I made this tunic dress because at the end of last week I found I was to sit down and read for 3 hours straight to 6 different classes (of varying ages) for World Book Day (Thursday 6th March). As my family will attest it's incredibly rare for me to sit down for 3 hours unless I have the flu so I don't really own comfy lounging clothes. The thought of sitting for that long in my usual skinny jeans or denim skirt sounded really uncomfortable. So I sewed this:
The pattern is Tilly and the Buttons Coco dress. Construction is straightforward if you are used to knits. My fabric is interlock which is probably the softest fabric recommended - I think it would be even better in a firmer knit but as you may have guessed the fabric choice was a bit of a heart decision (from Kitschy Coo, here. To say I love their organic jersey prints is an understatement and if I had a small child I would totally be kitting him/her out in them. Also: excellent customer service and speedy delivery.) I followed the short list-style instructions that come with the PDF pattern. They are clear and unambiguous. I think Tilly has more in-depth instructions on her blog for those who want a little more advice on how to sew with knits though, and even a sew along. I would have loved to take part in case I could have picked up any extra tips but as mentioned the deadline did not allow!
I found the pattern to be true to size and finished measurements were included too. This made a big difference to me choosing the right size as I held the measuring tape around myself to see the amount of ease I would end up with. I don't understand why all patterns don't include finished measurements. I am sure I would have had less mistakes starting out if I had always had them to use. The only sizing alteration I made was to half the seam allowance in the bust area because of my large cup size and this worked well, but wouldn't be necessary for anyone smaller than a D cup.
|That diagonal line is caused by my pose!|
If you are thinking of making the dress up I have a couple of comments that might be useful, although these are just my preference. Initially I sewed long sleeves and felt the dress looked a bit nightie-ish, although this could be my choice of print combined with my body shape. When I looked at Tilly's dress I realised her sleeves were 3/4 length so I shortened them as marked on the pattern. This really improved the look of the dress on me. Also it's drafted quite short but if you like the cute flippy look of the pattern you are better off keeping the shorter length. I hemmed it in bare feet as I could also see this dress worn in the summer with tanned legs and flip flops after a day on the beach (sigh!), although that could just be where my head is right now!
As you can see I didn't add the pockets this time (although my daughter really thinks I should). I'm too worried about fluffing up the placement as the pattern is a lattice and it would need to be spot on. Well it would for me anyway as I would never wear it if things were a bit skew whiff. Adding to my insecurities, the pocket placement isn't marked on the pattern - you position them where you like. Not a problem on a plain or stripe but on this...sometimes you have to know what to leave out ;)
I will definitely make this pattern again. Next it will be the top version instead of the dress (the jury is out on the dress until I've road tested it, but the pattern utilises the top half of the dress for the tops and I'm very pleased with the fit there so I know they will work.) They are the kind of thing I would wear on a daily basis. So I think this pattern will work out to be great value for money (I paid £7.50 for the PDF version and plan three tops).
|Dogs + new dress = certain amount of stress|
My own best tips for working with jersey (so far) are: cut as a single layer to avoid shifting (especially important with geometric prints and stripes), handle the fabric very lightly and as little as possible to avoid stretching, never allow the fabric to droop over the edge of the cutting or sewing table and practice hem finishes before you sew on to your garment. There are quite a few hemming options and I find the best finish varies greatly according to the type of jersey. When I started sewing with knits I really enjoyed this post by Lauren Lladybird.
Happy World Book Day to you all. I hope you can find a little person to curl up and share a book with, or at least have some precious quiet reading time to yourself :)
Happy sewing, 'till next time,