Pattern testing of Lavender dress by Glasshouse Patterns

Hi sewing friends! Today I will share third pattern that Tanja from Glasshouse Patterns created and I was lucky to test before it’s release day.

The pattern

It is called a Lavender top/dress and it is loosely fitted throughout using gathered bodice and skirt. There are couple of an interesting features: adjustable straps, elasticated ruffle and of course pockets! You can also wear it with or without a tie belt. It is directed for confident beginners, because all those gathers can seem overwhelming, but do not frown! The instruction booklet has many pictures to aid you during the sewing process, so even the most inexperience sewist can have a go at making this beautiful summer dress.

Pattern adjustments

During the testing phase of this particular pattern the only adjustment I had made was shartening the bodice by about 7cm, because otherwise the gathered skirt part was way below my bum and it looked out of balance.

The other thing I also had to do is to spread ruffle gathering in a slightly different way in comparison to what pattern suggested, because it was too bulky above the bust and not enough at the arms/sleeve. I did not change the pattern here, but only moved the notches on ruffle pattern by 10cm inwards giving me the opportunity to spread the ruffle more evenly throughout. This is something that Tanja had since then adjusted before releasing the final version of the pattern. She also adjusted staps placement as some of us mentioned they are too far aside and keep falling of the shoulders.

Pattern construction

Lavender dress is very straightforward to assemble with barely any fitting adjustments needed. The most important aspect when choosing the size is your high bust measurement, as this is the only place on the pattern that will be fitted, the rest of the dress comes with lots of gathers and ease.

I cut out size 8 and it took me about 6 hours to make this dress over the course of a week, which is pretty fast considering that it takes me ages to make gathers, because I like to make them as neat as possible. As always I do two rows of basting stitch, but for some reason one row kept breaking when I was pulling the thread. So annoying! Apart from this little obsticale the rest of sewing process went smooth. There is nothing that I found to be confusing or difficult to understand in instruction booklet and the only tricky part of sewing for a begginer could be attaching a skirt to a the bodice due to bodice hem having a slant hem ( triangle), and the skirt is gathered and straight. But by marking the centre skirt and aligning it with the peak of the bodice hem will definitely help.

Fabric choice

When I received an email from Tanja with line drawing of Lavender dress I immediately knew that I want to make it in a nice viscose fabric to give it as much movement as possible. I really wanted to make the full lenght dress version with ruffles and Tanja suggested that 3 meters of material should be enough, but later updated it to 3.4meters. At this point it was too late for me, as I already ordered 3 meters of this beautiful Madison viscose fabric from Sew Me Sunshine for £7.00 per meter. It was a perfect choice! This fabric was easy to sew and press, but it does crease so keep that in mind. I was adamant to make my chosen version from 3 meters, and thankfully to some pattern layout puzzle and shortening of bodice I managed to squeeze it out. My tie belt is much shorter at this stage, because I could only cut it out by laying it horizontally, but it does not bother me at all.

Final thoughts

This dress scream Summer , sunshine and flowers! It is so comfortable to wear and it looms so cute. Whenever I put it on it makes me feel like I am in the movie running in slow motion through a field of flowers. Love it! Hahhaha

Wish there was a field of flowers near me!

~what dress makes you feel like movie star?~

Monika xxx

I will call it Ogden Dress….

Hi sewing friends! As promised last week today I will share with you few facts about making of this dress that forever will be called a Ogden Dress, because why not? Hahaha I would like to start with saying that it turned out exactly as I imagined so I’m overjoyed about it. The quality of this fabric is superb so with care and love hopefully I will enjoy it for years to come.

On the subject of fabric I purchased 2 meters of this lovely stripe textured viscose linen from Myfabrics.co.uk. It was £8.45 per meter and a dream to work with. Easy to handle and press made the sewing process very pleasant. I must say that I thought it would be more on a lightweight side considering the composition of fibre is 70% viscose and 30% linen, however it has more structure and just a little bit of drape to it. Saying that it turned out to be ideal for my dress.

Sometimes the fabric dictates how your make will hang and behave and falling on a scale closer to medium weight I decided to only gather my dress partially at the front and at the back and avoided adding too much bulk around my waist.

Also, I was worried that the fabric is too thick to do shirring with elasticated thread, so I made a choice and used a regular elastic that I edge stitched on both sides. I like the effect and the stability it gives. With elastic thread I never know how much it will gather the fabric , but this way I cut exact final lenght I wanted it to be and stretch the elastic while sewing. I used about 2 meters of 1cm wide elastic from my stash.

From the start I knew I am going to make the bodice lined, but I also wanted to use the same fabric so it kept it’s structure and breathability. Due to fabric shortage I had to improvise here a little and all my lining pieces are cut horizonally, which is fine because I was playing with direction of stripes on this dress anyway. One thing I did do differently however is to skip the lining of the centre back panel. With being elasticated I thought it would be to much, hence the top edge is sewn with white bias tape to give it more of a neat finish, plus it covers the first row of elastic which otherwise might be to itchy on my skin.

I fused the entire button placket to give it more structure and reinforcement, as I did not want the risk of getting it out of shape during wear.

I was considering metal or wooden buttons for this dress, but could not find anything I liked so finally settled for those plastic 2 hole buttons from Minerva Crafts. There were only 15 pence per piece and I used 12 of them on this dress.

With the weather improving this weekend hopefully I will have a chance to finally wear my new dress! Cannot wait .

~Did you ever hacked a pattern till it morphed into something completely new?~

Monika xxx