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

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