Sheona Dress and Top by Athina Kakou

I chose to be part of Athina’s team* to review her patterns because I really like that they are staples to any wardrobe. The Sheona Dress is just that with a vast size range UK 4-28 (US 0-24, EU 32-56). The possibilities are endless and I think I will definitely get great use out of this pattern.

   

Not only will you get thorough instructions but I was also blown away by the fact she includes a booklet with images of hacks she has done for the pattern which have an online link to the tutorial. That inspired me to create my own hack in the end to get a dress I am so happy with.

My fabric is black Deluxe ponte double knit 147cm (100% polyester), basic and boring. I decided I was going to make the dress version with a short sleeve. I thought in this fabric it would be a practical trans-seasonal dress. I pictured wearing it all glitzy with a belt and heels and bold jewellery for a night out, sandals for warmer weather, and with sneakers and a denim jacket for the in between weather.

     

With the dress mostly constructed minus the sleeves, I tried it on and decided I really liked the sleeveless look, so my hack was born. I didn’t change anything other than to add some armhole bands cut to the same width as the neckline band but 10% shorter in length than the armhole length. I sewed them on as per the neckline instructions to get the same finish.

Construction is simple and the fit was good for my body shape. I really like that the skirt is slightly pegged to give a slim line.

I am really pleased with the outcome although a minor change for next time would be to lengthen the dress slightly, I just personally prefer a longer length, otherwise I can not fault the pattern at all and think it is definitely worthwhile investing in this one.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for review but all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns

You know when you try a pattern and hope it will suit you or make you feel good while wearing it, that’s how I feel about these. I chose to test* the Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns (** affiliate link) as I had a similar pant in my wardrobe that I bought for cheap last year, wore them lots and saw that the seams were starting to separate.

The Dani Joggers are both stylish and comfortable and can be made as a short with split curved hem or cropped and ankle jogger option. The hems can either be finished with an elastic casing or knit cuff and the waistband is a ribbed one with drawstring, very comfortable to wear. The added bonus of this pattern is that it includes a full panel maternity waist option. Like most PDF designers these days, it includes a A0 print copy so you don’t have to tape the pages together which are no trim pages anyway and the size range is XXS-3X.

I made my first test joggers in some stash fabric and wasn’t sure about them, although it was woven, as recommended, it was a bit stiff for the look I was aiming for. Once some pattern changes were made, my final version turned out much better, using some totem printed crinkle black rayon (100% rayon) and black deluxe ponte (65% poly/30% rayon/5% spandex) for my waistband since the fabric shop didn’t have any black ribbing in stock.

I also did the knit cuff finish, I just thought for myself it would be more comfortable, and so far they have been. My only issue with this version is that the rayon is see through in the sun light and I’m not comfortable wearing them out so they have become my home pants. I have some black rayon washed and ready to make as my next pair. Although I made my usual size 12, I feel that I will go down in size for the next pair. I guess the rayon can relax over time when being worn.

After all that, I would recommend you get in quick to buy this pattern as it is a wardrobe staple and is currently on sale for $8.00 instead of the usual $12.00

*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 Laela Jeyne Patterns

Back to Basics with the Irena Knit Top from Itch to Stitch

I’m so desperately requiring basic wardrobe pieces at the moment. The Irena Knit Top by Itch to Stitch however is a bit more than basic due to a nice V-neck, sleeve and hem bands.

It is another installment of pattern testing* for Itch to Stitch, the first was the Mila Tunic Shirt.  As seems to be the case with Kennis’ designs, the process is flawless from start to finish, from printing the pattern, to ironing the last seam. The neckband is cleverly designed to lay nice and flat around the neckline.

I used black performance cotton lycra (96% cotton/ 10% elastane) for my first version. It’s pretty basic colour for the first go and I have to say I really like the fit. The sleeve and top length are perfect for me. I used a straight stitch for most of the construction except for when attaching the sleeve cuffs and hem band, where I used a narrow zig zag to allow for stretch. All internal seams were serged for a nice clean finish.

irena black front 2

                         irena black front  irena black back

I included a lightened hanger photo so you can see the neckline detail as black is so hard to photograph.

Irena top hanger

My second iteration was made after the following pattern alterations were made such that the v-neck is lower, shoulders slightly narrowed and bust, waist and hip are 1 inch wider in the circumference. So it’s the final look as it will be when purchasing the pattern from her store. Dependent on fabric type it can either be more fitted, or loser, as with my stripe version to be more a sweater type top.

irena stripe front

                            irena stripe side  irena stripe back

This version is made from deluxe black/white ponte stripe (65% rayon/32%nylon/3% elastane) with no alterations. And cut such that the sleeve and hem band stripes are in the opposite direction to the body of the top. I made sure my fabric stretched in both directions when purchasing so I could accomplish this look.

The top has quite a low V and may need a modesty top worn underneath, that’s how I roll anyway. They are great transition pieces and can be worn with a shirt underneath for layering.

*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.