Pattern testing Florence skirt by Sinclair Patterns

Hi sewing friends! This week I am bringing to you yet another pattern I had a enjoyment of testing, however this time it was was a Sinclair Patterns. This was my first time not only testing one of their patterns but it was also the very first time I had a pleasure of sewing a pattern from their broad collection. It is always fascinating to me how every business is unique and a little bit different in their approach.

Similar to SBCC Patterns, Sinclair Pattern target not only regular height people, but also people of a petite frame! This (as you may know) is something I always look for, because it make the whole process of fitting the garment so much simpler! So an a day I sew the call for pattern testers on Instagram I instantly knew I had to apply. The process to test the pattern for Sinclair Patterns looks exactly the same as for any other company I tested previously, but their time line is so much shorter. Normally I would have 2-3 weeks to sew a pattern, take photos and write a feedback. Sinclair Patterns however gives you about 9 days to do it all. It was not a problem for this particular project, but I can imagine it could be more difficult if a pattern is more complex.

Oxana, who runs the Sinclair Patterns company uses a closed Facebook group during pattern testing process, where we could past our in progress photos and ask any questions or share a feedback. This was very helpful and it was nice to see how everyone is getting on with their makes.

Let’s have a look on what I’ve been sewing!…

The pattern

Florence skirt comprises of 8 panels that give it a close fit at the waist and is semi fitted and flared at hips and hem respectively. There is an option to make a front button placket or you can skip the placket and go for a plain front with a side zipper. There are also two lengths variations: knee length and calf length.

I tested the knee length version with a button placket and apart from shortening the hem by 6 cm I did not make any other adjustments to the pattern pieces.

Fabric choice

The pattern is designed for light and medium weight woven fabric and I made mine from light chambray denim I purchased few months ago from for £8.45 a meter. At the time I wanted to make a casual trousers for end of a summer, but I never came around to doing it. I had 1.5 meter of this fabric and it was a perfect amount. You will definitely need more if you planning to make one out of directional print.

Overall the fabric was easy to handle, sew and press, but during the fitting process I realized that it have a tendency of stretching a little, in a similar manner that some linens do so I ended up having a little bit too much easy at the waist.

Sewing the pattern

The pattern is pretty straightforward, so it did not take long to sew. The whole process took about 2.5 hours, including making 8 button holes and hand stitching all buttons.

The pattern instruction is very detailed and it takes you through every step including recommended seam finish using a French seam method. As this is my preferred method I was happy to oblige.

After realising that my fabric stretched slightly, even after stay stitching waist edge and being careful I decided to take in 1 cm from each side seam plus inserted an elastic inside the waistband starting and ending on the second front panel. This worked absolutely fine and now it provides more comfort and flexibility during wear.

Final thoughts

Although there is nothing wrong with the pattern, I am not sure it is something I would like to wear. I like that it is easy to pair it with many different styles of tops, but even that does not convince me. I am glad I made it though, because it was a new experience and I am again one step closer to understanding what I like and what I do not like.

Have a great week!

Monika xxx

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