but as always the instructions are great and very detailed with lots of pictorials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top requires woven fabric, obviously lightweight fabric will have more drape however I made mine with a Printed cotton linen tobacco with small white spots (85% cotton/15% linen) which is a bit sturdier and so has a more structured appearance. The v is quite deep but can be tacked into place but I haven’t done that with mine yet as I’m happy to wear it with a top underneath.

There is a back centre seam, perfect if you require some adjustments and although I would normally do a sway back I didn’t in this top as it is quite forgiving.

My only concern with this top is not a pattern issue but the fact that it is an orphan top and I don’t really have anything to pair it with. I have bought some white denim with the intention to make the Itch to Stitch Danube Skirt.

It’s quite a versatile top and I ended up sewing a size 10 with the B cup after making my muslin in a size 12 which I think was the right choice in the end as I feel it now has just the right amount of ease. This would be easy to hack by adding flounces to the sleeves or instead of the bottom band for a different look.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Itch to Stitch Patterns

Camelia Dress by DesignerStitch Patterns

One can never have too many wrap, or mock wrap dresses can they? I tested* the Camelia Jersey Dress (**affiliate link) as it offered something a little different. There are 6 pleats on the side seam along with an asymmetric hem on the front wrap.

DesignerStitch patterns often come with individual cup sizes which negates the need for an SBA or FBA. This pattern also comes with three sleeve lengths, 3/4, long or sleeveless. The back piece also has a centre seam which makes fitting the dress even easier along with the back waist darts and the bust darts.

I made the 3/4 sleeve using mustard flower printed double knit ponte (68% poly/28% rayon/4% spandex). Recommended fabrics are Jersey knit fabrics with approx weight of 210 – 250 gsm and with at least 50% stretch across and 25% stretch going down the fabric. Medium weight fabric that holds folded pleats well is IDEAL and I would definitely recommend that the guide is followed. My fabric didn’t end up having enough stretch for the upper body and shoulders, although the dress looks okay, it’s a bit tight to wear. It will probably be the dress when I have short stints not through the fault of the pattern but myself really.

I will mention care must be taken when doing those side pleats and ensure you baste well and that you mark those notches so that they line up correctly. Once that is done, construction of the dress is actually quite quick. My hemline is slightly longer than pictured in the pattern but that will also be dependent on the weight of the fabric. I just think of it as a dramatic feature!

It’s a great silhouette and flattering on all that tested.

**The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to DesignerStitch Patterns

Joanne Faux Knit Wrap Dress by Sinclair Patterns

Another test* and another great dress to come out of it with the Joanne Faux Knit Wrap Dress by Sinclair Patterns. This pattern company has steadily become a favourite of mine due to a great fit straight up and the fact that the garments are actually in rotation in my wardrobe.

The Joanne dress is fitted at the bodice with a faux wrap and a pleated accent to one side seam. The skirt pattern is available as a knee or midi length flared skirt and there is also the option of a top with an overlapped peplum. Sleeve lengths available are short, 3/4, long or elbow length and also a flounce variation and not to forget a sleeveless offering which also has a different cutting line for the armhole so the fit is spot on. If you love a dress with pockets, they are also an option, along with a belt/tie.

Fabric recommendations are a light to medium weight knit and for mine a chose an abstract brown spot rayon knit (97% rayon/3% spandex). I found the stretch and weight perfect for my sleeveless midi dress version. If your fabric isn’t as co-operative, instructions are provided for stabilising shoulder, waist and pockets seams. I chose the regular length pattern, although petite and tall options are available, along with all the other benefits of good PDF patterns.

Construction is actually quite quick with this dress, I’d say maximum 2 hours. The neckline isn’t too revealing either which I like. I’m really happy with the fit and didn’t make any alterations to the dress, even omitted my normal sway back. Although I made this as a summer version, I can layer it with a long sleeve top underneath to get me through the colder months.

The Joanne Dress is on sale currently for $7.99 through until 25th September!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Mia Knit Maxi Skirt by Sinclair Patterns

The title might be a bit deceiving as this pattern isn’t just for a maxi skirt. The newest release by Sinclair Patterns, the Mia knit maxi, also comes in a midi length, which is the version I tested*.

The skirt itself is fitted at the waist and hips and slightly flared below. There are optional side slits and a few options for the waistband with either a self lined contoured yoga style standard or draped (pleated) waistband. Another design element is that it can be cut on bias with the center front and center back seam, really effective for striped fabric.

The fabric requirement is quite minimal if you go for a midi version and I used some black stash fabric which feels a bit like a rayon knit and I made mine in a size 6 with no adjustments to the pattern. I also went for the self lined yoga waistband, I’m all about comfort. I chose to add in the optional side slits, I thought walking ease would be better. Like all Sinclair Patterns, the files are available in regular, petite and tall sizes.

US0-US22 / UK8-UK26
PETITE 152-160 cm /5 1” – 5 3”
REGULAR 162-170 cm / 5 4” – 5 6”
TALL 170-178 cm / 5 7” – 5 9”

     

This is a relatively quick sew with a really nice outcome. It’s beginner friendly and instructions are really clear and thorough with lots of extra information. Essentially, sew up your desired waistband, then the skirt side seams and attach said waistband to skirt. Fabric type will also determine the seasonality of the skirt from a lightweight knit for warmer months to something a bit thicker for the cooler.

Although the weather is quite cold here at the moment the skirt hasn’t had much wear, this weekend I plan to test drive it with some tights and ankle boots.

The Mia knit maxi skirt pattern is currently on sale for $5.99 US ($7.79 AUS) until this Sunday 11th August 2019.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Tulle Skirt by Rebecca Page

I know little girls love to have big fluffy skirts that they can play dress ups with and twirl but I’m sure secretly some adults do to. I think as the lines of fashion become more blurred and there aren’t really as many rules anymore, I thought to myself, why not make myself a big, poofy skirt too.

Rebecca Page recently released the Tulle Skirt for Ladies** which I tested, not really quite sure how it would fit into my wardrobe. I originally envisioned Hollywood glam but as you can see, inner rock chic took over. The pattern itself isn’t very difficult, it’s just time consuming because of the layers and having to gather each later. I chose the less gathered version because of my fabric choices and knowing that they would make it full on their own. This is a fitted waistband pattern, not an elastic one, and there is an invisible zipper at the back. The size range is XXS to 5XL and although labelled a beginner pattern which is probably correct, I think it could get tricky for a beginner.

                                      

My lining is black top pop poplin (100% polyester) and my first layer is black polyester netting (100% polyester) and quite stiff, adding lots of body. My top layer is black crystal organza (100%  nylon). My waistband is made from black winston satin (100% polyester), I wanted something that would add a bit more glam. The skirt is also designed to be tea length so keep that in mind if you want something longer, you will have to allow for extra fabric. Given my fabrics are poly’s this is a wash and wear type skirt that won’t require any special care and maintenance which is great for me.

I’m not going to lie, care is required when sewing on the waistband as I got my under layers caught from underneath a couple of times. Also I hemmed my lining as instructed, the netting I just cut as straight as possible and with the organza I didn’t want to do any treatment that would shorten the length such as a rolled hem and leaving it raw wasn’t and option because it frays. I essentially used a really narrow, short zig zag stitch which worked out perfectly. This is perhaps something to keep in mind if using different types of materials for the different layers.

Check out my zipper, it’s invisible!!!

               

I think there are lots of variations/hacks to be done to this pattern. The instructions include a ribbon hem finish but you could also add a separate ruffle piece at the bottom, maxify the skirt or even to each layer a different length. For now I will stick to my one version. I now it’s too early to talk about, but this may also become my festive season skirt this year.

Although this is a relatively time consuming sew, I think the outcome is great, not to mention the feeling of satisfaction and happiness when you wear it for the first time.

**This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page Patterns

 

 

Lou Box Top by Sew DIY

The Lou Box Top is a long standing pattern from Sew DIY, originally released in 2015, and Beth has recently re launched the pattern with a few changes. I was lucky enough to test* the updates as this is a really versatile and quick pattern to sew and considering it’s loose fit there aren’t any real pattern alterations I need to make.

         

If you have purchased the pattern in the past directly from Sew DIY, you will get an email with a link to the pattern. If you purchased from another retailer, email sewdiyblog@gmail.com with your order confirmation and they will send you a copy of the new pattern.

The top comes with two neckline options and three hem options. In case you are wondering what the changes are to the pattern it’s that the pattern size range has increased, the armhole opening is a little bigger and the length of the top is 2 inches longer as Sew DIY has decided to start drafting for a height of 5’10”. There are lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern to individualise the length to your needs. Also the pattern booklet has had a redesign along with small changes to the instructions.

I made my test version from some thin black and white striped stash fabric, not sure what it is exactly, but it is very old. I chose the curved hem option with the scoop neck and added a contrasting pocket (which is included in the pattern). I immediately wore this after a made it, a couple of times actually within a week. I didn’t shorten the top even though I am 5’4″ as I like the length. I made a size 10 and it is very forgiving, but that is the nature of the design.

After testing a few changes were made to the pattern such as the neck opening was made slightly smaller and scoop neck less deep.  I plan to make another version soon to reflect those changes.

 

Check out the Sew DIY blog as there are a number of posts about the new Lou Box Top.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.