Yay, I’m excited to be participating in The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month 2015! I’ve been sewing like a crazy woman lately and I think it will be a busy month trying to get something sewed for each week, but I’m up for the challenge!
My dress comes to you courtesy of Victory Patterns and their splendid Hazel Dress. I love this pattern, full stop. It is an interesting design, super comfortable and highly versatile. I definitely need some more winter essentials and garments that can crossover between being stylish work clothes and going-out-for-date-night clothes.
It was my first time sewing a Victory Pattern and everything about it was straightforward. I was inspired by Abbey’s chambray version with the subtle colour palette. I do really love prints but I’m purposely making myself sew more practical clothing that gels with a lot of different elements of my wardrobe. That is the point of a capsule wardrobe after all! And navy is one of the key colours I’ve chosen for my wardrobe, so navy-on-navy it was!
So, on my first ever and long-awaited trip to Auckland’s The Fabric Store (I’m in love….), I picked up some high quality navy ponte and a gorgeous fleece-backed demin-look Marc Jacobs fabric. A lot of the inspiration photos I found of this dress used the print fabric for the bodice and a block colour for the dress and cuffs but I decided I wanted the fleece lining from the Marc Jacobs fabric to comprise the main body so it could keep me warm through the NZ winter! So I inverted my textures and colours for this dress.
I cut a size 6 based on my measurements and lengthened the bodice by 5cm which is my standard modification. Other than that I did everything else straight out of the envelope and sewed up as per the instructions. All the seams were sewed with a lightning stitch and finished on the overlocker. Given the heavy weight of the ponte I didn’t interface any of the pattern pieces. To get a nice finish on the hem I did my typical turned and stitched hem. I don’t tend to do many blind hems but I think it’s a skill I should incorporate into my sewing a bit more – perhaps a challenge for a future project!
If I’m being picky, the only thing I was a bit “meh” about was the little slit they have you do in the top centre of the bodice, right underneath where the bow knot sits. To me it just seems a little redundant and doesn’t add anything to the dress. In fact, it makes it more difficult to get the facing to lie flat. So whilst I didn’t love that feature and probably won’t do it again on forthcoming Hazel dresses I was glad I tried it out. Maybe it is designed for when you don’t have the ties in a proper bow and just let them drape as per the Victory Patterns picture?
The dress did meet all the expectations I had for it. I’ve worn it to work a couple of times already and last weekend it was the perfect dress for an evening out at the town hall watching our friend play viola in the Auckland Youth Orchestra. I think for future versions I will add some darts to the back as I think it is slightly too baggy back there and forms an odd shaped silhouette. If I make that adjustment it may need a zip as well but I think that will be a case of wait and see. I do really love this dress and I’m so glad I made it. Thank you Victory Patterns!
I should also add that these photos were taken on a recent weekend away in Rotorua. For those not familiar with NZ geography, it is a town built on a geothermal hotspot and that smells permanently like rotten eggs (due to sulphur). Lots for a geology nerd like myself to get excited about here! This mock-Tudor building in the background of my photos is the Rotorua Museum on the lake front with the croquet lawn in the foreground. Just amazing!
And I do apologise for the wrinkled dress – I ironed this before the photos but two minutes in the car was enough to crease this fabric – bah!!