Hi there! Hope you’re enjoying some sunshine where you are today?
I’m doing a kind of double post this morning, to illustrate why you shouldn’t always judge a pattern by its cover! As you may have noticed, I’ve been taking part in the Sew My Style challenge this year, which takes a different pattern each month and challenges everyone to make it, whilst offering discounts on its purchase.
Although I’ve shared last month’s make on Instagram, I hadn’t blogged it, and with today being reveal day for this month’s pattern, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.
What’s odd about these two patterns is that one of them had been on my radar for ages, whereas the other I really wasn’t convinced I should buy at all when I saw it. And guess which one I like and which one I’m not happy with?
So, first up is last month’s pattern, the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit and trousers. I have seen so many super cute versions of this popping up since its release (last year?) and as you know, I am a Tilly fan (just check out my Me Made May posts on Instagram for confirmation!) but I wasn’t convinced that I would wear a jumpsuit with that neckline over much.
The reason I hadn’t bought it before was my absolute love for the Carrie Trousers from Sew Over It (three versions in and still going strong!). However, in the name of joining the challenge, I bought the pattern and dived straight in.
I made a few adjustments following my pattern cutting course: I measured the paper pattern, added a little to the hips and graded back down to the pattern line on the legs around the knee. I also increased the back rise by 2cm to allow for my larger bum!
I used some beautiful rayon I’d been hoarding from Cotton Reel Studio since last year, which behaved just as expected (i.e. shrunk a bit when prewashed, pressed beautiful, was tricky to cut on grain as it moves about and then needed extra pins; all standard, all fine). As with all Tilly patterns, it was clearly and beautifully explained and no trouble at all to put together. I even followed the suggestion of sewing all the way around the top waistband, through the centre of the elastic, to hold it in place.
And, once finished, I tried them on.
What was I thinking? Why did I think that a 40-something mum with associated mum-tum could pull off elasticated trousers sitting on the natural waist line? Helloooooo there, belly!
Yeah. I think they’re just about passable with a top loose over them, but I infinitely prefer my Carrie trousers, with their flat front waist band and more flattering, lower cut. So much so that I gave the Tilly pattern away!
So, moving on. The pattern for this month was the brand new Deer and Doe “Myosotis” dress. Now this, at first glance, was absolutely, totally not for me. I don’t do the whole hippy vibe, I’m not keen on oversized, and those ruffles do absolutely nothing for me.
And yet. That neckline. Those little cap sleeves. Combined with the realisation from Me Made May that I need more casual dresses for summer, I decided to give it a go. Also, Deer and Doe fan girl over here: I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt!
I stalked Instagram to see what others were doing with this totally out of character make. One thing I was worried about was the hem length; I’m not a spring chicken, I’ve had knee surgery and I don’t love getting my legs out these days. Old age is officially kicking in! However, a couple of people had lengthened the dress and that seemed to improve it.
So, I picked up some gorgeous rayon that someone was kind enough to put on the swap table last Sew Up North (thank you, mystery donor!) figuring that at least if it was a disaster, I wouldn’t have wrecked some expensive fabric. My measurements would put me in between a size 40 and 42; however, looking at finished measurements, I decided to go with the size 38 to decrease the voluminousness (is that a word?) of the top. The skirt section is just a gathered rectangle, so I added a straight three inches to the bottom of each piece using my quilting ruler as I cut out.
As with all Deer and Doe patterns, the instructions are brief (quite a contrast to Tilly) but clear and I didn’t have any problems at all with the construction. APART from the gathering. God, I hate gathering, it’s a bloody nightmare trying to get things to look even. Anyway, I made it in the end.
And amazingly, I really like this! It feels kind of cute without being too girly girl. The colour is an absolute winner for me and there are pockets. All in all, I feel like I may well get some wear out of this after all!
So there you go; sometimes it’s good to step outside your comfort zone. Just maybe don’t dive straight in with the really good fabric!
Next month will be the first month of Sew My Style that I’m skipping; I have too much else on right now and I really don’t need a dressing gown / kimono. However, I am hoping to make some Winslow Culottes which are also a Helen’s Closet pattern, so I kind of count that as participation!