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The Mayfair Dress from Nina Lee and a pattern giveaway

Pattern testing is becoming something that I have really been enjoying just lately, and I was more than thrilled to be accepted as part of the pattern testing team for Nina Lee recently. Nina Lee is an independent pattern company based in London, and has an impressive range of patterns including dresses, tops, trousers and pyjamas which I would encourage you to check out if you are unfamiliar with her designs. Nina is a friendly and inspiring young designer who is incredibly talented and hard working and I look forward to working with her again.

So, let me introduce you to The Mayfair Dress.

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This is a jersey dress designed to take you from day to night and is suitable for all occasions. It is incredibly comfortable, super flattering, and with the choice of skirt lengths and sleeve options you are bound to find a combination to make the dress of your dreams! It has a tie belt which can be tied at the front or the back, depending on your mood.

The dress is available in UK sizes 6-20, and you will need to use a knit fabric with a 25% crosswise stretch with a good drape.

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I chose to use a viscose jersey, and opted for this stunning blush pink and navy fabric from The Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. It’s so pretty, and works with this pattern perfectly I think.

The pattern is really quite simple, and has no fastenings. The collar facing is attached to the dress using the ‘burrito’ method, which is such fun and ensures a beautiful clean finish with no raw edges to neaten. Don’t worry if you have never used this technique before, the instructions are really great – in their wording and with the use of clear illustrations.

I chose to make the knee length version with short sleeves. I love the depth of the flattering v-neck- it’s just right. Pleats are created at the back of the collar and softly create a lovely drape down towards the bust on the front bodice.

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The pleats are created at the centre back neck seam.

I love how the fabric tie nips you in at the waist. This is attached at the centre front seam of the dress over your gathering stitches and secured along the upper and lower edges with two lines of top stitching. The length of the tie is perfect, and is long enough for you to choose if you want to tie it at the back or bring it round again and make a feature of the tie at the front of the dress.

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The sleeves went in nicely with no puckering or gathers, and are fitted as one of the final steps before the dress is sewn up at each side in one continuous line from the end of your sleeves to the underarm point and continuing down to the hem.

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I really enjoyed making this dress. I made absolutely NO changes to the pattern at all, and it fits like a glove. I have since made another version of this dress, which I had photographed during a recent sewing get-together which I blogged about here, and once I get the photographs back from the photo session there, I will add them to this blog post so that you can see another version.

Addition on 21st September 2018 – as promised in the paragraph above, here is another version of the Mayfair dress:

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Do you fancy making a version of this dress yourself? To celebrate the launch of this new pattern, I have one copy of this dress pattern (paper version), to be won, as I am hosting a giveaway over on my Instagram page. It’s really simple, you just need to head on over to my Instagram page and follow, like and comment on my post (pictured above), and a random winner will be chosen on Sunday 15th July 2018 at 3pm U.K time. This giveaway is open worldwide so, good luck everyone!

*This giveaway is now closed*

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Happy sewing, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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The DR308 Cami Slip Dress by Kommatia Patterns

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Today I am so happy to share with you another pattern testing project that I have been working on with Kommatia Patterns. Today is launch day, and you can find the pattern available to purchase in PDF format here.. It is available in sizes XS – XL.

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It’s the DR308 – Cami Slip Dress and it is a knee length Summer dress with a cocoon silhouette. It calls for a silky draping fabric such as crepe, challis or silk, and it also has adjustable straps which need bra rings and sliders.

The pattern is rated as an intermediate project, and this may be because the recommended fabrics are slippery and can be tricky to handle. A slim, sharp Microtex needle is suggested to help sew this type of fabric. My fabric choice is a viscose challis from Stuart’s Fabrics on Leicester Market, it’s really pretty and has a Liberty feel to it I think!

I have sewn Kommatia patterns before and find their instructions to be thorough and easy to understand. This is a quick pattern to sew and only needs 1.25m or 1.5yds of fabric. Kommatia are a Canadian company so instructions are in English and French. The step by step written instructions are also backed up by drawings of each stage which I found really helpful.

The back of the dress is where it’s all happening! Slim shoulder straps are adjusted by using bra rings and sliders. This is the first time I have used these and love them! Apart from being entirely practical in that you can achieve the perfect strap length, I think they give such a professional finish to the dress. The narrow width of the straps are a little fiddly to turn ‘right side out’, but I have a ‘loop turner’ which definitely made this job quicker. If you don’t own a loop turner Kommatia have helpful written instructions to guide you through this stage using a needle and thread!

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The back of the dress also has a horizontal strap running across the top of a v-back which is practical and pretty. It also has a slit at the centre back hem for ease of movement. Cute.

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The dress that I am showing you is my final pattern testing version. Although there have been a couple of ‘tweaks’ made to the pattern since I made this, I feel they are so small that you can still get a great idea of what the pattern is from this version. I will definitely be making another, so of course will share with you when I do.

I should mention that it comes together really quickly, an easy dress to make in a day.

I look forward to more pattern testing with Kommatia in the future, and when I do – you will be sure to hear about it!

You might also wish to take a look over at my fellow pattern testers Instagram accounts. They are SaschaAdeline and Christine.

If you would like to read about my last Kommatia pattern testing project which is a super  v-neck jersey top, you can click here.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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