Well hello everyone! Here is a dress I made yonks ago but have only just got round to taking some pics. It’s the Wren dress by Colette Patterns.
Most definitely designed for knits, this cute pattern has been on my making list for a while as you know I could live in knits quite easily and just love to sew with jersey. This pattern has a wrap bodice and a more scooped back neckline than is usual with your average knit dress bodice. There are two skirt options – a gored skirt & a gathered skirt. I was lucky enough to be sent a promotional copy of this pattern when it was released last year so never had the special long sleeve bonus pattern, although I can see it is available as a download here, But I didn’t check back, I therefore chose to make it with the short sleeves thinking that it would make a good style for autumn, especially in this beautifully black floral jersey from Girl Charlee UK (which incidentally was also given to me to review I am a lucky bunny, thank you!) It is still available – hoorah!
I have been wearing this dress a lot as it is easy to wear – of course! Pop it on with a pair of black tights & a cardi & it’s perfect for this time of year, especially working in quite a toasty office.
It has really pretty gathers at the shoulders.
So what sewing observations have I about the Wren dress and the fabric? Well, it is worth knowing that the bodice is actually a very short bodice and actually is more empire line than you might think. All very good to hide the fairy cakes and fish and chips, but bear in mind that it doesn’t hit your natural waist as it is.
All of Colette Patterns are known for their clarity of instructions so they are easy to follow. This is a nice pattern and relatively easy to sew. I added a step to the making however. At the neckline (both the front straight edges and the back neck edge) I used clear elastic to strengthen and support the edges as I wasn’t sure whether the edges actually needed a slight bit of tension to prevent them stretching out of shape. I did this by attaching clear elastic to the wrong side right up to the edge of the fabric, then turning that edge to the wrong side as the hem, with the elastic now sandwiched in between. This is explained here in video on Maria Denmark’s blog.
Everything else was pretty unremarkable (as I said I made this a while ago and nothing else has stuck in my memory!)
I haven’t straightened the skirt out here – it has twisted a bit through being worn all day.
Now the fabric is delightful – it is a cotton blend jersey and is pretty light weight but nice & drapey with it. And who doesn’t love a traditional rose print? As with all other fabric I have bought from Girl Charlee UK, the quality is superb. Buying knits online can always be a bit of a gamble, especially if there is little information about percentage stretch and the term ‘mid weight’ or ‘lightweight’ can encompass so many different jersey experiences. I know I have made miscalculations in the past. Always worth getting a sample I think. Which I did. But quality is always high I have found with Girl Charlee UK and I am not just saying that because this was a freebie – if I didn’t think it was true I would not write it.
Wearing it above with my Wembley cardigan, one of my busiest wardrobe staples.
But if you ever contact Girl Charlee in the UK you could well be replied to by the lovely Mark. Now I have been corresponding with him for well over a year now & he is such a warm friendly enthusiastic person to do business with & how amazing was it to meet him in real life last weekend at the West Country Patchwork and Textile Show (more on that another time). It felt like I had always known him when we had a good ol’ chin wag about the usual sewing things that us sewists and bloggers talk about. And of course I bought some more fabric to take home with me – it’s irresistible – a shop that sells just beautiful knits? Oh I am so there!!! I have cut out a couple of things already 🙂
Just a note on the photos- I took them in the evening so the light was not as good, but it felt like I had to strike whilst wearing it otherwise how long would it be until I could blog about it?
So there we are. My blogging pile up has just reduced by one. I have also passed another landmark and switched my blog host which appeared as such a massive headache to me and caused me all sorts of delays getting round to it, but I have to say that it was actually a lot easier than I conceived it to be. I feel so relieved to have moved over to a UK based wordpress managed host which is going to save me a lot of ££s now. And it has reinvigorated my feeling towards the blog – it’s like a blogging weight off my shoulders. So apologies if there was a slight hiccup over the weekend with the last post appearing twice. And I have not replied to all the comments yet as I wasn’t sure how that would get affected. Not bad in the grand scheme of things. I’ll catch up, promise. Hoorah for the second time.