I’m still relatively inexperienced in the world of sewing and pattern selection, but two that I have purchased, both as digital downloads, are the Maya dress and the Zippy top. I love the Maya because of it’s simplicity and flexibility, and the Zippy because it fits well and enables me to practise my finishing techniques.
So after one Maya with a wobbly neckline (which I probably could and should remedy, because it would make me love it all the more) and a couple of fairly successful Zippies, I decided to combine the two: the sleeves and dress length of the Maya with the neckline and facings of the Zippy.
I was surprised at how straightforward it was to merge two patterns, though perhaps this was because they are quite similar and not too fitted anyway. I just drew around the Maya, stopping where the curve of the neckline began, then overlaid the Zippy. It did keep crossing my mind that the hack might have been unnecessary, and it could well have just been me that messed up first time, but when you know something works it seems sensible to recreate it. My first attempt was using some jersey from Ebay I’d ordered somewhat blindly, attracted by autumnal colours and large floral print. I French seamed the shoulders, which taught me to consider my finishing technique when using a bulkier fabric, however at £2.99 per metre I didn’t lament this too much, I opted to keep it simple and not add any detail or embellishments, so the dress came together quickly in just a couple of hours. I absolutely love how it turned out, I adore the colours of the print and am pleased with the overall finish.
Next I was intent on using the beautiful Michael Miller that I had initially bought one metre of, then returned for a second. For a while I had had it in my head to add a contrast breast pocket, as I had put two low pockets on my first Maya which worked well but I felt they were barely visible in the same fabric as the rest of the make. Cutting out the pattern pieces was quick and straight forward, and I still have enough of the MM for a small project. I marked out, made and attached a pocket and even added a strip of lace detail that I planned to use as a trim along the hem of the dress.
Ideally I endeavour not to try on my makes until they or finished or I absolutely have to, for instance to work out where a waistband needs to go, so the pocket stayed put at this point. I continued sewing , French seamed it together at the shoulders but then decided I wanted to add actual pockets, as I did here. However, I hadn’t added any tabs for attaching the pockets to, so after much contemplation, pinning, and realisation that French seamed sides were now out of the question, I added them anyway but tried to use minimal seam allowance. I think the generosity of these patterns helped in making this viable. I stitched the sides together, finished the hem and tried it on, only to find that the breast pocket looked awful, the thicker fabric I’d chosen and the placing of the pocket meant the rest of the dress was overlooked. I carefully but reluctantly unpicked and removed it, and was much happier with the final garment. The fabric makes it seem quite summery so I have yet to wear it.
Lastly, to seal my Zippy devotion and because I remembered this fabric I bought earlier in the year at a bargain price, I quickly cut out and assembled yet another Zippy. At first I didn’t have the confidence to use anything with such a clear, straight nap as this, and I again wanted to refine my finishing and zip insertion. It came together quickly and I opted for pinking the inside edge of the facing rather than zigzag stitching, which I really like. The zip placement is better but not perfect (I cut the slit too low and had to insert a small extra piece to full the gap!) and though I think this fabric is pretty and timeless, I had to wear a neutral vest top underneath to make it work appropriate.
This week and weekend have been consumed by marking with minimal opportunity to even contemplate making, but I did buy a couple of metres of dark blue and green tartan yesterday, with a possible pinafore dress in mind, plus I might have added a few metres of different jersey to my shopping basket tonight, oh and just one of faux fur to enable me to make the free See Kate Sew cropped jacket…