I’m Kealy from Voice of a Creative. I am so happy to be contributing to the Lamazi blog for the first time.
I wanted to choose a fabric which would fit with my developing dream wardrobe inspired by the Love to Sew podcast, as well as one that would work for summer. I decided to go for the Abstract Leaves Blue Cotton Jersey, I just love the mix of blues with the pop of cranberry, mustard and brown.
The cotton jersey is Oeko Tex 100 Certified with 95% cotton and 5% Elastine. This weight jersey is a perfect weight for making dresses and tops, it has some drape but also structure which makes it easier to sew with.
I love sewing with knit fabrics especially fabrics with patterned designs, so I had a really hard time choosing my fabric because there are so many beautiful fabrics to choose from on the Lamazi website.
I decided to make the Georgie Dress from Sew Over It, this is a PDF pattern which I got as part of their PDF club last year. I love a wrap dress as I feel the v neckline is really flattering on me. I hadn’t had a chance to try this pattern out yet and so I thought I would give it a go.
The Georgie dress has 2 versions, I decided to go for version 2 with the gathered skirt rather than the ¾ circle skirt. I chose to hack the sleeves to make them shorter and omit the belt loops.
I prewashed and ironed my fabric before cutting into it. I used scissors and pattern weights to cut out my fabric pieces, this went smoothly with the fabric lying nice and flat throughout. There was a little bit of rolling at the selvage but nothing a pattern weight couldn’t hold down.
I chose to make the size 14 which matches my waist and hip measurements but was 2 inches bigger on the bust. I used the finished garment measurements to confirm this; as the finished garment bust measurement is 36 inches for the size 14, leaving me with 1-inch negative ease at the bust.
I made a toile in viscose jersey, including lining the bodice which is an interesting feature of this pattern as I have never lined a jersey dress before. However, the toile didn’t fit very well across the shoulders, so I made some adjustments to the pattern before to make a second toile bodice from scrap fabrics.
The fit adjustments I made are pretty standard for me across quite a few sewing patterns, firstly a forward shoulder adjustment of 1 cm, it seems like a small measurement, but it makes quite a difference. I found in my test version that the arm holes came down too low, so I shortened the front and back bodice across the chest by 1.5 cm, then shortened the sleeve cap to match with this. The final adjustment I made was to add more fabric to the back-bodice arm hole, as I felt the sleeves was pulling across to my back.
My final dress fits perfectly so I am so glad I took the time to make these fit adjustments. I drew on my experience of the bodice fitting masterclass I took with Elisalex from By Hand London to make these adjustments but if you need help with adjustments take a look at their bodice fitting ebook.
I also love to hack patterns and made 2 adjustments to this pattern to alter the design. The first one was to shorten the sleeves, to do this I simply folded up the pattern piece so the sleeve length was 3 inches on either side and then cut across.
The second one was to reduce the width of the skirt piece, therefore reducing the number of gathers. Which allowed me to have flat areas with no gathers at my sides. This emphasizes my waist, my smallest point, which helps me to feel happier in this dress. To do this I removed 1 inch from the centre front skirt piece, giving a reduction of 4 inches total across the front and back of the skirt. When adding the gathers I measured 3 inches in on either side of the back and front skirt pieces, I hand gathered the skirt pieces so not stretch them out.
I also shortened the skirt using the shorten and lengthen lines on the pattern by 4 inches, this way the dress falls just above my knee.
The one challenge I had with this pattern was with the lining. On my test version I used a lightweight viscose jersey to line the viscose jersey bodice, the pattern recommended using elastic or cotton tape along the wrap and back neckline. The wrap pieces are slightly larger than the piece or elastic so youhave to ease the wrap piece onto the elastic or cotton tape. I decided to use cotton tape but had a really hard time easing it in, I also found it even more difficult to match the lining and the bodice together. Once the toile was complete; I felt the 4 layers of fabric for the wrap across my front was just too much for a summer dress, so I decided to remove the lining for my blog post version.
This came with its own challenges, I wanted to finish the wrap and neckline with a 1cm double fold. This means I fold it over once at 1 cm and then again, top stitching along to secure it in place. The wrap has a 1cm seam allowance, so I questioned whether to add another 1 cm to keep the bodice at the expected height. In the end I decided to not add any additional allowance and just double fold the neckline. This means the wrap comes slightly lower, and so does the back neckline but I feel that it looks great and still is in keeping with the style of the dress.
One of the features I love about this dress is the pleats in the side of the wrap I feel this really makes it more elegant and flattering to the body. Another thing I love about this dress is the fabric, I feel it works so well and I can already see myself pairing this dress with so many different cardigans and tights. I will get so much wear out of this dress, this summer, whether that’s at home or out and about. I can’t wait to sew up some more from my recent Lamazi purchases.
See you again soon, Kealy