Pattern testing the Hibiscus top by Glasshouse Patterns

Today I will share with you yet another pattern that I had a pleasure to test. It is a Hibiscus ruffle top/dress by Glasshouse Patterns.

The pattern

It is a begginer friendly sewing pattern with a racer style cut out back that you can make more feminine by adding ruffles to the top part of an armhole. It comes in 8 sizes and it is recommended to be made out of knit fabric with some drape ( especially if you making a dress version with ruffles). The pattern is skimming over the bust into more looser fit in the waist and hip areas.

The PDF pattern is quick to assemble and what I forgot to mention in Dahlia dress post is that pages are easy to align without the need to cut out the excess border line…something that I do not particularly like doing. Thanks for that Tanja! This makes the process of sticking all those pages together less of a chore.

Pattern adjustments

For a pattern testing faze this version was nearly spot on. Tanja did a great job drafting the Hibiscus pattern and I only found one grading error, but do not worry about it because it is all fixed now. Also the final version is more fitted at the bust, something I had to adjust.

I had tested size 8 based on my measurements and learning from my mistakes I decided to make my usual fitting alternation by raising a waistline by 3 cm. I used a shorten/lengthen lines on both front and back bodice pieces and it worked like a charm. I made no other major adjustments apart from taking in the side seam under the armhole by 5 mm, because it was a little bit too big for me.

Construction

The sewing process is super quick and fairly straightforward. It took me 2 hours to cut out the fabric and sew it all together! Amazing!!! I am starting to notice that Tanja likes to use very unusual (at least to me) order of precedence when it comes to sewing her patterns, which is great as I get to learn something different each time.

What I find unusual you may wonder???? In her instruction Tanja advise to sew only one shoulder seam and next attach the neckline binding. This blew my mind, because in this way I do not have to work out the lenght of my binding each time I’m using a fabric with different stretch percentage but I can start attaching it on one end slightly stretching the binding around the neckline curve all the way to the other side cutting of any excess. In all honesty you could do it in any way you are used to, but this method is pretty great.

She uses the same tactic when it comes to finishing off of the armhole seam. First attached the ruffle and armhole binding and then sew both side seams together. Even tho it was my first time sewing jersey top in that order I found it much easier and quicker. It eliminated the time I had to divide the band and necline/ armhole curve into quarters and pin things in place. What a dream!!! Do not wake me up hahaha

Fabric

For my first Hibiscus top I used a green rib poly jersey from Minerva Craft. I got 2 meters for a different project but it was not the right weight for it so it waited to be used for something else. It was £5.99 a meter and it is lovely and soft. It drapes nicely and sew without any problems. I used about 140 cm for my ruffle top and had enough to also make a short sleeves Molly top.

For my second version I used exactly the same fabric that I made my Frankie t-shirt couple of months ago. It’s two color combination works really well with this pattern and I found a new way to use all my small fabric pieces. This pink cotton rib fabric is not as drapey as my first version and you can see that ruffles do not fall as nicely, but I love it anyway.

Final thoughts

The Hibiscus top is a super fun project to make that you can do in one sitting. It is a great pattern if you are looking a comfort with a twist. It is currently on sale so grab yourself a copy. I am planning to make more versions without ruffle next so I can layer it under the cardigan when the weather gets much cooler.

~ How should I hack it? Any ideas?~

Monika xxx

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