Sewing and textiles with Ann
This looks like a really good ‘value for money’ pattern. That’s why I have given it 5 stars. I bought it earlier this year, and used it in the spring to make separate shorts and tunic, of which i have no photos! So this was next in my series of using patterns that i already own.
It comes from Chalk and Notch.
Variations to make include: tunic, dress, maxi dress, shorts, trousers, shorts romper and trouser romper. You could also make an ‘ordinary’ blouse without the elastic by lengthening the top a little. Basically a complete wardrobe for 10 years in one pattern!
There are lots of pieces, so i sent the PDF to a copy shop to print. I had seen NetPrinter advertised and it worked fine. OK, it costs extra, but with the massive amounts of use that i foresee deriving from this pattern, it will be well worth it. I see many more places are offering a PDF printing service now. I would add that perhaps i should have had it printed in colour, as i have had to add colours myself in order to distinguish the correct markings for the pleats.
The instructions are very professional, and so far the garments have made up very well.
The maxi dress is made from Peackskin crepe fabric from Minervacrafts. It drapes beautifully….. and sewed up easily, once i had worked out that i needed to use a stretch needle, despite it being a woven fabric. Always test first. Why is it skipping stitches? The weave is very fine, presumably so fine that a needle for wovens cannot make a big enough hole. I’ve never seen that before, but a needle for stretch fabric was happy to slide between the fibres. Interesting.
You may have seen that i blogged a dress made from left over fabric, before i blogged the ‘main’ item. This is because i have been waiting for a rolled hem foot to be delivered by post. It took two weeks by first class post. (Slightly annoying that although the supplier’s website seems to be saying, ‘don’t come near my shop during lockdown’, in fact i could have arranged to collect the new foot, and the shop is very nearby.) Anyway… whilst my overlocker can roll a hem nicely, i limit the number of colours that i use on my overlocker, and none of them would work well with this coral fabric. And the drape of the fabric would probably be spoilt by anything other than a narrow rolled hem. Hence, my decision to invest in a rolled hem foot for the sewing machine. These feet have a reputation for being fiddly to use, but i’ve considered getting one before, so now is a good time to do it. I have learnt a new skill in my retirement!
Without fail, the advice is to practice with a rolled hem foot before hemming for real. I also watched a few videos to pick up some advice. After 2 – 3 short practice sessions, my preferred approach with this fabric, was to pin a small hem in place, fix it with a couple of stitches, wiggle the fabric into the foot, and proceed slowly. The hem itself is longer than all of my practicing. There seemed to be differing opinions about stitching over seams; i concluded that it was fiddly and potentially messy to remove the fabric from the foot and stitch flat, so dived in and stitched over the two seams with the fabric still rolling, and it worked!
Whilst the hemming undoubtedly looks neat, i was a bit concerned when i had finished, as the hem stuck out, sometimes in the wrong direction. Anyway, i washed the completed dress (there was a slight mark that i wanted to get rid of) and then gave it a good press, and i mean a good press, and now it hangs properly. I used the 4mm foot for this, but ordered a twin pack with a 6mm foot too. I hope i get some good use out of them.
It’s hard enough to get a draped hem level, and even harder to estimate the right length when you don’t have the child present, and it being a long skirt, you don’t want her to be tripping over the hem when she comes down the stairs. Or anywhere else for that matter. Mum sent me some measurements, which happened to coincide with the length of fabric in the skirt, so i have obviously chosen the right size, and didn’t want to be waiting too long for the new foot, in case she had another spurt of growing!
Now Top Knot garments don’t look as they should, when hung from a hanger. They are much better on the child, as the bodice overhangs the lower section at an elasticated waist. So the photos show a garment that is disproportionately long in the bodice. I added a black / gold belt, which can be tied round the waist and will show below the overhanging bodice.
It’s not a beginner’s pattern, but contains a lot of good sewing practices. It comes together exactly as you’d expect.
Long may it last. I can see Littl’un twirling all round the living room in this.