As you know it’s been a while since I’ve posted regularly, so I’m trying to make the most of my current momentum. Therefore, in the words of Blue Peter and Delia Smith, here’s one I made earlier .. MUCH earlier. As in, christ, 10 months ago earlier…
I’m a huge fan of Chloe Parker’s independent and hugely fashion-forward pattern label Style Arc. Not only do you get the pattern you’ve ordered (natch), you also get that month’s freebie pattern thrown in! I haven’t ordered anything from her in a while but every now and then I get my patterns out and gently stroke them, crooning “Soon, my pretty, soon!” (wait, that’s totally normal, right??)
And I loved the Marita dress pattern when it came out. While one aspect seemed immensely complex, I’d read enough blog posts and seen enough photos to know that I could call on back-up if required (this fantastic post by Melissa at FehrTrade, for example).
Mostly what I learnt from Melissa’s post was how the weight of the fabric really mattered, and that super-thin plain viscose would require svelte undergarments!
Which brings me to the fabric…
Oh, man. You know when you buy something from Ebay because you’ve been seduced by the pictures, and then it arrives and it’s everything you thought it would be and more, but you haven’t a giddy clue how to best employ it? THAT.
I’ve had this heavy viscose jersey in my stash for forever and a day, utterly stymied by the fact that the only style I could picture it suiting was a wrap dress, and that a wrap dress in this fabric would be way too ‘hella sexy grown up lady’ for my bumbling existence. LE SIGH. I mean, look at that print, right? You can’t be a wallflower in that kinda print, people.
But. BUT. Sometimes it’s just a question of letting the universe take its own sweet time until there’s sufficient confidence to try something new, and eventually the penny dropped. This jersey dress pattern! In this fabric! Of COURSE!
And then the momentary panic of “But the print! How on earth am I going to handle the print??”
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how I handled the print (I feel bad showing the pieces but this pattern has been out for at least three years now and even if you see this photo I think you’d be hard pushed to replicate it properly).
Ensuring that the pattern would match at the side seams was one thing. Finding out how the pattern would interact with some crazy-ass pattern drafting, quite another. But look, LOOK; it absolutely MAKES this dress!
- I sewed up a UK size 6, as per my measurements and, by golly, it’s a close fit. I suspect that I made my seams too big as I used a regular sewing machine rather than a serger/overlocker. Next time I might make it slightly bigger so I can wear it without holding my stomach in.
- Talking of my stomach, the fabric is only printed so where it stretches underneath the drape/dart, the base fabric comes through. Over my belly. HA. Cue a quick resewing by hand of a particular tuck, so that I don’t have a weird white-ish patch on my tum.
- I’m not sure it only take an hour to sew, but it is freakishly fast. Writing this post has reminded me of Melissa’s idea to shorten it and turn it into a top, and I can imagine this being super-useful during colder months due to the back neck being slightly higher.
Look, I know this doesn’t have a mass of hanger appeal but, oh man, it’s flattering on; I never normally show how a garment looks like on my good self #anonymous but this one really benefits from being seen on, hence an old photo taken last September. I’d really love to encourage folks to make this pattern!
As with the last garment I blogged about, I’m not sure how well it fits into my existing lifestyle BUT it feels like it could be super-versatile; I can imagine wearing it during the day in a professional/career capacity (hey, that may happen eventually) at an event which then continues into socialising/networking in the evening, or even on a hot date (hey, that may happen eventually SIGH).
I love how it covers my knees and has long sleeves, and drapes to flatter my somewhat scrawny upper chest. WINNING. It’s like the ‘hella sexy grown up lady’ wrap dress I always envisaged, but with the volume turned down to ‘still attractive but far more modest’. And that, in my book, is worth capturing in print.