I have to blame Law. Kind of around Christmas/ new year following a bit of a buzz about Victory patterns in a fair few blogs, Law highlighted a special offer (now over) which led me down the path of temptation, resulting in buying three awesome quirky and what appear to be very wearable styles. I was most taken by Hazel, a shift dress with a gorgeous bow tie neck that is constructed in two colours.
I’d already started to dream about the Victory Patterns Hazel dress when Tilly tweeted about it asking what thoughts were out there for colour combos. Well. That fired me up right & proper. In my mind it seemed to cry out to be made out of jersey, and the fact that it was made out of two colours allowed more scope for stash busting! And I had just something in mind. Woo hoo! Enter stashbadger! What a start to 2012 – using something from within my fabric drawers (ooo er, sounds a bit Carry On!).
Sorry crappy evening iPhone picture! As you can see I chose a grey / turquoise colourway and just about eeked it all out of what I had in my stash. The only time I went off road was with the tie neck – it takes quite a few long pieces of fabric (x4) and is supposed to be made in a solid colour not two tone like mine! But I didn’t have enough. Ideally it would be turquoise. Ideally I’d also have sewn the turquoise side on the top, but had thought (upon studying Hazel images on the website) that the collar would fold over (as attempted above). In truth it’s better not folded over (as you’ll see from the pics below) – it’s much happier sitting unfolded. But that means I have a grey tie, not a turquoise one.
Shape? I needed to shape it a bit more at the waist as it was trop sac for me. (It’s still sacklike, but in a shift-dress-way & that can be quite desirable when feeling blobby). (NB this is made out of jersey – the pattern is designed for woven fabric and is pull on – you’d need to make sure you can still get it on & off if you make any shaping alterations, as Kristiann (the designer) says in the comments)
But I did it. That is I made it from jersey. With my overlocker ( apart from just a little bit of straight stitching around the front neck opening) & the hem (which also doesn’t look perfect as I look at the pictures, but hey ho). The pattern is designed to have a skirt lining, but being stretch fabric I missed it out & made a (garish) silky slip instead (with yellow lace on the rest of that turquoise sari fabric).
Tips for jersey & using this pattern & an overlocker/serger? Well, first of all I found that the pattern had loads of notches which was super helpful – I used all of them & found that with something stretchy like jersey the notches allowed me to line everything up properly & with confidence. I staystitched neck edges also, as you would with most neck edges, but this was particularly necessary with jersey. I also used some form of seam stabiliser/ seam binding for the shoulder seams so that they didn’t stretch with the weight that is placed on them when finished. But my best tip? The one that helped me to get my seams lined up (& there are more that show when sewing in this kind of style where the seams are obvious & part of the design feature. It was pinning & tacking. But tacking only where you want the seams to line up – the area that I find greatest slippage occurs when overlocking (cos you want to get those pins out nice & early before hitting the blade, don’t you?) Remember, despite all the bravado & attempts to impress, I’m still a sewing slob & want to cut corners – not for me excessive time spent hand sewing basting stitches, oh no! Bare minimum, but just enough.
I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m thinking it could fit lots of occasions, both work and play. With its jersey shiftiness I reckon it’ll be great for hiding a big meal, a totally comfy travel dress, and bring an element of confident sophistication to the office.
What else commends this dress? Why it’s turquoise and will be accessorised by my fave shoes
As for the pattern – it’s a pdf (as are all of the Victory Patterns) & the instructions were clear & contained diagrams & photos which I liked. I can’t say that I followed them to the letter & also found myself picking up the odd tip / difference in method after I’d done it my way (eg I would have liked to tried gathering stitches for the sleeve head by sewing in one continuous line – out between the dots, turn 90 degrees for a couple of stitches & then back parallel to the start- but caught it after I’d done it my way!) My interactions with Kristiann, the creative behind this pattern company, were all lovely, promptly answered and personal (eg I asked her opinion about whether it would suit jersey). Thank you Kristiann (she said make sure you align to grainlines).
I’d definitely make this again. LOVE it. But which other patterns did I buy? Well it was hard to choose. Go have a look yourself. I was also taken by ….
Well, Madeleine & Anouk of course!
Anyone else sewing for Victory?