This week, I’m sharing my pattern review of the mock wrap dress from Tanya Whelan’s Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time. If you’ve not come across it yet, it’s a fantastic mix and match book that has lots of combinations from a few simple bodice and skirt patterns. It’s a fantastic way of being able to make the perfect dress and choose the bodice, neckline, skirt and sleeve combo that best suits what you need.
This was my first time trying this book out in practice – I was really taken with the mock wrap bodice and decided to pair it with a simple straight skirt. If you’ve read the book, one of the made up examples is the mock wrap bodice witha dridl skirt; I loved this but there seemed to be a bulk of fabric around the waist from the gathering, which I wasn’t a fan of for me, so I decided to choose the straight skirt for a flattering silhouette.
Secondly, I really wanted to make an easy wear dress for summer that could easily be pulled on and off, but I didn’t want to compromise on style. I think this is the perfect dress, don’t you?! I had the opportunity to work with Abakhan Fabrics for this make and they very kindly sent me the most beautiful Liberty Ganton Cotton Jersey – this is Fitzgerald Black. I love yellow but it’s really not the best colour for my lily white skin…so having little pops of yellow in this monochrome fabric is perfect for me.
When you’re sewing with jersey, I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a ballpoint needle. It really helps as it moves the knit apart rather than potentially piercing the knit, which can lead to laddering of the fabric. Abakhan sell Hemline products (among others), which I’m a big fan of; their air erasible markers are fantastic for marking out darts (especially on jersey, that you can’t press darts into as easily as cotton) but the reason I mention Hemline is that they sell a range of Stretch needles, which are perfect for the job and are universal!
Sew Many Dresses come with all of the pattern sheets you’ll need for the basic blocks. Regular readers will know I love using greaseproof paper for tracing but it doesn’t always work so effectively for adult patterns (particularly bottoms) as it’s hard to stick pattern pieces together due to it being greaseproofed. I’ve always got some tracing paper on standby for if I need it (incidentally, this is also Hemline, told you I was a fan!) Greaseproof is better as you can use permanent marker to trace with; my Sharpie goes through the paper if I don’t trace fast enough so I tend to use a pencil then go over it in marker pen afterwards.
In terms of construction, it was an absolute dream to make. I think this was equally because of the beautiful quality of the jersey but also the pattern; everything just seemed to work. It only took about two hours for me to construct (adjust that time for yourself to suit, many of you will work a little faster than me but even I flew through this make!)
The bodice has waist and shoulder darts and the skirt has waist darts in the front and back – this gives the most amazing fit to the dress. The skirt also has a little kick pleat detail that really sets of the dress…and makes walking possible! The only slight variation to the pattern I made was to omit the need for interfacing (although I’d just bought some more!) as the jersey was thick enough to provide that structure.
I love the finished dress, it’s so practical, so stylish and is so comfortable to wear. Liberty know how to deliver great fabrics don’t they?! Even though I’ve planned this dress for summer, the jersey is slightly heavier than other jerseys so it will also be the perfect transition dress in Autumn, paired with boots and a snuggly jumper.
Want to make your own Liberty item? Abakhan have very kindly given me a discount code CORRINE for you to use when you’re ordering from them for 15% off Liberty and Hemline products- what are you waiting for; head on over to their website to find out more!
If you get the opportunity, I would thoroughly recommend driving over to their Mostyn store; it’s a treasure trove and I dare you not to buy anything (the café is great too – I get there early for breakfast!) If the discount code alone hasn’t convinced you, why don’t you check out three of my favourites from past trips to add to my stash: my Swing Cape, Lily Dress and Button Down Back Top.
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