Pippa Wrap Dress/Top by DesignerStitch Patterns

You guessed it! Another pattern test* for Ann of DesignerStitch Patterns**. As much as I have been testing lately, I’m amazed how quickly the designers are preparing patterns. This pattern test happened sometime in September 2016 but I am only just getting around to posting it.

dsc_0099        dsc_0093             dsc_0092 dsc_0090

The Pippa wrap dress** is a great pattern. Most wrap dresses are for knits but this one is for wovens. It comes with two sleeve lengths and peplum top, knee or tea length skirt. The bodice has a cross over front wrap with a self bound neckline attached to the wrap front skirt.

For the dress version I went for the knee length version, thinking this will be a summer staple. I used some flowy printed rayon circus in blue/white (100% rayon). This pattern really lends itself to a romantic types of fabric that have good drape.

I decided to make up the top version too with white rayon (100% rayon). Construction wise, everything fits together perfectly, and is explained clearly in the instructions. There is plenty of coverage for both the bodice and skirt wrap to not feel like you will have any indecent exposure. Both my versions were made with the shorter sleeve length.

                pippa-top-side-2                     pippa-top-front pippa-top-back dsc_0073

I’m happy that I have made two quick summer wardrobe additions with a great fitting pattern although they aren’t getting much wear at the moment as we are heading into winter down under. Someday, I won’t say soon, I plan to sew a chambray version of this dress.

*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

Navy Roses for a Jenny Dress by DesignerStitch Patterns

You may or may not have noticed I really like to pattern test. I have mentioned previously why, and it’s because I love a challenge and being methodical.

The call went out to test* for the Jenny dress by DesignerStitch Patterns. Ann is the lady behind the label and is an accomplished pattern designer and teacher. When I see such qualifications though I usually think they know more than I, so I often hope that at least I can offer something out of the testing process. I guess for a designer assessing fit issues is as important as clear instructions and a great drafted pattern.

Jenny front                      Jenny side (3)  Jenny side (4)

The Jenny dress is a simple sheath dress with bust darts and waist darts at both the front and back for a great fit. There is the optional wrap which adds some interest. Often I fear adding extra fabric to the waistline as it can add extra “weight” but I think in this case the design is perfect and hits at the right spot. The wrap in this case is sewn into the side seams and are bagged as when tying them up the underside shows. Probably a good opportunity to play around with different fabrics.

Jenny backI went down a size after fitting the dress because my printed navy burgandy roses cotton sateen (97% cotton/ 3% spandex) had some stretch. The dress was a perfect fit straight out of the envelope. I didn’t need to make any alterations to the fit but chose not to do the 3 cm hem and turned up 1 cm instead, I didn’t want to loose too much length and next time would personally probably lengthen from the outset. Normally I find I need to shorten the bodice and take in the upper back for the big 4 pattern companies, but not this time.

I liked that this dress also had a small sleeve and the facings were nice and big to completely finish off the armholes/sleeves without having separate facings or needing to do bindings.

jenny front facingjenny back facing

I usually make a second version of the tester garment using the final pattern but didn’t need to because this one fit pretty spot on. Having said that I may need to make a black, wrap free version, as a wardrobe staple and will lengthen by an inch. I will be sharing a number of pattern tests for DesignerStitch Patterns in the coming weeks.

jenny unwrap

DesignerStitch Patterns launched the collection of beautiful women’s PDF patterns on Monday 23rd May 2016 and is having a 20% purchase discount to celebrate. The size range is from 6 to 26 and available as A4 print-at-home or A0 Copy shop files. Check out the designs at:

http://www.designerstitch.com
20% coupon code = designer20 (expiry 3rd June)

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DesignerStitch
20% coupon code = designer20 (expiry 3rd June)

*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.

Kwik Sew 3489 Tropical Wrap Dress

In my quest to find a perfect wrap dress I decided to try the Kwik Sew 3489 pattern. With lots of positive reviews and a nice shape I thought it was worth a try. I purchased this red printed rayon knit # 2 tropical (100% rayon) back in May, started the dress in July and finally finished it in November. I wasn’t sure what to make with the fabric initially but found this image in Stylish Sewing with Stitches magazine, Volume 23, No 6 and used it as my inspiration. I have since bought fabric that is more similar to the image but don’t really want two red based wrap dresses in my closet.

dress

I made view B which has short sleeves, no collar and spaghetti wrap around ties whereas the ties in view A are slightly wider and only tie at the side. Many reviews mentioned that sizing runs big, and I found this to be true also and went down a size but realistically could have gone down another.

Kwik sew front                           kwik sew side 2  Kwik sew back

My fabric shifted a lot while cutting and sewing as it is so light weight and for this reason I should have lined the dress, but being lazy I didn’t, I just need to wear a slip underneath. I made the mistake of attaching the wrong sleeves to the left and right sides and although it doesn’t make a real big difference when worn, I had to stretch while sewing slightly to get them to fit. I didn’t realise this until after I had stitched and serged the first one on and wasn’t going to unstitch my work.

I also found it unusual that they mention in the instructions to use a bobby pin to turn the narrow tube of the ties, I do this all the time and find it much more reliable than a safety pin, even for threading elastic through channels.

The instructions provide the option to add elastic to the waistline, normally I wouldn’t, but found my fabric has little recovery and the bodice was loose anyway, so in this instance I chose too. This also helps with preventing the weight of the skirt from lowering the waistline too much when worn.

Kwik sew side

                                Kwik sew side 4 Kwik sew back 2

I ended up top stitching the opening where the tie runs through the right side seam for extra strength and support, otherwise it is left raw. The neckline is interfaced and I found mine wanted to flip out a lot, probably because the bodice is actually a bit big, but decided to top stitched the neckline as per the optional instructions. I also squared off the curve on the front wrap portion to make a more classic wrap dress. You can see how much the fabric has dropped as my version looks much longer than the pattern envelope. The wrap is fairly substantial, no accidental exposure.

Kwik sew wrap

I will be making this again with a more stable knit and will definitely size down the bodice but keep the same size on the skirt. I really like the fit of this otherwise and it doesn’t take long to sew.

Getting Creative….. Not on the blog titles though! Here’s Vogue 8896

I’m not one to think of catchy titles and neither do I expect a big following with this blog but this is my own journey about what I make and do and how to get better at it.

I got inspired to make a wrap dress because (a) I don’t own one, and (b) I’ve been watching the House of DVF (Diane von Furstenberg) so why not give it a go. I used to be a jeans and top girl but lately reaching for a dress is far easier and quicker and thumbs up for minimal ironing. Vogue 8896 Front       Vogue 8896 back

So straight to sewing. The first make I am posting is a Vogue 8896 wrap dress with bias bodice and a flared skirt. Recommended for moderate stretch knits. I made view A but don’t know how I feel about shorter dresses these days, probably because I spend most of my day chasing rugrats around, although the finished garment isn’t as short as I thought it would be so that’s a bonus.

The fabric I used was a stretch crepe knit 147cm wide and I had 2m and used a ball point needle with a regular straight stitch. I cut a size 14 and I’m normally a size 12 (Australian) RTW. I really would like a maxi version of this but it requires 3.7m of fabric and I don’t really need to add to the stash quite yet.

It was probably too stretchy for this project however I think the shortVogue 8896 wrap skirt skirt version stops it from being weighed down too much. Everything went together quite smoothly and I followed the instructions as per the pattern. I wasn’t sure whether to make the dress sleeveless or add sleeves and cut them out and basted them on but I thought the versatility of having a sleeveless dress and layering in the colder months might be more beneficial. The fabric is slightly see through however with a slip all is well and also provides assurance that on a windy day the wrap won’t be too revealing although there is quite a substantial overlap.

Vogue 8896 top front

The only thing I’m unsure about is the pooling that ocurrs at the front waistline. Looking at the model the same thing is happening and the only way to smooth that out for me was to pull up the front at the shoulders or tie it really tight (and I admit that I forget to shorten the bodice which is a common alteration for me) but I might remember to do that in the next version rather than tinker with this one as it is still wearable. There is also no fear of flashing as the front overlap is quite big probably as the width of the shoulder fronts are quite wide.

Overall I am happy with this dress as it can be worn out with heels and also with sandals for a more casual look. I was thinking as to whether it could be made to be closed with a snap at the waistline rather with a tie so that it leaves more options for belting if made in a different fabric. I am also contemplating making it up in a woven and cutting the front out on the bias.

Any comments from anyone if these ideas will actually work?

Happy stitching !