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Another Pattydoo Chloe Dress.

I am a huge fan of this sewing pattern, and have made several versions before (using scuba), which I have blogged about on previous posts. The reason that I am sharing another one with you, is that I am celebrating the launch of a new online knit fabrics boutique, Pin and Sew , by making up my favourite dress pattern using fabric from her brand new store.

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I was recently approached by Aga, who is the owner of Pin and Sew. She explained that she was launching her new venture soon, and wondered if I would be interested in taking a look at the website and perhaps trying out some of her fabric. Her website specializes in knit fabrics, and as I love sewing with knits, it was good to take look at what she has to offer – but not so easy to choose my favourite out of them all!

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Over on the Pin and Sew site, you will find a good selection of jerseys, French Terry, Ponte and Sweatshirt fabrics. Patterned and plain, there is something for everyone. I opted for this wonderful  green French Terry which has a floral design (honeysuckle I think), and Cranes. It is also available in a blue colour way. I have never sewn with a French Terry before and was keen to try out this type of knit. It is rather like a sweatshirting fabric, with a small loop back on the wrong side, but more light weight.

There is also a great selection of adults and children’s sewing patterns for sale too, all geared towards sewing with knits.

The fabric arrived in next to no time, and I was delighted to see it arrive in plastic free wrapping. The strong brown paper bags used by Pin and Sew will still protect your fabric in transit, but are totally environmentally friendly. The fabric was also accompanied by an information card giving me care instructions for my fabric. Over on the Pin and Sew website, you can learn all about their concern for the environment  and how this is reflected in their packaging.

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Back to the Pattydoo pattern. Another reason for writing about the Chloe Dress again is to mention that a pattern written in another language can still be made up with very little problems. Pattydoo is a German pattern company and has a large range of reasonably priced PDF patterns for adults and children, as well as some free patterns too. I recently made their free shopping bag (the Milly bag) and plan to blog about this shortly too.

Firstly, this PDF pattern was 3 Euros. Can you believe it! I am still stunned by the low price of this. After printing out the pattern and instructions, I realised that I would need some help from Google Translate. This helped a little, especially with the fabric requirements and cutting instructions, but what really is the game changer for this company is that they have a YouTube channel where you can follow a complete video sew-along for the construction of the dress. Whilst this is still spoken in German (I don’t speak a word of German), the visual aspect of it is so good (along with seam allowance measurements being flashed up on the screen), that you barely need anything else – it is really excellent! I would still recommend that you make up a toile in this situation before cutting into precious fabric, just in case you have missed something important along the way!

Another thing to bear in mind with the video guide is that she is showing you how to make the child’s dress, so if you are making an adult version, you just need to remember to sew in the bust darts at the appropriate time and also add some elastic to the centre back waistline to give it some shape there too. Guidance on these steps are found in the pattern’s written instructions.

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The pattern has a choice of sleeve lengths, and the neck can be finished with a neckline facing or you can add a neckband. I chose to make the short sleeved version, and as you can see I used a neckband to finish the neckline, as I love this finish. This cotton French Terry is wonderful to sew with, soft and breathable, and is a perfect weight for this dress. I am also imagining this fabric made up into a Grainline Studios Linden Sweatshirt  – how dreamy..

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Yes, this pattern has pockets. It doesn’t get any better. Although I feel I may have accidentally stretched out the pocket edges when I top stitched them, despite using a walking foot, so will take extra care with this step next time. It also pays to be extra careful to trim down your seam allowances where they are bulky to avoid any lumps which I have in a couple of places. I need to remember more haste and less speed.

Aside from the walking foot if you have one, it is also a good idea to use ball point pins or wonder clips, and stretch/jersey or ball point needles on your machine when sewing knit fabrics. I always test on a scrap of leftover fabric before I start sewing on my main project just to check that I am happy with the stitch.

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Because I have made the dress so many times before, I knew the alterations that I needed to make, and already have the adjusted pattern pieces ready to use. I must be honest – I have lost weight since I made these measurements, so could probably do with adjusting  them again, but basically I lengthened the bodice (unusually for me), by 2cm and added 3.5cm to the skirt length.

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I am super pleased with how the dress has turned out. I am often on the look-out for green floral fabric and it’s not always that easy to find, so I was really chuffed to have had the opportunity to make this dress with this wonderful fabric. Thank you so very much to Aga, for giving me the opportunity to work with her during this exciting launch, and providing me with such pretty fabric.

As well as the website linked above, you can also find Pin and Sew over on Instagram and facebook.

I would love to hear if any of you have any more tips on sewing patterns that are printed in a different language to your own. Do share any of your tips in the comment section below.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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McCalls M7313 Sewing Pattern Review

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I am so happy to share with you my latest make, McCalls M7313, which is a great little skater dress for knit fabrics.

Writing this blog has opened up some wonderful opportunities for me, and I am lucky enough to have been given this stunning fabric and sewing pattern by Lucy and the team at Sewessential.

Lucy, her husband and her Mother in Law, all work together to run this successful online sewing superstore, which started about 13 years ago. Over the years it has grown and not only does it offer you the most beautiful range of fabrics, it stocks the most enormous selection of sewing patterns. Furthermore, I was surprised to see a vast range of haberdashery and sewing gadgets and I was blown away by the choice of sewing machines and overlockers. For those interested I use a Janome sewing machine and overlocker.

Clearly it was going to take some time to choose a pattern and fabric that I wanted to work with, and it did! I knew that I wanted to make a jersey dress. I have loved making several versions of the Colette Patterns ‘Moneta’ Dress, and I adore a dress with a gathered waist, but I have wanted to make a slightly different type of jersey knit dress for a while now, just haven’t found the right pattern.

As soon as I noticed the McCalls M7313 I knew that this was the one! This skater style dress was exactly what I needed, I have never made this fit and flare style before and it looked like it could be ‘right up my street’. I was also very drawn towards this wonderful tropical jersey knit fabric, and thought they would be a perfect pairing. The fabric is lovely and wide which is always a bonus, you can purchase in 0.5 metre increments which is helpful,  and it is super soft, with a lovely drape.

The pattern is very versatile. It has different sleeve, neck and length variations, so there is something for everyone! I chose a scoop neck,  short sleeved version in the shorter length, but this dress would work very nicely in the Winter months with long sleeves and the high neck. Perfect!

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Throughout the make I used ball point pins, and a ball point needle and twin needle on my machine. It is important to use needles and pins with rounded tips to ensure they pierce through the fabric without damaging the individual fibres. I also used my sewing machine entirely for this project, proving that you don’t have to have an overlocker to work with knit fabrics!

The dress came together really quickly, and I love how it has turned out. I finished the neckline and sleeves using a twin needle as I think this gives you a really professional look with very little effort!

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The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow as you would expect from a McCalls pattern, and it is suitable for beginners, so is lovely and straightforward. A small amount of 1/4″ elastic is needed to give the waistline a tiny bit of shape, but no zips, darts etc make this a pleasure to make. Aren’t dresses that you can just throw over your head the best!

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Such vibrant colours!

I can imagine this dress on a sunny day out worn with wedges and sunglasses, but would totally wear it on a cooler day with a denim jacket and ankle boots. That’s the British Summer weather covered!

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Pop on a belt to dress it up a little!

I have really enjoyed making this dress, and would like to thank all at Sewessential for the supplies. It will certainly be a dress I will wear all Summer and I already have plans for another one as I want it in all the colours!

Thank you for reading, have you made this dress? I would love to hear from you.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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