Retro Hope dress

Piping and a large print on a donkey grey background seems to have taken my third Hope dress into retro style.

And I like it!

This is Style Arc’s Hope woven dress at knee length. With a thin waist tie attached to the side seams.

The pattern description says the dress is in two lengths and the illustration shows a knee length version. But my PDF pattern does not have a seperate skirt pattern piece or a ‘cut off here’ line on the skirt piece or any information about length in the instructions about how much length to remove.

A totally easy hack – I removed 22 cm from the length – but odd that the pattern is silent about it.

This lovely large print is a viscose woven purchased from TMOS 5 years ago on holidays in the UK.

TMOS, unfortunately not facing the camera (unfortunate because he has a lovely smile, not just because he is handsome..)

It’s extra special because my dear friend Melissa and I literally bumped into Karen of Did You Make That? and Ella at the stall. What are the chances of that!!? The famous sewing blogger from London, from whom you heard about TMOS and the reason you went there, turning up at TMOS at the same time you went there all the way from Australia!

Yes Karen is wearing a CCP Charlie caftan in Liberty. Obsessed with sewing details? Who? Me??

I added piping because I had some in my stash and I wanted to highlight the raglan sleeve seam lines.

I had just enough for the front and the neck but not enough to pipe the back. Coffin back. Guilty as charged. But also in line with the retro vibe of this dress.

Also guilty of sloppy sewing, as my photographer (He who Cooks) pointed out to me – “there’s a pucker or something you’ve sewn badly at the waistline on the back”.

What sort of monster have I turned him into? I know I talk about sewing. All. The. Time. But surely that’s not to blame?!

I’ve got to assume I was distracted by that unintentional not-pattern matching through the centre back seam. Whatever. It didn’t distract him!

I added thin ties to the side seams to reduce some of the gathering at the waist. What it actually does, of course, is bring the side seams forward and put more of the fullness at the front. Another reason to be accused of coffin back.

The forward side seams are quite obvious in the photo above, but so are the pockets. Like all great dresses, it has pockets!

It could well be time I moved on from this pattern. But it is such a delight for make and wear.

Is three Hope Dresses too many? Is three Hope Dresses enough to qualify me for the #HopeDressSpringsEternal club?

So many questions…

Two Helen’s Closet Hazelwood Cardigans

I’m late to Helen’s Closet patterns but that will be no news to regular readers – I’m a late adopter of many new indie patterns. The Hazelwood cardigan struck a cord though, so I dove in this winter.

Blackwood Cardigan
Image source: https://helensclosetpatterns.com/product/blackwood-cardigan-pdf-pattern/

I made View A (the long version) in a size 16 B cup.

My first version was in a teal camouflage boucle wool blend knit.

It’s a lovely fabric up close but perhaps not so successful in a garment from a distance. Which might be why it was in the discount fabric bin at Ferriers Fabrics and languished in my stash since being purchased in 2017….

After reading a lot of reviews – and there are a lot of them because this is a very popular pattern – I decided to increase the width of the integrated collar and front band to 34 cm. This made it extend up my neck in a very cozy fashion even when folded back. I may have overdone it.

I interfaced the pockets and the pocket band because I knew I’d be putting my mobile phone in them – they are the perfect size.

I also interfaced the back of the neck. I drafted a facing based on Closet Core’s Sienna jacket neck facing and used this to cut out the interfacing. After I fused this to the neck I covered it by top stiching on another facing cut from a remnant of rayon.

I also added a grosgrain ribbon to the shoulder seams to add a bit more stability.

Despite teal camoflage in a boucle not being a great idea, the fabric is lovely to wear. Perfect for working from home. And I love the roomy secure pockets that are just right for my phone. Its been worn a lot more than I expected.

My second version was in a merino knit, also from my stash.

I reduced the collar/front band to 18 cm wide – still more than drafted but about half the width of the first version. This one is still nice and cozy around my neck but doesn’t need to be folded back.

This fabric has more stretch than the boucle knit so the pockets are slouchier and the deliberately slightly too long sleeves more obvious

I reinforced the shoulder seams with ribbon, interfaced the pockets and back neck and used a colourful Liberty lawn remnant topstitched over the interfacing on the back neck. But you’ll just have to take my word for it because I don’t seem to have a photo.

This is a great pattern. Next time I make it I’ll cut out the collar/front band as drafted rather than add extra width.

I think I might have almost nailed Nana Chic with this outfit. I’m just missing some knitting needles or a crochet hook sticking out of my tote bag and reading glasses on a bejewelled chain.

Liberty lawn robe: BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134

I’ve made myself a summer robe with Liberty lawn and I love it.

It seems indulgent to use such delightful fabric for clothing I don’t wear in public but

  • I do wear it most days a week, even if only briefly
  • I have a large stash of lovely fabric
  • this is not my only piece of Liberty lawn
  • Liberty lawn is expensive but not rare, and
  • beautiful fabric should be sewn

This is BurdaStyle 01/2012 #134B in a size 48 with extra width added to the front edges and the front bands also a bit wider than Burda intended.

I like my robes generously sized!

@sewover50 put pattern mixing in my mind so I used a coordinating rainbow striped lavender cotton gauze for the front bands, sleeve bands and belt.

This gauze is a long term stash dweller. My initial intention for it was a balloon blind or drapes for my toddler daughter’s room – yes that daughter who is now 22 years old.

Liberty lawn really is the best- lovely to sew, feels delightful against your skin, and beautiful patterns and designs.

Perfect to wear while you’re still waking up with your first cup of coffee on a warm summer morning