Being a pattern tester for Glasshouse Patterns-Dahlia Dress

Hi everyone! I am excited to finally share with you a pattern that I had a pleasure to try and test. It is called Dahlia Dress and was designed by a lovely Tanja from Glasshouse Patterns. It is her very first pattern, so I took this job very seriously and made sure to be as thorough as possible.

Dahlia Dress pattern and instruction

Dahlia is a cute wrap style dress with interesting features. A front bodice includes 3 pleats to skim over your body for a better fit and there are also long back darts. The dress comes with 3 different sleeve lenght (long, 3/4 and cap sleeve) and you can have the skirt with flounce if you wish.

The pattern comes in a range of 8 sizes, but if you fall in between two sizes just check the table with finished measurements as the bodice has a bit more ease so it is possible to go with smaller size.

What I found interesting is how the fabric requirement is presented in the instruction booklet. Tanja divided the pattern into different variations and then recommends the lenght of the fabric required for that option. Due to the skirt pattern size it is recommended that the fabric width should be no smaller than 140cm.

Instruction booklet includes a step by step photo tutorial to guide you throughout the whole process. The steps are written in an easy to understand way and the pictures are high quality.

Dahlia Dress pattern adjustment and construction

The job of pattern tester is to find any mistakes either in the pattern itself or the instruction included in the booklet and I can honestly say that I take this very seriously. But apart from some grading errors for bodice pleats and notches that Tanja resolved right away there rest of the pattern was drafted very well. Other then that there was a missing step in the instruction and couple minor spelling mistakes which were rectified during the testing process.

I chose to make a version with cap sleeves and plain skirt without the flounce.

I had sewn the pattern as it is, without doing any of my adjustments as I wanted to see the original fit. It was pretty good apart from a waist line being too low on me. It would be fine if I did not want to attach the belt, but this is such a critical detail to the design I did not want to skip it. In turn I had shorten the bodice by 4 cm. Doing this raised a small problem at the side seams. They no longer matched by 5 mm. As this was only a test version I do not mind and because there is a waist belt it is barely visible, but lesson to all….do not shorten the bodice at the hem when there are any pleats or darts involved.

The process of sewing the Dahlia Dress was very straightforward up to a point of attaching a waist tie to the bodice. The instruction was missing a step and because the way that Tanja constructed the patter was new to me I got little confused. Tanja was extremely helpful during the testing phase and answered emails within couple of hours, so when she attached extra diagrams and updated booklet it was so simple in the end. I really like it how she finishes the tie from inside by attaching short ribbon to a waist band in two places.

It took me about 5 hours and 30 mins to make this dress, which in whole honesty is not that long. Being extra thorough slowed me down a little, but it was worth it as I have a beautiful dress in my wardrobe now.

One thing I need to confess….I had not checked the fabric reccomadation beforehand and purchase 5m of cotton fabric of 115 cm width. When I realised my mistake I was mortified, but luckily I was able to squeeze it by folding a material perpendicular to the salvage end. I was glad that my print was not a directional print and you can see I can get away with it this time….another lesson learnt…phhhhfff

Final thoughts

I like that the bodice part is lined, but was worried that it might be too bulky. The skirt is a perfect lenght for me, so I would advise lengthen it if you are much taller or add a flounce if you like that style.

Although this was a test pattern I would highly recommend this pattern if you are looking for a wrap dress that is well drafted and can be sewn from many different fabrics to give it a unique look.

~that is a wrap for today….what do you think?~

Monika xxx

Pattern testing of Canary Cami by Wearable Studio

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It is official! I am a pattern tester !!! If you told me a year ago that I will become a pattern tester I would not believe you, but here I am taking on a new opportunity and a challenge of testing a newly released pattern from Wearable Studio.

The pattern is called Canary Cami and can be purchased as a PDF pattern, which is amazing if you do not like waiting for a postman hihihi

 

The pattern

Canary Cami is a simple pattern based on a classic top that we all love to wear. It has an interesting princess seam for a better fit that extend and create a flirty and eye catching fluted sleeves…..my favorite detail of this pattern… It’s fairly loose fit is perfect if you live an active life.

I had cut size 16 based on my bust measurement and had to cut off about 9 cm of the hem, because it was very long on me. When I think about it now it could be better if I had raised the waistline instead as this created a saggy looking bust and I had to increase the seam under the bust by about half centimeter for closer fit.

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The construction

The pattern consist of only 3 pieces so it can be considered a quick make, by an experience sewer, however it can be a little tricky for a total beginner because the seams are curved and the hem and sleeves are finished with bias binding….but do not fear…the instruction and step by step explanation are extremely helpful.

For the best result first I made sure that all notches are precisely matched for front and back princess seam. I used a ton (slight exaggeration??) of pins to secure it in place.

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Hand basting curved seams is time consuming, but the final result is worth it. It also prevent the fabric from shifting while sewing or damaging the fabric (if you sew over the pins).

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Having my seams basted in place I clipped the seam allowance to avoid making puckering or mini pleats while sewing with the machine. This was also recommended in the instruction at the later stage.

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Look at that princess seam.

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I must say I am not a pro when it comes to using bias binding, but this project has definitely improved my skills and made me realize that there is nothing to be afraid of! At the end of the instruction manual you will find a helpful tip on how to make your own bias binding at home, which I did not try this time because I did not have any fabric leftover.

I had used a ready made bias binding and cannot be happier with how it turned out.

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Final thoughts

This pattern was easy to make and I have enjoyed the whole process from start to finish. I am glad that I used this lovely pink viscose for this project as it is soft and drapy and it creates more desired effect. TIP: use bias binding that has similar weight and structure that of your main fabric to allow the fabric to hang and drape properly on your body.

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~Have you ever thought of becoming a pattern tester?~

Monika xxx