Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Dolores clothes and sustainable sewing

Me and jersey are becoming better friends all the time!

I stumbled upon a bargain haul last Wednesday at the local market. 4 large pieces of production waste jersey for £1 a piece. You do the maths! The very next day (I think) Zoe from So Zo announced that she was releasing her first dress making pattern and later that day I was treated to a pre-release copy. It couldn't have worked out better matching this sustainably sourced fabric with a pattern from the queen of sustainable sewing. The rest is history as far as my next garments are concerned.

The pattern (if you haven't seen it) offers options for a sleevless batwing top, dress or tunic as well as long sleeved versions. I have made both the long sleeved top and the sleevless dress and let me tell you that these are quick to make! I am very limited with time at the moment. I won't bore you with it, but Maria has been teething and unwell, Evan is starting to drop his nap and my previous baby free evenings and daily nap breaks have been hampered. I had a free evening on Sunday, so thought I would cut the dress. 1 hour in and I had finished it with still an hour to spare before bedtime, so went for it with the stripey top too.

I really love the boat neckline. It is very flattering and I can see myself needing this in several colours as well as black! I didn't realise I had this black gap in my wardrobe until I read Ingrids post on her black dress the other day. Now I 'need' one.

This is how I plan to wear my spotty dress! I recently bought some new Leopard print boots and plan to wear them with everything this winter.

There are pattern pieces for arm cuffs, which bring the armhole in tighter, but before adding these on, I tried the dress for fit and decided I quite liked them loose and left as is. I finished the armhole edges by turning in and topstitching with a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine.

In case you're interested I made a size 14. I didn't want too much pulling on the fabric, as it has a white reverse side which shows through if pulled tight and also the spots would look wierd if pulled, so I erred on the side of caution. Zoe does suggest using very drapey jerseys for this dress and both of mine fit this description. I think that they are a viscose mix with a possible cotton content because they are lovely and soft, but it's hard to tell as I'm not a jersey expert.

Here's the top I made! This jersey is such good quality and soooo soft. I only wish I could buy it by the yard from somewhere, but I guess that's the luck of the draw really. I wore this all day yesterday and can confirm that it's extremely comfy and looks great!

This is a new shape for me. I tend to wear boxy styles that sit away from my body when wearing jersey, but the fact that this comes in at the waist actually makes it more versatile. I would struggle to wear my usual tops with this skirt as I would look like a square, but this works. I've had this skirt for about 7 years and it feels as though it's been waiting for this top!

Really loving the tight sleeves too!

Like I said, time is precious and I was a bit lazy when cutting the top. In my desperation to get it done in by bedtime I folded the fabric in half and in half again to cut the front and back at the same time. Sheer madness not only on stripes, but jersey stripes!!!! The front is fine, but the back has a slant to the hem. Not bothered though, as this will be hidden from my view.

My main gripe with jerseys is that I never know how to finish the edges. Zoe has included some tips for such things in her instructions which include my current favourite, the zig zag. I have started using a zig zag on my sewing machine to topstitch all jersey hems and I must say that I am more than happy with it. I don't overlock these edges first as that adds to the bulk.

The stars aligned with this pattern and everything seems to have gone swimmingly. Forgot to mention that the pattern is made up of only 11 pieces, so ridiculously easy to put together.

I love Zoe and I love this pattern! I'm going to stop myself from gushing too much about it and her, but I think that Zoe is an inspiration to so many sewing bloggers and certainly to me. It's so exciting that she has taken the step to release this pattern and I really wish her all the success in the world.

If you like what you see then don't forget the pattern release date on the 3rd October!


Lucy said...

Lovely post Marilla. I'm loving that stripey top and skirt combo, very nice. That top looks super versatile and I love that the Stripes are fairly chunky too. Good stuff! xxx

JustSew Jenna said...

It looks fabtastic!! They both really suit you and I love the serendipity! The pattern is amazing and I will be making more of these too!

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Lucy and Jenna! Serendipity indeed, if only it could work out that way more often! I think I now have a jersey 'go to' pattern. This really excites me as someone with very few jersey patterns.

Anonymous said...

I love the way the stripes work on the top. Its so lovely. And so cheap....

helen siddon said...

What a bargain find, that fabric was just destined for you! I adore the spotty dress and now have a craving for some polka dots in my life! I might have to give this pattern a go as it looks like it could be a strong contender for a go to knit dress.

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Kate! I am always most happy when I've spent little or no money! X

Marilla Walker said...

Hi Helen, I know, a very fortuitous find! I have a spotty dress that I wear for weddings, but nothing casual until now. I'm questioning why now as they are kind of cool in a large block (in my opinion at least). I have recently read that people are either stripes or spots people, but maybe it's possible to be both!

Zoe said...

Ha! I think it's totally possible to be a spotty and stripy person! You and I are definitely both. Thanks so much for sharing your Dolores batwing garments on your blog and for your kind words. I've just 'pinned' your versions! xxx