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My Vogue V1392 off the shoulder dress pattern review for Sewing World magazine.

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I have been bursting to share this dress make with you since last August! I was kindly approached by Minerva Crafts who asked if I would be interested in working with them in reviewing a pattern for Sewing World magazine. Of course I jumped at the chance, and as it was such an amazing opportunity, I wanted the garment to be really special.

I chose the most beautiful dress pattern I could find, Vogue V1392, which is a Vogue pattern in collaboration with Kay Unger. It’s a stunning design and the first time I have used a Vogue pattern before!

My fabric choice was this pretty stretch brocade, I love the sage green and dusky pink colour combination.

The full review of the dress is available now in the current issue of Sewing World magazine (February issue 264), so I won’t go into details of the make here, but I can’t resist sharing a couple of pics of the make which aren’t in the magazine…

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These cute little elasticated straps are hidden in the shoulder straps to stop them from slipping – so clever!
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So many layers to the skirt – main fabric, organza petticoat and lining too.
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Pattern matching is always challenging but worth it!

So, I think it only fair to leave it here and direct you to Sewing World magazine to read the full review, but I would love to take this opportunity to thank Sewing World for allowing me to share my thoughts with their readers and to Minerva Crafts for their generosity in supplying me with such superb supplies, they were a dream to work with.

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My latest Sewisfaction Blogger Team post – The Jade Dress from Simply Sewing magazine

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Hi everyone!

Just a quick one today to mention that my latest make as part of the Sewisfaction blogger team is now up on the Sewisfaction website. Do head on over and take a peek for all the details and lots more pics. If you want a dress that looks a little special, but feels like you are wearing your pyjamas, then this is worth a read!

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See you over at Sewisfaction!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Dressmaker of the Year – Winner for the ‘Ready to Wear’ Category.

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I’m still pinching myself.

A few months ago, I decided to enter The Dressmaker of the Year competition. Not because I thought I had any chance of coming anywhere, but because I noticed that if you entered you would receive a free sewing pattern.

I wasn’t sure which garment to enter, but in the end chose my Joni Dress by The Fold Line. My reasons for choosing this dress was that it had attracted several comments when I had worn it, so thought it might be a good one to choose, I also had no time to make up something new. Decision made. I put in an online entry, attached a photo of the dress, and chose the free pattern that I wanted to receive.

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The Joni Dress by The Fold Line

You could have knocked me over with a feather when, in March, I heard that I had been shortlisted as a finalist. No way!

The next thing to do was to send off my dress to London so that it could be examined by the panel of judges. It was at this point that I wished I had maybe made a garment specifically for this competition, rather that choosing something that I had made not knowing that it would be looked at in detail by a panel of sewing experts! Oh dear – too late now! I’m usually pretty careful with how my garment looks inside as well as out so kept my fingers crossed that it would be up to their standard too!

After a nail biting wait, I was (and still am) over the moon to hear that I had won first place in the ‘Ready to Wear’ category. Little old me, who would ever have thought!

This was such a wonderful surprise for me, especially as the competition had more than 1,200 entries from all over the world!

My prize was a sweet sewing basket from Korbond which will come in useful for all the little bits and bobs in my sewing space that currently don’t have a home.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed reading some lovely articles in Make it Today Dressmaker magazine and Sew magazine too. All very exciting! Thank you to these publications for organising such a fun competition! Thank you also to Brother, Create and Craft and Korbond for their generous prizes.

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The well deserved overall winner for her ‘Customising’ enry is Portia Lawrie. Her quilted upcycled denim jacket is superb and inspirational. I think you would love Portia’s website linked above, particularly at the moment as she is organising a huge huge raffle to support those affected by the Grenfell disaster, head on over to find out how you can join in!

The other three talented and creative sewists that are winners in their category are

  • Angela Green in the ‘vintage’ category
  • Georgia Marshall-Brown in the ‘children’s wear’ category
  • Harriet Johnson in the ‘reader’s choice’ category with her amazing Party Rings two-piece! Love this one!

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Thank you so much for all the sweet comments that so many of you have sent via social media when the winners were announced. I am so grateful for your support, and it means so much to me.

What I have learned from this whole experience, and what I am sharing with you today, is that we should just ‘go for it’ – you never know what might happen!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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‘Dressmaker of the year’ Finalist!

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Hi friends,

I recently had the amazing news that I had been shortlisted to be a finalist in the Make it Today Dressmaker Of The Year Awards. Yes, little old me.

This is a huge shock and I was totally blown away by this honour. The dress that I submitted was the Joni dress by The Fold Line.

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I loved making this dress, and the fabric was a particular favourite of mine too. If you are interested in reading the full review then you can do so here.

The dress has been sent off for judging in London, which I believe took place yesterday. I feel pretty nervous that such esteemed judges have been examining my dress in close detail!

Whilst the overall winners will be chosen by the judging panel, there is the opportunity for anyone to vote in the ‘Readers Choice’ category. If you take the time to vote you are automatically entered into a competition to win some great sewing prizes – a lovely sewing book bundle and a years subscription to either ‘Sew’ or ‘Make it Today’ magazine. These prizes are worth £230!

If you would like to have the chance to win these prizes, I will leave a link here, I think you will be impressed by the variety of entries – there is a childrens category, vintage, ready to wear and customising category, so why not take a look, have a little vote and give yourself a chance to win a great sewing prize at the same time!

Don’t hang about though! The entries for this will close on the 25th April!

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Whilst I am here, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support and encouragement that you have given me since I started this little blog last October. Yesterday I received a notification that 100 people are now following me, so if you are one of them, I would like to say a very big thank you, it means the world to me.

The good news is I have lots of sewing plans lined up, and I look forward to sharing these all with you!

Thank you all, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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McCalls M7381 Dress Pattern Review

 

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I was delighted to see that in the latest edition of Love Sewing magazine, issue 37, the free pattern was this McCalls M7381. I love floaty dresses and this looked like it was right up my street.

The size range in this single pattern is quite impressive too. It covers sizes XS through to XXL. Pretty good (until you get to the part when you want to fold the pattern pieces back up and try to get them back in the envelope! Ha! Several versions of the dress are available to choose from. Long sleeves, short sleeves, sleeveless and maxi length. I chose view C.

My fabric choice was from Minerva crafts found here. Its a beautiful viscose challis and the print is adorable. I must admit that I love the Minerva web site, most often as well as a good description of the fabric there is a video which shows you how the fabric drapes, creases, stretches and how sheer it is. Super helpful.

The most difficult part of making up any pattern is deciding what size to cut. I must admit that very often now I will cut a toile, not great when you want to quickly get on with a new pattern but quite often necessary. I should have done so in this case and I didn’t. Off I jolly well went and after pre-washing the fabric (now this really is essential and I never skip doing this)! I chose to cut the pattern in a size large which is what my body measurements showed as on size chart on the envelope. I was nervous as this would normally by accompanied by a ‘finished measurement’ size chart which I would refer to but couldn’t see this.

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The dress is fairly straightforward to make up. The bodice was the most complicated part because it is lined, so requires several pattern pieces.  This was a nice challenge for me as I  have made several very easy patterns of late and it was good to sew up something a little more challenging (but still not too difficult). After the bodice is made up the rest of the pattern comes together quickly.

Some pretty features of this pattern are the pleat details at the shoulders and skirt front. I also like the faux tie belt feature at the front waist.

It is comfortable to put on and wear, and has an elasticated waist at the back of the skirt. Snap studs or poppers are hand sewn in on the bodice front, although I moved the placement of mine to show less cleavage!

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As you can probably see from the photos the dress has come up much too large. I could have easily have gone down at least one size band. The bodice has far too much room in it and the elasticated gathers at the back just seem to accentuate this unfortunately. Boo.

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If i had not been in so much of a rush to cut it out and make it I probably would have read a couple of really good reviews by Amy and Rachel where both mention the size aspect of this pattern. Do head over to these lovely ladies blog posts if you are considering making this dress, I’m sure that you will find it useful.

I really enjoyed making the bodice lining for this dress. I feel it gives the dress much more of a finished look and looks so much better than seeing the seams on the inside. I also remembered to pop in one of my name labels – I often forget to do this when I get engrossed in my sewing!

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Don’t let my sizing problem put you off making this lovely pattern. At the time of releasing this post I believe that issue 37 of Love Sewing may still be current- just. (next issue out March 23rd) so if you’re interested in a free copy of this pattern you may still be able to track down an issue before issue 38 comes out later in the week!

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I think this dress can be rescued with some little adjustments here and there from me. It would be a shame not to enjoy it this Summer as I do love so love the fabric.

Have you made this dress, what did you think?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy

 

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The Fold Line Joni Dress Pattern Review

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As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted it! I had first noticed it mentioned on social media on @thefoldline and @SimplySewing_ on Twitter. I knew that if Rachel and Kate from the Fold Line were to have any involvement at all in a project it would be a good one! I instantly fell in love with the style of the dress, particularly the flattering pleats, and the contrasting placket, collar and cuffs reminded me very much of a couple of my very favourite RTW dresses that I reach for time and time again when I want to look my best.

So off I went and purchased Simply Sewing magazine issue 22. This was the first time I had bought this particular magazine and it won’t be the last. Apart from the Jodi dress pattern there are tons of projects that I will be making up in the future – one of which is the pattern for the Sew Over it Erin skirt – watch out for a blog on that very soon. The magazine has a lovely feel to it and I have really enjoyed picking it up and relaxing with it this month (when I haven’t been sewing)!

I was really pleased with the paper pattern and instructions. The pattern pieces were printed on good quality paper and clearly marked. The instructions were clear and simple, not overwhelming at all which can sometimes be the case, and accompanied by plenty of colour photos to help you along.

I decided to use some fabric that I already had in my stash. It is a gorgeous grey and green print that I picked up last year from a trip to Florida, and I have been itching for the opportunity to use it. It is called Fresh Mint Posies Grey I believe and it is from www.emmamila.com  I picked it up at Walmart.

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For the most part it was simple to make. The pockets may look like they would be tricky but are as easy as anything when you follow the instructions carefully. I do love me some pockets in a dress, I mean who doesn’t?

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The contrasting cuffs are super cute too. So pretty with the little split detail and again not difficult at all when you are following such precise instructions. The photographs on the instruction sheet were particularly helpful with this part of the pattern.jodi28

The collar I found to be the most challenging part of this make. It is not a simple round collar but has a little shape detail along the inner edge. This is a tiny bit tricky and I had to be very very careful when sewing this edge. Lots of care needs to be taken as you would expect with trimming and clipping these edges so that the finished collar lays flat. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out though and I think I worried about it more than I needed to. The button placket was the finishing touch and I love the grey contrasting pieces on this dress, it really is something special.

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Something else to mention is the zip. It requires a 22″ invisible zip and whilst I contemplated using an exposed zip, as I really like the look of these I stuck with the invisible and glad that I did. I have only sewn an invisible zip once before, way back when, so had some concerns, but after a little internet research (mainly YouTube) I felt confident to go for it. Again I was really pleased with the outcome. I did purchase an invisible zipper foot for my machine for this project which was great fun to use and I know I will get a lot of use out of it in the future.

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Everything else is pretty much straightforward. The set in sleeves are not a problem,  a little bit of topstitching and understitching here and there and ‘bob’s your uncle’ a dress that comes together really quickly. It is a great fit for me and came up true to size which I’m so happy about as I really don’t have the patience to make a toile (naughty, naughty) so is always a risk with beautiful fabric like this. The only very minor alteration I made was to turn the hem up slightly more as I’m only 5’2″. I think next time I may make it in a less fussy fabric, as the beautiful pleats are a little lost amongst the design of the fabric, but so happy with it overall. The long sleeves are a nice feature of this dress too and are perfect for Autumn.

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on this pattern. Thanks for taking the time to read my review. I have loved making this dress and can’t wait to wear it now. Have you made a Jodi dress? I would love to hear from you. Do check out www.thefoldline.com it is a gorgeous online sewing community full of patterns, reviews and news. Check it out!

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x