Friday, 19 September 2014

Senna Dress by Design by Lindsay

Possibly predictably for a sewing blog, lately there has been less of the blogging and more of the sewing (However both have been trumped by the "more of the phd'ing").
With the tail-end of OWOP (one week one pattern) and a mass of unphotographed garments, (this is really the critical step as to wether something gets blogged)  I thought I would just skip everything on my list and start with the fun ones.  

I tested a pattern! 
I love that there are so many sewists giving pattern drafting a go and releasing their own designs - 
The pattern was the Senna dress/skirt/top by Lindsay,  who is a regular contributor on Burdastyle, Kollabora and on my instagram feed :) 

Being the first pattern I have tested, I was glad that the pattern was quite easy! and only a few pages to stick together! And even better it was in jersey - its been stretch central in my sewing hovel lately. 

The key variable for this pattern is choosing the right weight fabric.  I had a few hours on Thursday night free so I thought I would quickly sew up a practice version of the skirt with some grey thick jersey in my stash - Bad Fabric Choice Alert- The weight was similar to yoga pants, quite stable.  I knew it would be too thick - but persevered anyway.... Of course it didn't work... Whilst the skirt is still wearable, it bunches around my waist rather than nicely distributing the gathers along its length.   
So the key lesson here is... Use the recommended fabrics! Oh silly Ruth.  

I decided to make the pattern up properly and spent a nice few hours on Saturday sewing up the dress version (also in a dark grey) in a suitable weight jersey!  I'm really happy with how it turned out. I don't really have any figure hugging dresses, but this one strikes the nice balance of being fitted down the bottom, without revealing every bump and being baggy up top, so its still work appropriate.  
this will actually be a really good work staple dress.  
As Lindsay describes in the instructions, as the skirt is drafted with a negative ease once on the gathers should stay put -  I found this especially true if you wear tights underneath! It sat really nicely.  
In terms of fit, I thought the pattern was spot on.  the measurements for the 10 matched my hips and waist spot on, however I'm much smaller up top.  I didn't bother grading down and it still looks fine due to the baggy style.  
One alternation I did make was adding some more lines of ruching down the sides.  With the failure version I serged the pattern pieces together, however I think one of the reasons that it didn't gather up much was that I sewed the ruching on the serged seam - lots of bulk! For the "good" version I serged the sides of each piece individually, and then sewed one line on the seam allowance close to the seam line.  It did curl up nicely, however I thought the seams would site nicely if I sewed them open with another line of gathering.   I'm happy with how it turned out! 
To make sure it reached its full gathered potential I wetted the dress under the tap and then popped it in the dryer on medium.  BAM - the elastic shrunk up nice and snug! 
Are you tempted by this one? It's certainly deliciously comfortable !  (I even can ride a bike in it!).
Now for a floral one (with a lower neckline)!
Yey - work appropriate comfy dress!

Now everytime I look at these pics, I realise I really should have ironed the neckband - I was just tooo excited to wear it! 

Here's a blurry pic of the too thick skirt.... it kinda worked (yes I still wear it!) 
BTW - how lovely is the necklace? Its made by a friend at PostPressDesigns   - I wear it all the time when I need more floral in my life.


  1. So cute! I love this dress on you! Thanks for being a fabulous tester!

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