Hi everyone! In today’s post I will finally share with you what I call “the most comfortable dress” you can ever make! And I am not the only one, as many of you call it secret pyjamas!!! You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?!?! It is the fabulous Heather dress by Sew Over It. Normally I would write my final thoughts at the end…if there are any…but on this occasion I shall do something unexpected and start with it!…
Heather dress is absolutely my go to dress all year round. I had made 3 versions since buying the pattern last year and can honestly say it is worth every penny. It is versatile and makes me feel chic and stylish whenever I put it on! Plus it gives you an option to color block and get creative! I like it to wear it during warmer weather with sandals and during winter with tights and boots. Another staple piece in my wardrobe!
Heather is meant to be made out of a knit fabric, such as Ponte di Roma or double knit jersey and I had use different types each time I had made it. So far my favorite is the last one….maybe because I alter the pattern a bit each time and now I am content with the result or maybe because it’s made out of this beautiful Ponte di Roma I got from Croft Mill. It cost £7.00 per meter, but the quality is great. I previously purchased cheaper poly jersey for my color block version and it was a disaster. After first wash the white panel became dirty grayish and it started to bubble….lesson learned…it’s better to spend few more pounds but enjoy and wear it for many years to come. This was the second time I had sewn with Ponte di Roma fabric and I must say it is one of the easiest knit to handle.
Fabric requirement for this pattern varies depending on size and option chosen, but for me 150cm is enough to make a sort sleeve version, so I save half a meter here, because I typically shorten most patterns substantially at the hem.
I have learnt some time ago to look at finished measurements chart at the same time as sizing chart to establish which size to cut out that would be best fit for my body. By doing this you will have a better idea if the pattern comes with a lot of ease or is it rather closer to the body, something this is cannot be clear based on a pattern lines or a picture.
Normally I would go with a bust measurement to pick a size and grade it from there, however for this pattern I chose my size based on my hip circumstance. Why did you do that Monika, you may ask… well…as this dress is sewn with a stretchy fabric it is more forgiving in comparison with woven materials, plus most of the time patterns that requires jersey type fabric would come with negative ease, meaning the pattern circumstances are smaller then your actual body. By looking at Heather’s finished measurements it can be seen that there is no ease at the bust, but there is a lot of extra fabric around the waist and hip areas. I decided to try size 16 which still gave me plenty of space to move and graded up at the bust. This was not difficult to do as the pattern comes with a princess type lines.
I had moved the waist up by 3 cm as I always do and at the same time did a sway back alteration on the pattern pieces to reduce the bulk of fabric that gathered above my bum. I pinched another 2 cm at the center back going to nothing at the side seam ( had to temporary tape it in place both back panels together).
Next I shortened the hem by 14 cm, but since doing my first version I had lengthen it again by 3 cm, so it reaches my knees.
My first version comes with a 3/4 sleeves. I had tried a full length first, but did not like it on me. Since then I like the short sleeve best, but had to add some circumstances around the sleeve hem as it was tighter then I would prefer. I read that few people identified this problem too, which was not the case when making Molly top for me. I guess I will have to double check other Sew Over It designs in the future.
Cutting and Sewing
Pattern comes with 15mm seam allowance which normally ( for patterns with stretchy fabric) I trim it down to about 8 to 10 mm so I can do the seams on my over-locker. This is not the best idea for this pattern, because Heather comes with in seam pockets ( which are awesome), and it would be very difficult to sew it with precision. Pattern instruction attached are very clear and easy to follow, which at this point I do not even look at 😉 It takes me about 40 mins to cut it out and 3 hours 30 minutes to complete sewing and pressing. It is not a speedy make, but anything that can be done in one sitting is an added bonus. I like to use a twin needle to finish the hems and top-stitch around the neckline. I had realized that the neckband included in the pattern needs to by adjusted each time depending on a percentage of stretch in the fabric, so I cut it a bit longer and play with it to ensure I have enough. In general the more stretch the fabric has the shorter the neckband.
~Heather is a must have dress, so do not waste any more time and start sewing!~