If you know a bit about me, you would not be surprised that I love pinafores. They are a versatile piece of clothing which can easily be worn all year round. I tend to wear them on their own during the warmer months and layered up in colder ones.
I recently joined the team of Minerva Crafts Makers, which is an exciting experience. Just in case you do not have an idea what I am talking about… (i have got you :D). Minerva Crafts is a big online fabric store here in the UK. And it collaborates with a number of sewists by giving them fabric in exchange for a blog post reviewing that fabric.
When I received my very first fabric from them, I got pretty excited and got my thinking hat on. I was inspired by the midi dresses with flounces or ruffles that are everywhere on the high street.
I decided to hack the True Bias Ogden Cami pattern to recreate a similar style using the Stretch Crepe Fabric that I received from Minerva Crafts. I never thought I would love a midi dress as I tend to opt for either a knee-length or a maxi-dress. However, I was pleasantly surprised to love the dress.
I had the honour of pattern testing the Love Notions Summer Basics Tank and Dress pattern which was released early this month. It is a must-have pattern for anyone who would love to sew up a summer wardrobe in jersey fabric. I have previously pattern tested for Love Notions, and I love how their patterns are drafted as well as their well-written instructions.
The Summer Basics Tank & Dress Pattern features three views which include a tank, knee-length dress and maxi dress. Although all these views are fitted in the bust, the dress views have some ease in both the waist and hip area. On the other hand, the tank view is fitted throughout which makes it a perfect piece for layering. It is worth noting that all Love Notions patterns come with a full bust piece which makes it perfect for all body shapes and sizes.
This pattern comes in seven sizes ranging from XS to XXXL, and each of these sizes comes with a full bust piece. And I sewed up a maxi version in size XS which fits pretty well.
I sewed up the maxi version in Cotton jersey fabric (95% cotton and 5% elastane) which has both sufficient stretch and recovery. And I purchased this beautiful colourful fabric from Pounds fabric (an online shop that stocks discounted fabrics) unfortunately, the fabric I used is out of stock.
Sway back adjustment – this is an alteration I often make on most of the dresses I sew up.
Shortened the maxi dress by two inches at the hem as it came up quite long.
I recommend this pattern to anyone who would like a go-to summer essentials wardrobe pattern. It is a timeless pattern with three wardrobe basics which suit everyone. And the pattern instructions are well-written with an additional video tutorial on attaching both the neck and arm binding. I plan to sew up many more pieces from this pattern given the three versions it has to offer.
Who does not love a good comfortable shift dress for summer? I always forget that the world summer is relative to wherever you stay. I am in the UK, and to be honest with you for a total of six years I have lived in this lovely country, I have only experienced just one true summer. Being a tropical girl, one warm day amidst a week of rainy and cloudy does not count as summer. Let me stick to talking about the Carnaby dress by Nina Lee Patterns.
The Carnaby dress is a shift style dress with separate bodice and skirt piece and of with inseam front pockets. The skirt piece connects to the bodice at around the hipline which makes it really interesting. And the separate bodice and skirt pieces allow for colour blocking. This dress also features an exposed zipper at the back.
The Carnaby dress offers two style options; View A which is a
sleeveless dress and View B with short sleeves. Both can be made out of a range
of fabrics and can also be worn in the colder months with some layers.
This pattern runs from sizes 6 up to size 20. And according to the
pattern size recommendations, I was a size 6 at the bust and in between sizes 8
and 10 for both waist and hips. I decided to cut up two dresses in size 6 for
both the bust and the waist which I blended into a size 8 at the hips. I
decided not to cut the waist at size 8 considering it is a shirt dress which
has some ease around the waist and the hips.
The pattern fitted pretty well all around apart from the armscye which felt small and the sleeves were a bit tight considering I cut up the recommended size at the bust. I plan to sew up the second one I cut up then omitting the sleeves and hoping it will fit much better.
I made this version out of an African wax print (Ankara fabric) I got from Uganda (home) which sewed up beautifully. And I have a second one cut up already in light blue chambray fabric.
I love how my very first Carnaby dress turned out and I plan to
make more in the near future. However, I intend to cut up a size 8 all
throughout as that might give me the best fit around the sleeves.
And one thing I have also loved with this pattern is the
well-written instructions and especially the instructions on sewing the exposed
zipper on which are brilliant.
The Carnaby dress is a well-drafted pattern and I am sure it would look nice on various body shape.
I am obsessed with pinafores and I just thought I would put it out there. It is for this reason that I decided to buy the Ivy pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. My initial inspiration to purchase this pattern was my RTW denim pinafore from Dorothy Perkins which I bought almost 2years ago. I have worn it year-round with layers underneath in the cold months and in the warmer months on top of vests or short-sleeved t-shirts. And I have always received compliments whenever I have worn it. I contemplated creating a pattern from it as I would be able to reproduce it in many other fabric choices while keeping the fit. However, just before went down that road I landed on The Ivy Pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade on Instagram.
The Ivy Pinafore is designed to be layered over collared shirts and knit tops and it comes in two views or versions. Version 1 is of a rather full skirt pinafore which I was definitely not after. However, version 2 is the pinafore of my dreams. It is an A-line semi-fitted pinafore which would be flattering on all body shapes. And this pattern comes within seam pockets (who would not want some pockets on their pinafore?
pattern original recommendation was to construct it fully-lined, however,
Jennifer wrote a post showing how the lining can
be omitted and replaced with bias binding around the armscye.
pattern comes in 10 different sizes and it ranges from size 6 to size 24. Based
on the pattern size chart and finished garment measurements, I went with size
8. And being me and my dislike for
making toiles, I decided to cut up two pinafores in two different patterns in
first sewed up the first one without pockets just in case I need to make any
alterations. And yes, it ran really big around the waist and hips area. I took
a break and came back to it after a week. Needless to say, the bust area fitted
really well and the alterations I needed to make were from the bust dart down
to the hem.
instructions of the Ivy Pinafore are well-written and very easy to follow considering
it is designed for confident beginners to advanced seamstresses.
What did you particularly like or
dislike about the pattern?
original idea of sewing it up fully-lined was not appealing to me as It would
end up being quite warm if made out of thick outer fabric like denim. However,
the idea of omitting the lining and rather sewing it up with some bias binding
instead was more appealing to me.
printed version of the pinafore was made out of a canvas fabric which I bought
from Pound a yard fabric shop in Dewsbury (and
no the fabric was not just a pound a yard). It was sold as a bag making
fabric but as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for an Ivy pinafore.
The plain pinafore is made from a midnight sheen denim fabric I purchased from pound fabrics (an online store that stocks a range of good quality fabrics at such a bargain).
Both fabrics sewed up and ironed really well and they were perfect for the pinafore.
Pattern alterations or any design
changes you made:
first alteration I made was to add some centimetres to the length as I often do
to most patterns. I added 1 ¾ inch or 4.5cms at the shorten and lengthen line
on the pattern.
the second alteration was the amount I took in around the pinafore. I took out
a total of 7 inches around the hips area which I blended into the side seam at
both the hem and just below the bust dart. And I transferred these changes to
the original pattern.
After making the necessary adjustments to the original pattern, I can confidently say these two are not the last Ivy pinafore I will ever make. I plan to make way more in different fabrics and colours. And I am also proud to say that the Ivy Pinafore is the pinafore of my dreams.
Here is a video where I review this pattern if you would rather watch than read.