Paisley Shirt by Millicent Joy Patterns

If you have never heard of Millicent Joy Patterns before, you can be excused because I hadn’t either. This is a new pattern company that I was lucky enough to test* their newest design, the Paisley shirt, which is one of the new spring patterns. I have saved many Pinterest images of tops like this made from striped fabric and thought it would be a great opportunity to use up this fabric that has been sitting in my stash since I’m not sure when because I don’t have any record of what it is and when I purchased it. It feels like a cotton but has a bit of horizontal stretch.

 

I made a pattern size 5 in the full length top with the half length gathered sleeve. The thing I was most impressed with during testing was the instructions. I found them really clear, full of information, and the layout was really nice. You can tell lots of work has gone into creating these. There is information on pattern alterations, a “cheat sheet” page, pro tips throughout and elastic cutting guides both at the beginning of the instructions but also when required during construction. This is also a layered pattern.

I always feel a bit skeptical with off the shoulder tops because I don’t know if after a days wear they are really practical. I found this one quite good, maybe it was the thicker elastic neckline that made it more stable, I’m not sure.

This is a quick top to make, the casings take the longest and even that’s not time consuming. The alternate view is a crop top which is not at all my style, and the pattern also has a longer sleeve and either sleeve length can be left without gathers.

I feel this is a bit of an orphan top though, I’m not quite sure how to style it. I possibly need to invest, or sew, some bottoms that will match. And so the sewing list continues to grow 🙂


*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.

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Linea A-Line Skirt by Wardrobe By Me

It’s time for me to start thinking about my winter wardrobe because there are definitely gaps. The tester* call for the Linea A-line skirt (**affiliate link) by Wardrobe By Me had me thinking of a warm winter midi skirt I could wear with boots but when I was fabric shopping nothing really caught my eye.

I saw some sierra manhattan crepe knit (95% polyester/5% elastane) and thought this would make the skirt trans-seasonal anyway and the fact that it is an unusual colour for me to wear would challenge me. This skirt pattern requires stretch fabric as it has an elastic waist and the pocket edges need interfacing to stop them stretching out, which is also mentioned in the instructions. I chose to make a size 12 view B which has pockets, in the longer skirt option although there is a shorter skirt (view A). View C is a flounce skirt, equally as cute too. The front and back panels are made up of two pattern pieces sewn together down the middle. I wasn’t sure whether to top stitch or not on either side of the seam as I didn’t want to ruin my skirt. In the end I did and am happy with the resulting skirt.

               

I tried styling it with a white top however I wore this to easter lunch with a black long sleeve top, tights and boots, and felt quite chic in both. Maybe it will be quite a versatile colour after all.

I like a-line skirts as they are flattering but the little details on this pattern elevate it to an awesome pattern. My future sewing goal for this skirt is to get my wool version sewn up before winter is over.

*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.

#204 Ladies Spring Dress by Thread Faction Studio

As a pear shaped woman I don’t know why I am drawn to wiggle dresses. I think mentally I am adding less bulk to my frame this way so have a series of more fitted dresses to blog about. The #204 Ladies Spring Dress by Thread Faction Studio has been released as part of a Sew Fab Pattern Bundle Sale which ends on the 15th April 2019. The way it works is that the more patterns you buy the more you save, and there are some great savings to be had.

So I tested* the #204 Ladies Spring Dress in the knee length pencil skirt version, size L. My first version during testing was too tight in a M but also may have been due to my fabric choice. For this version I used aubergine manhattan crepe knit (95% polyester/5% elastane), not a colour I would normally wear but really love it.

The dress pattern comes in sizes XXS to XXL and is also available as a party length 3/4 circle skirt or knee length 1/2 circle skirt. The bodice is fitted and the neckline is stabilized with elastic, the armholes finished with basic binding, and the cowl and skirt are finished with simple hems. This dress is really quick to sew and is so versatile and can suit multiple occasions. I didn’t make any fit alterations during construction.

It’s not at all restrictive across the upper body but I think I will tack down the cowl overlay in a few places as mine has a tendency to roll a bit, again possible a fabric issue as the stretch factor may be a bit low. I think it would also make a really nice formal dress with some shiny/glittery fabric.

*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..

 

 

Clara Dress by DesignerStitch Patterns

Before I get into this pattern, I thought I would do a quick update on my stash shrinking which in fact has expanded instead this last month. February was good, I bought 5.7m and sewed 10.3m so happy with that BUT March was terrible. I bought 36.55m and only sewed 7.8m. Hoping to turn that around in April. Fingers crossed!!!!

Who doesn’t love a classic dress to fit all occasions? The Clara Dress (**affiliate link) by Designer Stitch Patterns is just that! I was part of the testing* process for this but taking photos was a difficult task on this one. I found life got in the way a bit.

Clara is elegant and classy with options for ankle length with high/low hem flounce, knee length and thigh length with a straight hem flounce and with either a cap or flutter sleeve or sleeveless. There is a centre back invisible zip closure and an all-in-one facing and either a v or round neckline. The advantage of many DesignerStitch Patterns is that they are offered in cup sizes B, C, D, DD (E) and AU/UK sizes 6-26. This PDF pattern also comes in a trimless version if you don’t like fiddling with patterns too much.

I chose a more casual fabric, premium cotton gingham 1/4 black/white (100% cotton) for my knee length, round neck version, making it sleeveless with a self tie belt. I figure I had more options to wear it this way with heels for a night out or sandals in the summer. I’m all about versatility in my wardrobe. Construction was easy and pattern pieces fit together faultlessly.

I did fussy cut all my pattern pieces so that they would line up at least horizontally and some didn’t when I sewed it together 😦 It’s okay though because the gingham pattern is quite small and I think I can get away with it. I made a pattern size 4 (AUS 12) with a B cup and no modifications to the pattern. The length hits me exactly where I like. For my belt I cut my fabric roughly 15cm wide and estimated the length so that it went around my waist once and I could tie a bow. I did have to add a hook and eye at the back neckline because for some reason I inserted my invisible zip in too low – that’s an easy fix though.

People often talk about tried and true patterns and I’m really happy with my dress and the fit of it that I think the pattern will get some hacking over time. I’m thinking peplum tops, more dresses, skirts, endless possibilities really.

*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

 

Women’s Loggers by Patterns for Pirates

What are loggers? They are a cross between leggings and joggers. The functionality of joggers, using the pocket feature, but the slimmer fit of leggings. I tested* the Women’s Loggers by Patterns for Pirates as I know winter will be upon us soon and I would love some funky, comfortable bottoms to wear during the day, kind of like secret pyjamas.

     

These are a tight fit pant with pockets and cuffs and thus require a high percentage stretch fabric. There is the option of either a low or high rise waistband, it’s up to your own comfort level which you make and additionally there is a short knit waistband and a taller, fold over yoga style waistband option. The size range extends from XXS to 3X and the PDF pattern has no trim pages and the layers option. If you want to save on paper and ink, cutting guides are included for the rectangle pattern pieces. I always like having that option myself. What’s better is that there is also a youth pattern available or you can get them as a bundle.

I found these quite quick to sew. There is nothing complicated about them but I will say to take notice of the measurements before cutting your size. I found that because they are a slimmer fit, they are quite fitted around my calf, which I have come to realise is quite pronounced, for a better word.

Either way, my loud pair made from gold cheetah animal poly knit (95% polyester/5% spandex) in the high rise, will get worn as a pair of loggers which feel like secret pyjamas. Comfort and style rolled into one.

*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.

Mirri Wrap Dress by Wardrobe by Me

The Mirri Wrap Dress** by Wardrobe by Me Patterns has been popular over the sewing web however it recently underwent a re vamp with an increase in the size range (US 0-24 & EU 30-54) and improved instructions and I was happy to be part of the testing process*.

The Mirri dress is body-hugging with a faux wrap bodice and a shawl-like classic collar. The neckline is a modest V and the skirt is fitted through the high hip area and flared at the hem. The pattern comes with four length options, blouse, knee, mid calf and maxi length.

I made the mid calf length using black and multi cheetah rayon knit (95% rayon/5% elastane). I had some head scratching to do when it came to creating the pleats on the bodice at first, not sure why I was so perplexed when really it is explained well in the instructions, but I think I was folding the wrong way initially. The shawl collar also requires some concentration to ensure the fabrics are facing the correct way, ensure you are focused at this point as it can get confusing but the finish is really nice. Or maybe it was confusing for me because this was a late night sew!

I’m so happy to have another dress in my wardrobe that is easy to wash and wear and feels great on. I think this is a very flattering style. Since I have made 2 faux wrap dresses quite close together I will change my focus for a bit. I have lots still to blog about and lots of sewing to do as my stash shrinking is not going to well and I had a big buying month in March. More on that at a later date.

*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

MRT Faux Wrap Dress by 1 Puddle Lane

I get excited when a tester call goes out for a designer who’s patterns I have purchased in the past and have made a few versions that I wear often. When Ann posted a call for the MRT Faux Wrap Dress test* I was chuffed to be involved. I have the Miss Ruby Tuesday (MRT) and thought the fit of the faux wrap dress may be similar.

The MRT Faux Wrap Dress is a knee-length dress with a crossover front, with or without side tucks.  It is fitted at the bust, waist and high hip and looser over the hip. Although this is a sleeveless pattern there is a “sleeved” and “extended shoulder” template from the original MRT and the add-on pattern. The pattern is offered in sizes 2XS–6XL.

I chose to make my version without the side tucks using some kind of cotton spandex (unknown composition). Sewing the pattern is pretty straightforward with clear instructions and nice finishing techniques using bands for the neckline and armholes. This is a quick sew, especially if you have sewn the MRT previously and don’t have any fit issues.

The fit is exactly as described with a fitted upper bodice and more room around the hips, perfect for my pear shape really. I’m looking forward to making the side tucks version, I think it will be more forgiving after a big meal, or perhaps I need to use a busier fabric.

Don’t miss out on adding this pattern to your library. The MRT Faux Wrap Dress, along with all other patterns are 20% off until Sunday 31st March with a coupon code which you can get by joining the 1PL-Sewing and Pattern Studio Facebook group.

*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.