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Fibre Mood Dolly.

It’s that time again – Fibre Mood 15 Magazine is out today, and I was lucky enough to take a peek at the patterns a few weeks ago and choose one to make and share with you *

As usual there is a great choice of patterns in the magazine – dresses, tops, trousers and skirts, but as always I was drawn towards the dresses and I eventually opted to make Dolly.

Dolly is a simple loose fitting A-line dress with elbow length puffed raglan sleeves (gathered at the cuff), and a gathered neckline with a statement bow to finish it off. The finished dress length is always your choice of course (as a dressmaker) and I cut this version the exact length of the pattern piece without alteration which you can see hits me just above the knee. I’m 5’2″ for reference. I think maybe I will lengthen the dress next time I make it by a couple of inches.

It also has pockets 🙂

As mentioned Dolly has a loose cut. My measurements put me into the ‘Small’ size band, but looking at the pattern measurements compared to mine, I decided to size down and cut a size XS as this would still give me plenty of room without the risk of swamping me. I’m so pleased that I did this as I feel the fit is just what I was after. My measurements are 34-29-38 btw.

Ever since I made my black Cassie dress last year I knew I wanted more black Summer dresses in my wardrobe. Something casual that I could pair with trainers or sandals and maybe a straw hat and bag. After ruling out anything in my stash, I came across this pretty cotton lawn swiss dot from Plush Addict. It’s fairly sheer, so I will wear it with a slip.

The dress was nice and quick to cut out and fairly easy to sew. Fibre Mood rate this as a 2/5 in terms of difficulty. The only part that I had to fiddle around with to get it right was the v-neck facing. I always feel nervous about snipping into a v-neck facing before turning it through as you really have to snip right up to the stitching to enable it to lay flat, and I never do it close enough first time. After a second teeny snip I turned it through again and a nice steamy press meant the v-neck lay flat without any puckers (well, maybe a teeny tiny one that nobody will notice on the black fabric, but that’s between you and me only)!

This pattern is sewn with a 1 cm seam allowance.

I like the length of the sleeves and that they are gathered into a sweet narrow cuff band. The opening of the cuff band was just right, and means that the sleeves don’t pull the whole dress up when reaching up for things!

I chose to style this dress with my latest necklace design – the Thimble Necklace, Veja trainers, old straw hat and an old bag from Matalan.

I love the width of the neck bow. I’m not sure that I like the placement of it though. It is attached to the neck opening just below where the neckline bias tape ends. I’m not sure I’m that keen of that placement as it sits below the neckline by approx 1 cm, rather than being a seamless extension of the neckline. Maybe next time I might raise the height of the neck ties. We’ll see.

The gathered neckline continues all the way around the back too.

Last but not least, I really wanted a straw had with black ribbon to complete this look. As I didn’t have one I decided to alter my trusty straw hat with brown ribbon by adding a length of black grosgrain ribbon over the top of the brown ribbon. This is held in place with a few stitches and can easily be removed when I want the original colour back! See the before and after below!

Same hat, different ribbon colour

I’m absolutely delighted with the Dolly. It fits the bill with the vibe that I was going for, and think it would be amazing in a chambray, gingham or seersucker too don’t you think?

* Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted my choice of the Dolly pattern by Fibre Mood to sew and share. As always my review is honest and all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains some affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click through and purchase something that I have linked to.  I only accept the free pattern from Fibre Mood when there is a design that I truly love. Thank you x

Thanks for dropping by. Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The Cassie Dress from Emporia Sewing Patterns

The Cassie Dress is a pattern that I have had my eyes on for quite some time. I first spotted it when I met Clair and Charlotte from Emporia Patterns on their stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show late last year. By that point in the day I had entirely spent out on lots of sewing goodies, but made a mental note that the Cassie looked like a pattern that would be right up my street and would probably look to purchase another time.

Fast forward a few months and I recently noticed lovely Becky from The Sewing Cafe wearing a couple of gorgeous versions and that was it, it had to be mine! By the way I bought my pattern from The Sewing Cafe.

The Cassie Dress is a fairly relaxed fitting tiered Summer dress. It has a simple t-shirt style bodice with bust darts, and to that you can add on your choice of two or three skirt tiers. You can also choose to make it with tie straps at the shoulders too. It has no fastenings at all as it is a ‘pull on and off over the head dress’ which make it super easy and quick to sew too!

The pattern pieces are printed on high quality paper and have different coloured size markings which make tracing or cutting your size really easy. It’s definitely a beginner friendly sewing pattern – but just don’t forget to finish your seams in your chosen way as you are sewing it, as I don’t think this is mentioned in the instruction booklet.

I had a feeling that as much as I like maxi dresses, the three tier version might drown me a bit, so I went for the two tiered option. I also went for the classic t-shirt top rather that the tie straps, because, well, bingo wings…

However I didn’t know where the two tiered length would hit me, and if I would need to alter the depth of those two tiers, so the easiest thing was to pin the pattern pieces together at their (1cm) seam allowance and kind of hold it against me to give me a rough idea. Imagine my surprise when it looked like it would hit my knee at exactly the right place without any alteration!!!!!!

By the way I’m 5’2″ tall and I cut a straight size 12.

My measurements are 36-29-39.

My fabric choice was this gorgeous black Swiss Dot cotton poplin from Fabworks, it has the cutest tufted burgundy dots which just break up the severity of the colour a little.

One thing that I did differently from the pattern was to interface my neck facing pieces. I also ‘stitched in the ditch’ down the shoulder seams to keep them in place.

I really enjoy pockets in a dress so I also added my own inseam pockets using an inseam pocket template from another pattern. The placement on them (for me) means that they sit perfectly within that top tier.

The neckline is just right – not to low, not too high, and the short sleeves are ‘grown-on’ so no separate sleeve piece to ease in too. Happy days! It’s very comfortable to wear and I feel really great when I have it on.

I found the fit to be spot on. Comfortably relaxed and easy to pull on and off over your head, but not so loose that you feel swamped by it. It’s a really fantastic pattern all round that I know I will sew again and again (I already have some fabric in my stash earmarked for another Cassie), and would work well with cute trainers – which is probably how I will more often that not style it myself – and equally wearable in the colder months with opaque tights and boots.

I’m very impressed with this pattern. I like it A LOT. Do head on over to Emporia (linked above) and check out their adult and children’s sewing patterns, and whilst you are there they have a pretty cute selection of fabrics too.

Apologies for the lack of photos on this blog – turns out photographing a BLACK dress in sunny/cloudy/sunny/cloudy weather plays havoc with how the pics turn out!

Hope you’re all keeping safe and well and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

Photos taken at Coombe Abbey near Coventry.