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

Third time lucky? Heidi Dress by Wearable Studio

I like to be honest with you at all times so today I will share my not so perfect attempt of fitting the newest pattern from Wearable Studio, the Heidi Day Dress.

I had previously made a Canary Cami from this designer and was in love right away, so did not think twice about Heidi, particularly because I received the PDF pattern for free as a gift for signing up to Wearable Studio’s newsletter.

Heidi is a simple dress with staps and bust darts that is looser around the waist. On the back there are two pleats where tie is sewn into, which can accentuate your waist more.

I looked at the size chart and picked size 18 which was good for me on the bust and hips. I’m falling more onto size 20 at my waist, but when I checked finished measurements and pattern shaping I realized that size 18 has more then enough ease to accommodate for my bigger waist. What I did not expect is to see so much excess fabric on the neckline. In hindsight it may be because the patterns are design for bodies with larger than average bust (C cup), so I decided to do some small bust adjustment for my second try.

Also I had to shorten straps by 10cm because they were way too long. I hoped that by doing so the waist placement will raise enough as the pleats and the waist tie were too low on my back. I used a lovely embroidery fabric from my stash and was a little upset that it did not turned out as I hopped for, but never the less I am still enjoying this dress and wear it often at home.

Pattern adjustments

Before I cut into my next fabric I had to make necessary alternations to the pattern pieces.

First I had done small bust adjustment by slashing and overlapping the pattern by 2 cm. This reduced size of bust darts and eliminated the excess fabric at the neckline therefore I had to draft a new front facing.

I kept straps shorten by 10cm as this was a good lenght on me. Next I moved up the pleats and the tie placement on the back by 3 cm, because I still felt they sit too low on me.

Another try, another fail

I sewn my second version just to realize that the bust dart point is to high. I did not see any placement issue on my first dress because of the excess fabric, but thinking back shortening straps by 10 cm would move the whole bodice up a lot including the bust dart…..silly me. At least I could test my bust adjustment and I was pretty happy with it. I used some leftover stretch cotton from my stash, so was not as upset as before.

3rd time the charm?

You can see I can be a little stubborn sometimes, so I made further adjustment to the pattern by changing an angle of the bust dart. I kept everything else as it was before and made my final version.

This dress was made out of leftover linen fabric that I used last year to make my half circle skirt with button placket. I had to be very creative and played Tetris, by having a centre seam at the back and shorter belts.

Am I happy with it??? Yes and no… I like the style and the comfort of this dress but hate how it looks and fits on my back.

I’m guessing this might be due to my sway back and a big bum, so I will undo those back pleats and insert the belt in the centre seam ( At least it came handy), or I may do a normal darts. Will see which one I prefer more. I should of made a sway back adjustment, but I though I can get away with it this time…..I was wrong!

It takes me about 30 mins to cut out the fabric and 2 hours to sew the Heidi dress, but it is a time well spend as I have 3 lovely, but not so perfect dresses that I can wear at home and in the garden.

Final thoughts

After making and remaking the dress on three different occasions I can honestly say it is an easy and fast make. The instructions included with the pattern are simple to follow and very clear. If you have a small bust I would recommend doing SBA, but other than that the pattern is well drafted and I would make some more and am thinking of hacking the pattern into a nice cropped Cami top with a belt.

I prefer it made out of a lighter weight fabric with a little bit of a drape to it because they hang nicer and are more flattering on me.

~hope my experience will be helpful to you~

Monika xxx