BurdaStyle Magazine 10/2014 #105 Cowl Neck Dress Pattern Review

Hello,

Let me preface this by saying that this is possibly my most favourite dress ever! Don’t believe me? Check out this IG video….

Made with some fabric I have been very precious about ever since I bought it at Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market.

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Fabric before cutting out

This fabric waited patiently for its partner pattern. In other words, it was a stasher. For a long time. Then I saw this on Burdastyle.com…..

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BurdaStyle 10/2015 #105

 

Like magic, I suddenly remembered the swirly 60’s style jersey knit fabric that was buried somewhere in my stash. It was a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric IMHO and, again, I cant tell you how much I love this dress!!! Pictures first….construction details second…..

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I cut the size 38 which is my Burda size. No alterations at all. I didn’t use the instructions on this one – I just sort of pinned it out and took it from there. So I pinned the overlap how I wanted it to look, not sure if that’s what the designer was going for.

A brief perusal of the instructions had revealed that the sleeve was to be set it – No Burda – much as I love your drafting and style, I will not set in a knit jersey sleeve!!!!! I used the flat construction method instead and its ok.

All seams were overlocked. A simple zigzag finished the hem and the sleeves. I have plans to make this as a top and a shorter dress in a solid knit. I suspect this might become a TNT by the end of 2017 🙂

Thanks for stopping by…and until next time, happy sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

Burda Young B6719 Mens Casual Pants Pattern Review

My other half is my loudest cheerleader who deserves to benefit from my sewing addiction. So in order to show my appreciation of his support I made him some much needed joggers for lounge-wear.burda-6719-burda-mens-easy-sewing-pattern-6719-casual-pants-shorts

As usual I bought this pattern during a half price sale around November last year. The turnaround on this project was rapid given that both sewing pattern and fabric were purchased in November with pants completed in December #smug :-).

I found the fabric during my first visit to The Shuttle in Shipley. I actually bought 2 colours – grey and black – at ÂŁ7/meter.

The pattern is quite straight forward to make. The instructions are good on this one. I didn’t add the cord at the waist as hubs said he wasn’t bothered. I didn’t need to make any alterations to the pattern which is always  a win. Based on his waist measurement I traced the size 38. Initially he thought they weren’t baggy enough for him but after he spent a day wearing them he changed his mind. I think its just that he was used to his very old previous joggers which were HUGE on him.

The pattern calls for use of the fashion fabric on the trouser cuff but I opted for black cuffing at the ankles instead. I think that works much better IMHO. The fabric has kept up very well – these get worn all the time and consequently get laundered frequently. However the fabric has yet to pill. Some fabrics pill pretty much straightaway hence why I am impressed enough to pick up more the next time I go to the Shuttle.

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Burda B6719
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Burda B6719

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His verdict is that they are comfy and warm but the pockets should be deeper. I will be making this for him again in the grey, with deeper pockets of course.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Simplicity 1473 Girls Hooded Dresses

My greatest sewing pleasure is sewing for my little people – but sewing for the twinks is my joy. I love choosing contrasting fabrics to make them garments that are the same but different. I have a soft spot for Simplicity 1473 as it was one of the first garments I made for my son. The top I made then in 2014 is still around and my twins wear it now  <link here>. Here is the pattern cover.1473

I am proud of these makes because the fabric was not a stasher (stasher is long term resident of the stash). I made them within 1 month of buying the fabric.

I bought the fabric from B&M Fabrics. It’s a fleece backed sweater fabric that is very warm. It washes really well. When I took these pictures the dresses had been washed several times already but the colour is still good.

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I have cut out another pair of these dresses already waiting to be sewn up. The new owners love their dresses :-).

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, happy sewing,

Peace and love,

Hila

McCalls M7430 Pattern Review

Hello everyone,

I am so behind with my blogging – though its February I still am blogging things from last year – still better late than never.m7430_a

I purchased this pattern during a half price sale around September last year and got around to sewing this dress up in December.

 

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McCalls M7430

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Pattern Description: Misses’ Knit Side-Panel Dresses with Yokes

McCalls M7430 is a fitted pullover knit dress with side panels (no side seams). It has a front and back yoke with neckline variations. The neck variation is a bound, round neckline or a turtleneck. The hem variation is a shaped hem or a straight hem. The dress may be made sleeveless, three-quarter sleeve or long sleeve.

Pattern Sizing

Pattern sizing combinations are A5(6-14) and E5(14-22). I cut out a size 10 based on finished garment measurements and I thought it was not too far off the mark ease-wise.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

I made view D, using a black contrast stretch pleather with a pink and black cloque fabric. And it looked like what I was expecting based on the pattern cover.

 Were the instructions easy to follow?

I read through the instructions before embarking on this project and they were huge easy to follow diagrams accompanying the written instructions making this beginner friendly. This is a relatively simple dress to make anyway. It scores more points on the beginner friendly scale as there is a YouTUbe sew along by Anita Design . You can’t do much better that! If you don’t like reading instructions it’s worth checking that out. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like patterns with interesting seam lines. This has princess seams at the front combined with a front yoke as well which gives plenty of colour blocking options. There are endless possibilities.

Fabric Used

I bought the main fabric during SewUpNorth in November last year. It is a bold black & cerise jacquard blister ponte (cloque). I have since found out that composition is viscose, polyester & spandex (which explains why it’s so comfortable). It has a beautifully-soft handle and a firm stretch with good recovery across the width and length of the fabric. This is the same fabric I used for my Lady Skater Dress <link here>.

What really drew me to the fabric was the easy flamboyance of the vibrant rococo-style pattern. In terms of fabric care: I machine washed at 30°C and tumble dried as normal.

For the contrast, I teamed it with fabric I already had in my stash from Leeds Market. The stretch pleather was bought to make leggings but I am glad I didn’t make leggings with it. I didn’t want stretch pleather on my neck so I used what little black ponte I had for the upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the black ponte for the side panels.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I took in the princess seams at the waist line to reduce a swayback issue. Swayback is a standard alteration for me but I skipped it on this because I had princess seams down my back to work with. Though for future makes I will do the adjustment on my paper pattern.

There is a little more ease across the upper back than there should be for a fitted dress- it was also slightly roomy for me around the bust area where I took in about 1” in total.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I am making this again for sure. Its easy to both make and wear. Comfortable and practical. I would definitely reccommend it.

Here’s a tip. The back of the dress is almost identical to the front so much so that when sewing it up its easy to mix up the pattern pieces unless if you make sure to mark them – I didnt and honestly will never not mark them again!

And another thing; my biggest issue was trying to get the sleeve head lines to line up with the yoke. My initial preference would have been to make this in a stripey main fabric. However, I realised that I had a bit of trouble with a solid colour – imagine trying to line up stripes! It is possible but its something to bear in mind when cutting out especially if one is fussy about perfect pattern matching.  

Conclusion:

It’s a good basic wardrobe staple. I may make a more summery one at some point with a shorter length, normal collar and no sleeves . this dress was on the shorter side – its fine for me but if you like more covereage there, pay attention to the finished garment length measurements before cutting so you can add length. I recommend McCalls M7430 if you are looking for a dress that is  well-fitting and easy-to-make. Alternatively, shorten it to make turtleneck top.

Final point about the dress: if made in one solid color, the detail of the princess seam and yoke seam is lost which would be a shame. So if you make this I highly recommend using contrasting fabrics. I also I love the slimming effect of the contrasting side panels (especially when black is used like I did for mine) – but any dark colour will have a similar effect.

Many thanks for stopping by my little corners of the interwebs. Until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

 

Ottobre Kids Magazine Sheepish Hooded Jumper

Continuing with the theme of sewing for others, I am happy to share one of my favourite kids makes from last year.

My second little person was a sheep in the Christmas play. I felt the costume he was given to wear by the school was sub-par and inconsistent with his tremendous talent!!! So I took it upon myself to make him a sheep costume. After my zeal and indignation had fizzled out – I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make something that would also get a lot of wear even after the play.

With 48 hours to spare I got this jersey fabric from Fabworks Mill Shop (not available online) which has the most amazing soft texture! It was incredibly pricey for me at 12£/meter (I bought 3/4 of a meter) but I quickly rationalised as follows:

  1. He is number 2, therefore, numbers 3, 4 and 5 will wear this as well and if you calculate the cost then in makes it worth while.
  2. I was with hubs who is my biggest enabler. ” Just buy it and love and let’s go” is always his response (I can’t complain).

I washed it at 30 degrees and tumble dried without noticeable loss of texture or length.

I lined the hoodie with a blue jersey fabric as blue is said little person’s favourite colour too. It sewed up in under 2 hours and he was able to wear it for his production. He loves it and wears it almost everyday. The only issue was that little persons 3, 4 and 5 also wanted their own sheep hoodies too! Baaaa!

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Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be back soon with another non-Hila project :-).

Until next time, happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Birthday Dresses (Funny Faces)

Hello again,

I made some more dresses for my little people’s birthday outfits. This is the pattern that I used.

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Ottobre Design Kids 01/2014

I made one change which was to have a straight skirt rather than a gathered skirt. Much as I’d love to say this was intentional – it was down to poor time management on my part. I wanted to make the dresses with a tulle underskirt as well as the gathered skirt so they could  have swirly twirly dresses.  I arrogantly thought I could whip them up in a couple of hours, however, by the time we got to the eve of their birthday we’d had 60% of the little people ill and I could feel that I was catching it too. Energy was low and I realised I had to make the dresses (because they had been promised) but I altered them to make in the quickest way possible.

I am not proud of myself for this, but I do promise that this year I will do better. The girls loved their dresses though (which made me feel even worse ironically). They turned 3 and had a brilliant day with loads of gifts and games and cake. I cant believe that its been 3 years already!

I bought the jersey from Jacks Fabrics at Leeds Market. Its a lightweight poly jersey at £3 per meter. It pills like mad though so its not something I will use to make day to day clothes. I have about 2 meters left which will make some PJs for the kids. I dont mind pilling on PJs as much.

Here is a picture from their birthday wearing the dresses.

 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Peace and love,

Hila

Sew It With Love Delia Top

Hello chums,

Today I am sharing my tester version of the Delia top which is a pattern that was released just before or after Christmas last year. I signed up when I saw that it had raglan sleeves.sew-it-with-love-patterns_delia-top_instructions

I decided that I wanted a peplum after I had cut out the hip length variation and saw no reason why I couldn’t add the peplum too :-).

I double-faced the peplum so I wouldn’t have any hemming to do. I also added cuffs to the long sleeves to avoid hemming. Sewing it up was quite easy and I thought the instructions were great making this a beginner friendly pattern.

The fabric has been in my stash for about 2 years now. I had bought it to make a Moneta dress but I fell out of love with the idea of an apple green Moneta. It’s a ponte knit with a lovely sheen. I used just under 1m to make this and my fabric is  57″ wide.

The hip length variation is not supposed to have a peplum – that is one of the 2 design changes I made. The other being the cuffs. In hindsight, I realise that I suck at pattern testing because I should have made it as it was supposed to and report back on that. I will do that in the future if I ever find myself pattern testing again.

Fit wise I thought it was true to size. I cut the size 10 based on my bust measurement and despite the wrinkles, it has a good fit. It’s also very comfortable. The one thing I will change though is the neckline. It’s a bit too high on me – I will lower it by about 1/2″.

I forgot to mention that this is not a sponsored post. I was given the PDF file for free but everything else was bought with my own money. There was no stipulation that testers had to blog about their make. I am sharing it because I like this top and I have been wearing it most weekends.

Pictures

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I like the subtlety of the peplum – I don’t think its too much
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I may need to size up the sleeves and that might reduce those drag lines…
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I need to lower the neckline

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time Happy Sewing All!

Peace and love,

Hila

P.S. You can watch me prattling on about it below 🙂

Lady Skater Dress No. 3

Hello everyone,

Just before Christmas last year I sewed another Lady Skater dress – and its quite possibly my favourite. I already get quite a lot of wear out of my teal scuba one (post here) and my light weight jersey one (post here).

The nice thing about a TNT, as you well know I’m sure, is that there is no added stress of fitting woes etc. This gives extra mental space to think about creative ways of making the same pattern. But first, let me talk fabric as the fabric directed the changes I made.

The fabric was described as blister ponte but I rather disagree and think it’s actually cloque fabric knitted from two colours (pink and black). It has (for want of a better word), oodles of beautiful texture that has a baroque look to it.Joe Cover CD pics 136.jpg

I made this one using leftover fabric from another dress project so the cap sleeves were a necessity. The fabric, despite being a poly mix of some sort, is rather comfortable and cozy. Much as I love the scoop neck on the Skater dress – I needed this dress to be more covered for winter – the fabric texture and thickness won’t work in spring or summer. I decided to raise the neckline and make it a slash neckline to maximise chest coverage. I tried to make a roll neck but alas there was insufficient fabric. This had to do.

I sewed it all up on my overlocker and used a zigzag stitch for the hems, sleeves and neck. I am always impressed at how quickly this dress comes together and no doubt there will be more variations in my future.

Pictures….*the skirt is slightly off grain and I am calling this a design feature people. Design feature m’kay.

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Lady Skater Dress
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Lady Skater Dress

With this third make, Lady Skater Dress has made it into my TNT Hall of Fame! Next up – a maxi version I think…….red and white stripes maybe……

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

Paece and love,

Hila

XoX

Self Drafted Men’s Tee shirt

Hello chums,

One of the perks of enrolling on the pattern drafting class was that I had access to loads of drafting paper and a large spacious studio to work in. Once I finished my project I still had a few weeks left on the course and so I used that time to start drafting a T-shirt block for my OH.

Using Winifred Aldrich, I drafted an easy fitting t-shirt. It is a very quick draft – I think menswear might be easier to draft for than women’s because men don’t have as many curves? This is based on this one easy draft :-).

Personally I thought the neckline on the draft was too high and narrow  for something that is supposed to come over your head. But I didn’t remedy it immediately so I could see if my instinct was correct. Upon making the t shirt I was chuffed to see that I was correct – the neckline was far too high and narrow so I lowered it by 3/4″ at front and widened by 1/2″ at shoulder.

There was lot of ease on this t-shirt. OH complained that it was too much and so in a dramatic role reversal – I was pinning out the excess while he had to pose in front of a mirror and say when :-). He was eventually happy when I had taken out about 1.75″ (one and three-quarter inches) from the sides.

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The fabric is a really great quality cotton jersey that I bought from B&M Fabrics. Its nice and slightly thick with good stretch recovery. I used 1m which cost me ÂŁ14/m – worth every penny for my loudest cheerleader.

OH had choice of neckband in either same fabric of contrast black cuffing – I think he made the right choice. I finished the neckband and hems using a twin needle. A lot of effort went into making him this t-shirt. Now that we have a block for him I expect that there will be a few more t-shirts in the future – he even mentioned screen printing his own graphics…….

He is very pleased with it and he wears every time its clean and available. One of my loosely defined goals this year is to sew more stuff for him – because- he is worth it 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing everyone.

Peace and love,

Hila

Simplicity 1317 in Red Stretch Velvet

Hello chums,

Here is a top I made last year near the festive season. The fabric was left over from my twins Xmas dresses here.  It’s an underrated pattern called Simplicity 1317 which has raglan sleeves.

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Simplicity 1317

 

My first one still gets worn loads especially on weekends. I had to lengthen the arms by 10cms as they were too short before. I think this sort of style has a lot of mileage. I am glad I bought it during my early pattern buying sessions.

The fabric is of a lightweight drapey variety. Sewn up on the overlocker it leaves an awful of lint behind but it more than makes up for it by being a super quick make. It has good stretch recovery and I would buy this fabric again if I came across it. I think I’d like a sheath dress in this fabric….with a low plunging neckline….Tangentially, I think this pattern could easily lengthen into a dress.

The cuffs and the hem band were cut on a different grain – insufficient fabric – but I think I mostly got away with it. The neckband was the only casualty.  Which makes me think about grain and its importance with stretch fabrics – perhaps there is more wriggle room than with wovens…I digress.

Sizing wise I actually felt that this was true to size. I cut the size Small based on my bust measurement and I am amazed that there was not the usual excess ease I associate with BIG 4 patterns.

Pictures

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Simplicity 1317

 

Some more pictures from one of the Xmas dos that had a Santa’s Grotto for the kids…

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Taking over Santa’s throne…
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I think he was checking his IG 🙂
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Mini Santa
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Eye of the tiger
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Panda baby…
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Pretty butterfly

****I am not supposed to have favourites but the butterfly is just perfect!******

I feel resplendent in this top and sure enough it was worn to a couple of Christmas events where I was trying to pull off festive nonchalant chic as way of covering up my ever bulging tum ( all that festive feasting was intent on revealing itself!). Currently, crunches and planks are now de rigueur until that festive tum is banished!

Off to my yoga mat…..you know resolutions and all that…..la di da…..

Thanks for stopping by and until next time Happy Sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

Simplicity S8222 Mimi G Jeans

Hello,

I made another pair of jeans in a ponte grey fabric. It’s the same ponte I used for my Marfy dress – its thick with good stretch recovery. This is my muslin of the popular Simplicity S8222 Mimi G pattern (which I picked up during the last half price sale). I have had a good experience with Mimi G patterns so I thought I’d give these a try. Here is the pattern cover:simplicity-sportswear-pattern-8222-envelope-front

They come in sizing for normal, average and curvy fit. I made the Size 10 average fit on the assumption that my booty is not what I’d call curvaceous (based on the cover picture of Mimi who is wearing a curvy fit) , but I was wrong . There was some gaping at the waist that I had to take out with 2 darts either side of the CB on the yoke. Next time I will try the curvy fit. Trying on the jeans to check fit is very important as gaping can be easily taken out before the waistband is applied.

Mimi has a YouTube sewalong that I used for this project <link here>. It was generally quite good but the fly insertion did not work that well for me. It’s not that the instructions weren’t clear – they were very clear – but it’s drafted such that the underside is so close to the CF seam that it’s slightly visible when zipped up (you can see it in the pictures). I dont have this issue with my Birkin flares. When I make them again I will have to figure out a fix for this.

Tangentially – the presence of a video sewalong makes this a great pattern for someone who is wary of sewing their own jeans because they think it’s too hard (I know I used to feel that way myself) or for beginners. The sewalong breaks it down into very easy to follow bits.

Though I was using ponte I did everything as if it was denim – i.e. topstitching everything and using a jeans post button. I skipped the belt loops though. For the pocket lining I used a denim chambray scrap from an Alder shirtdress I’d completed before starting the jeans.

My machine absolutely refused to topstitch the fly so after the 4th attempt I just let it be. I also struggled with the buttonhole – perhaps its the stretch fabric with insufficient interfacing. I interfaced using medium weight on one side of the waistband but maybe I needed to interface both sides.

Pictures-

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Simplicity s8222 Jeans – the zip is visible from this side.
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Simplicity S8222 I like the fit
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Topstitching …..like a BOSS 🙂
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The darts added to remove the gaping waist
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My machine made a dog’s dinner of that front fly topstitching
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Chambray pocket lining
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The buttonhole is also a bit of a dog’s dinner

Verdict:  I quite like this style of jeans and they turned into a wearable muslin. A tad too long but I quite like the ruche effect at the bottom. They go with a lot of things in my wardrobe as well. Will definitely be making another pair using a stretch denim and contrast mustard topstitching.

Until next time, Happy Sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

Lekala 4437: A Christmas Day Dress

Season’s greetings to all. I hope you are all enjoying Christmas Day. I am thoroughly bushed and looking forward to bedtime. We have just finished bedtime for the kids and they were so tired that they fell asleep while stories were still being read – a rare occurrence.

I thought I may have time to share a quick post on my little red dress that I wore for today. Its a dress made for The Little Red Dress Challenge which was created by RunningNStyle. Basically anyone who wanted to could make a red dress for the festive season. This challenge fitted in with my plans so I took it up.

I rather ran out of time and decided to use a Lekala pattern as I know I dont need to make a toile. The pattern I chose was Lekala 4437. Here is the line drawing

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Lekala 4437

I bought the fabric from B&M Fabrics during SewUpNorth. Its a stretch fabric that is just slightly lighter in weight than ponte. Its almost got the look of kids polo shirts , you know , the ones for school. Since it has stretch I omitted the zip. I sewed it all up on the overlocker except for attaching the collar facing. The collar facing is interfaced (I used normal interfacing) – though in future I will use a heavier weight interfacing  to give the collar more structure.

I wore it all day today until after our huge festive dinner where I indulged to the extent that I looked nearly 5 months pregnant :-). Constructionwise – it does have a lot of curved seams but I didnt struggle with these. Everything lined up beautifully.

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Lekala 4437

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I like the collar but it needs more work

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Curved seams

I am keen to try this pattern again with more time to work on making the collar better and I want to make it in a woven fabric. The collar is the feature I liked the most about this dress. Its a dress that looks good on me but I know it could be much better sewn. The instructions were really quite good on this pattern as well.

Needless to say Mr SNS really likes this dress as well which is always a bonus :-)!

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. I appreciate you. Until next time – Happy Sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila