Monday 31 July 2017

Another shirt dress. Testing the Mayberry.

In my seriously sporadic blog posting I'm back, to bring you another shirtdress!  Shirtdresses have been EVERYWHERE in the sewing world this summer. I guess it's partly been fuelled by #Sewtogetherforsummer but anyway it's a craze I am happy to jump on bandwagon with. So when Jen of Jennifer Lauren handmade put out a call for testers for a shirtdress, I speedily signed up!

The pattern calls for a floaty fabric, however I had this awesome, not so floaty stretch cotton, which came from fabric godmother which I wanted to use so I went with that. I reckon that if, like me, you've got a cotton in your stash that you think this dress would look awesome in, I'd say go for it.  It actually helps the feature, off-centred front to stand out I think.  However, the bodice will stand out slightly from your body, I guess that's your own judgement call. 

This was my first experience of testing for Jen and I was really impressed by the standard of the pattern and instructions at this stage. I think most people had a similar experience with the tester version so there haven't been many changes made from the tester version.  This is one of Jen's first patterns with multiple cup sizes and I found this to work really well.  I cut a size 12 and C cup for the bodice and graded between a 12 and 14 for the skirt.  For this version I also added 4cm to the bodice, this is fairly standard for me as I have a long torso but I didn't take any length out of the skirt to compensate and the dress falls to above my knees.  I'm 172cm/5'7" so this is just something to be aware of if you're fairly tall.  A change I didn't make on this version was to lengthen the bust darts, personally I find them a little short, its really not a big deal, I only realised they were bugging me after I'd been wearing the dress for a while but I think I'd lengthen them on a future version.

The off centre neck/overlap is such a nice feature and was really easy to achieve. The buttons I used are some which I'd recycled from a moth-eaten, vintage cardigan that I'd gotten rid of a while ago. I think they work really well with the fabric, and somehow can get lost and look a bit fancy at the same time. I used a navy ribbon for the waist fastening.  I should probably mention that the dress has pockets which I totally failed to get a picture of but they're definitely there.  To be honest, I know everyone raves about pockets in dresses but I really am not a massive fan.  On the rare occasion when I remember I have them and actually put something in them, the dress gets all lumpy and lopsided.  I might rebel next time and not include them!

I really like this dress, I think it's super practical and fun too.  While I took these photos ages ago, I've been wearing this exact outfit all day (except with a cardigan over it as the UK hasn't decided to fix on a season at the moment!)  I definitely think I'll make another slightly more wintery version with longer sleeves.  I love Jen's versions in solid fabrics, which allow the off-centre front to stand out.  So, you never know, I may break the habit of a lifetime and opt for a plain fabric for next version!

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