A Kielo Wrap dress is it for work or play?

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Pattern Description:

The Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing is a wrap dress designed for either knits or wovens.  There is also a free expansion pack to add sleeves.  Its a popular pattern which has been reviewed a lot.  It wasn’t until I saw a midi version with sleeves that I knew I had to make it.

Pattern Sizing:

The pattern comes in sizes UK 4 – 18.  I’ve inserted the sizing chart to explain why I choose the size I did.

My measurements are 115 cm bust, 104 cm waist, 134 cm high waist and 143 cm low waist.  These put me well out of the range included in this pattern.

I read a lot of reviews, but the most help was Manju which is found here.  We had similar body types and I just cut out the largest size with the sleeve add ons.

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Fabric Used:

I picked up a grey marle jersey and a geometric print knit from the Pitt Trading winter sale.  The fabric was dispatched super quickly and was beautiful to work with.

 

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

Yes – It meet with my expectations.  It’s well photographed and published online so I had seen quite a few versions.

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Were the instructions easy to follow?

I didn’t really follow the instructions.  I read them initially then did my own thing.  The construction process is pretty straightforward and there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary to the process.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really wished that there was bigger size range but I love how my dress turned out.  I’m certainly not confident to try it in a woven.

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Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I added a neckband.  I hate a turned knit neckline.  I used a method I picked up which is to cut the neckband at 75% of your measured neckline.

I also shortened the pattern by 30 cm to make the dress more versatile.

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

I’ve made two versions and I would love to make a bright and funky sleeveless version for summer.

Other great versions can be found at?

Manju at Sew Manju

Rumana at The Little Pomegranate 

Jenny at Byrdie Couture
Conclusion:

A dress to take from work to play or even a big lunch.

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By George! I’ve found the perfect office cami – A review of The Wearable Studio’s Canary Cami

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I did receive a copy of this pattern for free in exchange for me testing it and providing feedback. All opinions are my own.

I really enjoy pattern testing and when Mel from The Wearable Studio was looking for pattern testers I thought ‘I can do that’. I like giving back by pattern testing when I can and particularly love that Mel is a fellow Australian.

Pattern Description:

The Canary Cami is a twist on the traditional cami.

When I first saw the line drawings I wasn’t sure it was going to suit me but any doubts were gone when I put it on.

It has a centre front and a centre back piece and two side pieces to form shaping around the bust and the sleeve.

It is a pdf download and there aren’t a lot of pattern pieces so it is pretty quick to put together.

Pattern Sizing:

The pattern comes in sizes 6 – 18. I made the 18 but added a few centimetres to the hips to accommodate my pear shape. The pattern is drafted for a C cup and whilst I am a D cup I took a gamble and didn’t add any to the bust. This turned out to be a good call.

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Fabric Used:

I used about 80 cm of 150 cm of Barbie Pink Crepe from The Remnant Warehouse. I bought 2 metres a few years ago and made a top for work and had heaps left over. I loved that I can wash and hang it so I don’t have to iron it.

Whilst the pattern asks for self made bias binding for the finishing at the neck and sleeve I love a contrast binding and raided my stash for some I had made earlier.

I tend to make bias binding en mass when I get a few leftovers pieces that will work. I hate wasting fabric and this is the best way to use it and I love a contrast detail.

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

I really loved the finish garment. It looked like the line drawing.

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Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were super easy to follow – there aren’t a lot of steps.

But they are clearly written and beginner friendly.

I found that I preferred to finish the sleeve by inserting the bias binding in the round. I also notched the centre front and back seams then overlocked them.

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What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really like the shape and the amount of fabric you can get this out of. Great for using those left over pieces.

I did wish that the seam allowance was a little bigger so that I could have french seamed it but that’s an alteration I can make next time.

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Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Other than grading out at the hip I made it straight from the packet.

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

Yes – I already have. In some more crepe from The Remnant Warehouse which is also no longer available.

I work in a semi conservative office. Bare shoulders aren’t super appropriate apart from during summer.

This cami is a perfect addition to my work wardrobe and fits comfortably under my suit jacket.

Conclusion:

Would it be wrong to make more than 10?

Is there such a thing as too many overalls?

Is there such a thing as too many overalls?

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In the last year I’ve made two Tilly & The Button’s Cleo dresses, a pair of Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs, a self drafted pinafore dress using the Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt.  When I saw the Pippi Pinafore by the wonderful Jennifer Lauren Handmade I knew I had to have it.   I really loved the shaping of the skirt and the fact there were options for cup sizes.  I’ve pattern tested for Jennifer before and I know she makes amazing patterns.

Pattern Description:

The Pippi Pinafore is a overall dress with an A-line skirt and fitted bib.  It is available as a pdf with the option to print at home or on A0 size sheets.  There are two big lined pockets and the bib is lined.  The best bit about most of Jennifer’s patterns are that she offers different cup sizes and you can choose either an A, B,C or D.

I bought the pattern on release day and had it printed using Officeworks online printing service.   I live in a regional area in Australia and I’m not that patient to wait for a pattern to arrive in the post so I buy my indie patterns as pdf.  To save time in taping patterns together I use my local Officeworks to print patterns on AO.  Despite having the pattern it took me a while to work out what fabric I wanted to make it out of.

Fabric Used:

Light Blue Linen Blend Stretch Denim

I found a beautiful light blue denim/linen blend from The Remnant Warehouse.  This fabric is leftover stock from Australian designers Bec + Bridge.  I like that I can do my bit for the environment but using leftover stock (the amazing girls at the Love to Sew Podcast have a few episodes about sustainable sewing check them out here).

In real life the fabric has a beautiful colour and the linen makes it quite soft and easy to work with.

I lined the inside of bib with Art Gallery Voile leftover from a previous project.  I had enough leftover to line the bib and pockets and make some bias binding for the hem.

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Pattern Sizing:

The pattern is available in size 6 – 24 with A, B, C, D cup sizes.  I did a size 22 D for the bib and a 22 waistband and graded out to a size 24 with an extra inch for the skirt.

I ran the gauntlet and made it up without making a muslin.

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

It was pretty spot on.  I have a different body type to Jennifer and the drawings so I wasn’t expecting to be exact.  The final version exceeded my expectations.

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Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were really clear to follow.  I had never done a button closure but I had it inserted without any issues.

I made a user error and put the straps on the back to front so I had to unpick the waistband and reattach them so that the angle was facing the right way.

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Excuse the wrinkles it is a linen blend afterall

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really love the shape of the design, it feels a lot more grown up than other overall dresses around.  I like that you could dress it up or down depending on what you pair with it.

The darts and pleats make the skirt really flattering on a curvy figure.

What made this even easier was that I didn’t have to grade or tweak the pattern too much to be able to sew it – gotta love those wide size ranges.

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Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

To fit the back properly I added two small darts at the back to take into account my sway back. I also added a little the length and used a bias binding to hem it so I could extend the length.

Next time round I may consider taking some length out of the bib to accommodate my short waist.

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

Absolutely I may have even found this cute embroidered cord from Spotlight to make a second one.

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Conclusion:

A grown up overall dress perfect for my inner 90’s child.

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The “It Took Forever” Shirtdress

I must admit that I am a complete pattern hoarder.

In Australia, where I live, patterns from the Big 4 tend to retail starting around $10 and go up to around $35 for Vogue.  Every now and then Spotlight (which is the only place in the town I live in that sells patterns) has a sale when they are marked down considerably.  On those occasions I take my list of patterns I want and buy what I can.

I’ve had V9000 in my stash for a while.  Several of the girls in the Facebook group “Those Darn Sew and Sews” have made it up.

 

I bought some light blue gingham to sew it up in after seeing a shirtdress made by Draper James which is Reece Witherspoon’s label.

Southern belle: Reese Witherspoon wore a dress from her Draper James collection while posing with son Tennessee in an Instagram post on Monday

Photo credit: Reese Witherspoon Instagram

Whilst there are other patterns which are a closer match V9000 was a better style for my body.

I cut out my size and followed the instruction and it sewed up rather quickly and easily.

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Once I put it on the dressmakers dummy I didn’t like it.

I let it sit on the dummy for a while and tried all sorts of buttons white, pearl, shell and once I found some big navy buttons I started to like it.

I was looking at it one day when I had a light bulb moment and decided to add some colorful embroidery to it.

It took me a while to find a pattern that I liked but I stumbled on the pattern linked here.

 

After talking to my mum and having a quick lesson whilst visiting her on holidays I bought some thread, washaway and a frame and had a go.

I traced the design onto the washaway and pinned it in to place.

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I wanted the colour to stand out and outlined the design in a darker colour and then filled it in.

I wanted to use brighter contrasting colours to create more interest.

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I originally only planned on doing a back center piece and was then planning on putting a panel down the centre of each side of the bodice.  After I finished the back piece I decided I just wanted to put it on the shoulders rather than the centre.  It took about three months to do the embroidery and I am really pleased with it.

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All it needs now is a wash to get rid of the plastic washaway and whip up a belt.

 

When you need a frock to take in a musical

My partner’s mother had a spare ticket to see our local production of Anything Goes, my partner’s Father isn’t a musical fan and was eternally grateful I let him off the hook.  However, a trip to the theatre needs a new dress.

A rummage through my filing cabinet and I came up with Simplicity 1354BB.  It’s part of their ‘Amazing Fit’ range.  I picked it up during one of Spotlight’s pattern specials.

Simplicity 1354BB

They have some great options for those with a bigger bust.  I however, fit comfortably in a C cup.  As someone shortwaisted I should have taken the option to shorten the waistline, however didn’t (something I regretted later).

I picked up the fabric during a Spotlight shopping trip with my mum (she is a worst fabric horder than I am). I saw a gentleman shopping with his wife and they picked up this fabric and it was only then that I noticed it.  Whilst at the counter with my other selections they asked if there was 15 metres left on the roll, there wasn’t so they decided against it.  Their loss however was my gain and I walked away with 4 metres which was more than enough for this piece.

I went with View C as I thought it would be more versatile.

It took me a while to work out how the neckline pieces went together but I got there in the end.

I had to make a few alterations in the end as the size I decided on was too big for me in the bust, shoulders and waist length. The dress isn’t lined and has a facing.  Something I will rectify should when I make this again.

Simplicity 1354BB finished

I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think it goes really well with this red cardigan my Mum knitted for me.

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Sam

When you have a little bit left over …

In my last post I detailed the upcycling of my new/old desk chair.  I loved the fabric and when I decided to make up Butterick 6089.  I had picked view B and figured it would be a great work dress. I had picked my fabric and decided on a basic black cotton sateen.

Butterick 6089
Butterick 6089
Butterick 6089
Butterick 6089

In the cutting out process I realised that my basic black would be too boring for my liking I rummaged through my small pieces pile and came up with this.

Fabric Swatch - Cotton Sateen from Spotlight
Fabric Swatch – Cotton Sateen from Spotlight

I had just enough to cut out the front panels in the bright cotton sateen.

The process of putting it together was pretty straight forward.  I decided against lining the dress, mostly cause the process of lining was mildly terrifying.  I ended up making some facings.  I have a habit of using contrasting fabric where you can’t see it so I decided some black and white polka dot fabric would be perfect.

I had to make some alterations to the patterns to fit me.  I had to put some extra bust darts in, shorten the waist (I’m high waisted) and bring the shoulders up so they sat right.

The finished product - Butterick 6089
The finished product – Butterick 6089

It didn’t take long to put together and paired with black stockings and a black jacket makes a great addition to my working wardrobe.