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A Pattydoo Marie dress

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I continue to be a real fan of this company. Pattydoo provide great patterns at an incredibly low price that are well drafted for everyday wear, and are easy to make.

The Marie Dress  is no exception. This is a fairly recent addition to their pattern collection, and it’s beautiful. It is only available on their German site (ie – it’s not written in English), but it is still really easy to understand with a little help from Google Translate and the brilliant YouTube Sew-along tutorial video. Whilst the video is spoken in German (I don’t speak German), the visuals and on-screen prompts enable you to easily understand what is happening.

It’s only 3 Euros for this download, which is such good value, and what is more, I only needed 1 metre of fabric for my dress! Such a budget make all round!

The good news just keeps coming – the dress comprises of only two pattern pieces, it really doesn’t get much better than this!  They are rather peculiar looking, and it was fun to see how they fitted together.

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My fabric choice is a scuba which I picked up on eBay. I’m not totally happy with it – it’s not as vibrant as I was expecting IRL and I don’t think that the colours suit me that well either. Hey ho! That being said, scuba fabric is perfect for this dress. One of these days I will get myself a colour consultation from a professional so that I will always know which colours to reach for.

Because there are only two pattern pieces, this comes together really quickly. The princess seams front and back create soft flattering pleats which create a pretty shape over your hips.

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I have a curvy figure and find that the pleats have just the right amount of body to them so as not to exaggerate an area that I don’t want to add width to!

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The princess seams and pleats are a feature of the back of the dress too and fall in just the same manner as at the front. Oh, and there are no fastenings for this dress. Pop it on and off over the head.

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The pattern has a slightly curved hem, and this was the only alteration that I made. I cut the hem straight across so that it has a completely horizontal hem line now, just my preference.

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So, the neckline and arms are finished by simply turning under and sewing with a double needle. There are no facings or bands, but it would be simple to create these if you so wished. I will perhaps make a neckband for my next version.

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I must admit, I would prefer if this dress had sleeves. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps at some point there will be an expansion pack with some sleeves for this, and maybe in the meantime I will try to have a go at drafting my own as I think this style is a little too severe for me, and think I would wear it more if it had short sleeves. I also think the neckline sits a little too high for my taste. Not sure.

The design lines are stunning though, and I think that this dress made in a simple plain fabric would be amazing. If you’re a fan of Instagram like me, check out all the Marie Dress inspiration that there is using the hashtag #pattydoomarie

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Thanks for taking the time to hop on over here today, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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My Tilly and the Buttons Freya Dress

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Oh my goodness me, you know when you make something and are instantly planning your next. This is it. Although the warmer weather may have thrown a big spanner in the works now and delay me from making more until it turns cooler again as this is certainly a dress for when the temperatures aren’t so great in my opinion – especially made in scuba!

So this is The Freya and it’s my second make from Tilly’s amazing Stretch! book. If you want to check out The Frankie Baseball T-Shirt that I made last month you can do so here. The Freya is a close fitting A-line dress (I feel we all know that Tilly is the Queen of all things A-line), and can be made up as a sweater or a dress. There are a ton of variations that you can make using the book including sleeves, necklines and ruffles but I kept things simple and made the classic dress with 3/4 sleeves.

You might have noticed, especially if you follow me on Instagram, that I am loving scuba fabric just lately. This absolute beauty is the Chaffinch Bough Old Gold luxury scuba which I purchased on a recent visit to Sewisfaction.  I think it is stunning and as you can see has a rich gold background covered in brighly coloured florals with pretty Chaffinch birds set amongst them.

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I had not seen any versions of the Freya in scuba, so was concerned that the pattern might not suit this fabric choice, but after referring to the fabric suggestions for this pattern (which calls for knits with at least 25% crosswise stretch) I felt I should go for it.

It’s so quick to cut out, my version requires only 4 pattern pieces – less time cutting/tracing and more time sewing! Happy days!

The mock neckband fitted like a dream. Tilly had mentioned in her instructions that it needs to stretch quite a bit in order to get it over your head and this is true! I was careful not to use too short a stitch when attaching and finishing the neckband for this reason. Does anybody else love a bit of twin needle sewing? The neckband is of course finished with the twin needle, as are the cuffs and hem.

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I really wanted to make the version with the ruffle, but felt that this might be too much with such a busy fabric choice. I am determined to make a ruffle dress later on in the year though and may choose a solid colour for that version. Shocking I know, as I have discovered whilst taking part in #mmmay18 that virtually none of my handmade wardrobe is made from a plain solid fabric! Have you checked out the hashtag #sewingfreya yet? It’s a great source of Freya inspiration.

I am happy with the length but does come up fairly short-ish.  I am 5’2″ and as you can see it sits just above my (knobbly) knees.

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There is very little that hasn’t already been said on this dress, it’s wonderful in every way. Quick, easy and very wearable, I’m a fan.  Mic drop.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My #smyly2018 dress – another Pattydoo Chloe dress!

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O.K, I know. Another Pattydoo Chloe dress. I just can’t help it, I love it so much!

I recently made this as part of a contest entry over on the Pattern Review website and decided to mention it here as part of the #smyly2018 challenge.

The idea of the #smyly2018 challenge is to make a garment that makes you feel good and helps the sewing community talk about positive body image and mental health issues.

Whilst I have been incredibly touched with reading and listening to so many situations that other sewists have found themselves dealing with, I feel that it is still too difficult to share with you my struggles with overwhelming shyness and other issues that affect my mental health.

I will say however that I agree with everyone that has taken part, in that sewing definitely makes a huge difference to me and I am constantly amazed by the support I have from fellow sewists, and that which I see shown to others. It is always important to remember that we all have struggles that we are dealing with, often unseen, and these affect us all to varying extents,  but kindness costs nothing and patience with others is always something to aim for as we can never truly know what others are dealing with.

I have talked before about how I love the style and comfort of this dress, and if you would like to read a couple of my previous reviews on this dress you can do so here and here. I have made others, but not blogged them.

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I have used a moss green scuba fabric which I picked up from The Rag Market in Birmingham last year. It has a bold floral design with the addition of berries, butterflies and bees.

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… and pockets and pleats. Yay!

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Thank you to HattieAthina, and Lisa for setting up this friendly challenge. I am going to try to leave this dress pattern for a while as I think I have enough versions of this for now …

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy xx

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My latest Sewisfaction Blogger Team post – The Pattydoo Chloe Dress

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Just a quick one today, as I thought you might like to see my latest make as part of the Sewisfaction Blogger Team.

It’s the Chloe dress from German pattern designers Pattydoo, made in this adorable scuba fabric, and I am seriously in love with it!

Do head on over to the Sewisfaction blog using the link above to read all about it and check out lots more photos!

See you there!

Kathy x

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My very first Moneta dress by Colette Patterns

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I am so delighted to finally be able to understand what all the fuss is about with this dress! I have had this pattern since last Autumn and just haven’t got round to making it before now, but since there is a #monetaparty to get entered into I decided that I should maybe have a quick practice run with this pretty floral fabric that I picked up last month from Leicester market during the Dressmakers Meet-up in Leicester organised by Crafty Sew and So  (by the way I think I purchased the pattern from Crafty Sew and So also)! It’s a lightweight scuba fabric but has the perfect drape and stretch for this project.

This is my first Colette Pattern make, and I absolutely loved it. I loved the packaging of the instructions and pattern pieces. They are presented in a little booklet and it is charming. There are 3 options: version 1 is sleeveless and has a collar, version 2 has short sleeves and version 3 has 3/4 length sleeves.

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I chose the 3/4 length sleeves and love them. Although they were a lot shorter than I expected I rather like them like that.

It was so easy to cut out. I used my rotary cutter and mat which always speeds things up. and before I knew it I had constructed the bodice. The bodice has a round neckline and back neckline is fairly low too which I think is so feminine.

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Such a pretty back neckline. Here you can see the twin needle finish on the neckline edge.

Next up is the skirt pieces, and the pockets. Yes! it has pockets. Yippee! Again no problems at all. Up until now I had used my overlocker for everything but decided to use my stretch zig zag stitch (with ball point needle) on my regular machine to sew the side seam and around the pocket edges as I thought I would have more control around the pocket shapes than if I were using the overlocker. It worked out great.

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Check out the pockets!  Also twin needle (ballpoint) was used to hem the sleeves.

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The final part of construction (apart from hemming the skirt) is gathering the skirt to fit the bottom of the bodice. This was the bit that slightly worried me as I have never used the shirring technique to elasticate a skirt waist before. Before I started I referred to a brilliant tutorial by the lovely Abigail here which really helped me. I loved gathering this way and will be using this technique again as it’s really quite fun.

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The length of the skirt was too long for me. (I’m 5’2″ by the way). I ended up trimming off 9cm from the length of the skirt when it came to hemming. No problem to do though, especially when your fabric doesn’t fray, and of course the hem was finished using the ball point twin needle for a professional finish. Next time I will know to alter the length of the skirt using the ‘lengthen/shorten’ markings on the pattern before cutting out!

I am totally in love with this dress. It’s fairly quick to make and nice and easy, plus it’s got to be one of the most comfy dresses I have. One of the most time consuming things about this make was that I used my overlocker, and my regular machine with a ball point needle and my regular machine with a ball point twin needle for this project so there was a small amount of swapping needles/machines etc throughout but really no big deal at all.

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I am waiting for a delivery any day now of some super pretty jersey fabric so that I can make this dress up again but in ‘party style’ to enter the #monetaparty later this month. I am beyond excited with my new fabric choice so do look out for updates on that project either here or on Instagram. Are you entering the #monetaparty challenge? I am loving all the sneak peeks that are popping up on Instagram at the moment.

Have you made a Moneta? Do let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x