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

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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.

Ivy Tee by Sinclair Patterns

I type this blog post while I’m wearing a Sinclair Pattern, the sunset lounge pants and it’s no secret therefore that the Ivy Tee by Sinclair Patterns will also become a wardrobe favourite which I tested* recently.

Although this pattern may look complicated it is quite quick to sew together. The unique back pleat adds some interest to what may otherwise be considered another colour blocked tee. It opens up a lot of possibilities of fabric combinations. The Ivy tee is semi-fitted at the bust but has a looser fit at the waist and hips. The curved hem adds an extra special touch, with a slightly longer back, and there are 3 sleeve length options.

Like all Sinclair Patterns, this one includes different print formats, layers, a large size range and different versions for petite, regular and tall. I’m normally a regular and used this version for my test garment. I made a size 10 though I would normally make a 12. I looked at the ease and thought perhaps I would prefer a bit less this time around. My fabrics are from the stash but I think they are both rayon knits. This could be considered a scrap busting project as the yokes do not require much fabric and neither does the short sleeve length.

 

Perhaps one thing to note is to make sure the weight of your yoke fabric is equal or heavier than the back bodice piece as it can cause some pulling, especially with the extra fabric in the pleat having extra weight behind it.
This pattern is designed for knits although one tester made a version using woven for the back, something I may try in the future. If you look at Pinterest for inspiration for colour blocked tees, the possibilities are endless and you could add features such as a pocket or lace yoke, which was my original plan until I couldn’t the right fabric combination. I do plan on making more Ivy tees though, the fit is really good as is the length of the top. From the photos here however the back doesn’t hang well but I think it has to do with the fact I had another top underneath and quite possibly may have benefited from going up a size at the hips.


The Ivy tee is only on sale for a few more days at the price of $6.99 up until July 12th. If you haven’t experienced Sinclair Patterns before, you will be pleasantly surprised.

*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.

Moss Hooded Top/Dress by Sofiona Patterns

The Moss dress came out a while ago. I participated in the testing* of this however never got to finish in time, life just got too chaotic with sick kids etc. This is a visual, geographic dress which allows you to completely experiment with fabric.
Sofiona Patterns, in my eyes, are redesigning kids fashion. Their designs are both edgy, unique and fun, but also functional and comfortable.
The Moss dress is designed for knit fabric and can also be made as a top, with optional back cowl hood, a deep v back and optional front pockets. The dress can also be made into a maxi.
My intention for version 1 of this dress was to make a summer, lounge dress. I used Birch Organic Swallow blush fabric (100% cotton) and the navy came from my stash, I believe it’s cotton also. My dress did turn out a couple of inches shorter than the finished pattern because I was short on navy fabric. I added the back tie straps too.
This is an intermediate pattern and both the neckline and armholes have binding but I must admit the v neckline is probably the most challenging thing about this dress only because it requires precision. The instructions guide you through to a flawless finish though.
Version 2 was made with the same design elements as version 1 as I wanted to show the final pattern as it was released due to some minor changes that were made from version 1, mostly to the armscye although not overly obvious in the photos but also because fabric can play a role. My fabric was printed spandex floral in white/green/pink (95% cotton/5% elastane) for the pockets and contrast, and geo space dye pink jersey (50% cotton/47% polyester/3% spandex) from deep within my stash, I think it’s 3 years old. For reference, I made the smaller v opening in the back and as an additional design element tassels or beads would be a great finish for those ties.
Miss 7 loves these dresses and I’m sure is willing winter away so she can wear them. The Moss also makes a great swimsuit cover up, it particularly goes well with the Sofiona Narwhal swimsuit.
*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.