I'm not sure what happened to the 'hottest August on record' that we were promised, but I think it's safe to say that Autumn is well and truly on the way. Very soon, we'll be packing away our lovely light cottons in favour of fabrics that keep us that little bit warmer. Our lovely blogger Manju has already made a start by selecting one of our knitted fabrics, along with a power mesh for the lining, layering up ready for cooler weather. We absolutely love the result, which we think is stunning. Take a look at the full make below and see if this gets you inspired to start your Autumn sewing projects.
It may be hard to believe but I think, at least in my corner of the world, that summer is over. We have had very heavy rain and strong winds for the last few days and it already feels like autumn is here. I may be being pessimistic, but that’s why the boots and tights.
But forget all that. I am so ready to start with the autumn sewing (although I have two summer tops left to blog about in the next week or so), but today I have got what I think is the perfect transition weight dress.
First of all I have to announce that I am now part of the White Tree Fabrics Blogging Team. What an honour to be picked. They have some beautiful fabrics, including this gorgeous Missoni knit lace fabric on their site. This fabric is virtually weightless when you wear it. It has the most beautiful sheen to it, and a subtle silver metallic thread running through it, which is very hard to photograph. But trust me when I say you will not regret buying this fabric. It is a very classy classic!
Let’s talk about the pattern. The pattern used is Vogue 1386, by Sandra Betzina. This dress couldn’t be simpler to sew. It has two pieces. That’s it. There are no zips or buttons, no sleeves to insert, and no darts to sew. It has a cowl neck to the front and a simple facing for the back neckline (which is stayed with seam tape; I also chose to stay tape the front cowl). There is a pattern piece included to sew a little bag which contains a weight to help the cowl neck drape properly. The fabric behaved beautifully on my machine and overlocker alike. I sewed all the seams on my machine first and then finished edges on my overlocker. I finished hems on my overlocker then turned and stitched in place.
I cut the pattern pieces in a single layer in an attempt to pattern match. I think I could have done a bit better but I won’t lose sleep over it :-) I am not a Missoni expert (this is my first time sewing with it), so if there are any experts out there feel free to chime in, but this particular fabric had the stripes running parallel to the selvedge. So I cut the entire dress on the cross grain. Is all Missoni fabric made this way I wonder? Anyway, because I am only 5’3″ and shortened the pattern so much (see below), I was able to cut the pieces on the cross grain, but if you are taller you may struggle…...
The pattern comes with pattern pieces to sew a self lined pull on slip, which I made using power mesh, again, from White Tree Fabrics. This slip is just brilliant, and although the bodice is slightly too long (I lengthened it; see below), it’s not going to stop me wearing this lots I suspect. It’s again so comfortable and lightweight and you really need the black underneath this fabric to bring out the richness of the colours.
Tunic or dress (semi-fitted through bust) has weighted tab forming front neckline drape, and narrow hem. Close-fitting, self-lined slip has raised waist and unfinished hemline. All are pullover.
I made the dress from view B and the slip from view D.
Bust 32 – 55 inches and hips 34.5 – 57 inches.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, but I shortened my version dramatically (I lost almost 10 inches off the bottom of the pattern!) and added a ribbon belt to the dress.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The dress pattern has two pieces. That’s it. There are no zips or buttons, no sleeves to insert, and no darts to sew.I am very happy with the finished dress. I would advise checking the length before cutting out to save precious fabric. The slip pattern is also a brilliant basic pattern to have in your stash. It is fully self lined and very comfortable. It would also make a cute nightdress pattern.
A gorgeous Missoni knit lace fabric with a subtle silver thread running through it for the dress, and power mesh for the slip, both from White Tree Fabrics. The dress fabric was cut on the cross grain.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I stay taped the front cowl to avoid it stretching out over time (there is a small weight sewn to the front to aid drape; pattern piece included to stitch weight bag).
I shortened the dress and slip pattern pieces by 7 inches. Yes, this pattern is drafted for a giant! :-) I ended up removing a further 3 inches from the dress hem before hemming.
I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment to the dress and slip.
I added 1.5 inches to the front of the slip but also added this to the back. Too much. Not unwearably so, but next time I would reduce this.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Maybe and yes.
I love my Missoni knit dress. I can see this being a wardrobe staple for me this autumn and moving forward in to winter it is the perfect layering piece too.