Something else I’ve done to extend myself with sewing is volunteering to be a pattern tester. I have a background in desktop publishing so figure I balance my lower skill level with awesome proofreading skills when giving feedback. And for once the latest thing I’ve tested I actually have photos for a blog post! It’s the new Miramar dress from Scroop Patterns.
I’m seriously in love with this pattern. Leimomi of The Dreamstress & Scroop Patterns has offered it as a project for her sewing lessons in the past and I had been strongly tempted. But it’s a fairly simple pattern that’s suitable for beginners and I am quite comfortable with knits so prefer classes that are a bit trickier. Which means I was happy dancing when she said it would be her next pattern release and I was dead keen to try it.
The dress is so comfortable it’s secret pyjama dressing. You can pretty much tell if I like a pattern as I put it on to wear straight away. As soon as I finished this I tried it on to twirl and then didn’t bother putting my old clothes back on. Anyone else do that when they are super happy with something?
I love the colour of the dress and the small abstract print. What isn’t good though is the amount of stretch in the fabric. Initially Leimomi recommended at least 25% stretch both ways, which this has, but the arms are tighter than I’d like. I can still wear it but I’m aware of it. She has changed the recommendation to at least 30% stretch and my advice is pay attention. She also increased the sleeve size by 1 cm.
I liked the dress so much I promptly bought some orange merino that day to make a top version and the sleeves are better with more stretch.
Speaking of sleeves, I left the ends raw on the dress. I’m going to wear it a bit more before I decide on final length. I’m thinking to cut them to above my elbow or possibly at a ¾ length. For the top version I marked a line 3cm below the short sleeve version and that came out to just above my elbow which I really like and is good for work.
The dress I made a size 46and graded out to a 48 from the waist as I wanted a bit more of a twirly skirt – forgetting I live in one of the windiest places on earth! When we took the photos I yet again involuntarily showed the cars passing by the colour of my knickers. When will I learn??!!!
Actually I did learn cause I wore it to work with high heels and a full slip later in the week and there were no naughty flashes even riding the scooter. But I think that a number of testers made the same alteration as in the final release version Leimomi has redrafted from the waist to taper out more. For the top version I just made a straight 46 and it fits really well. The only change I made after trying the top on to check the fit was to sew up the front seam an extra 3 cm. The dress version was fine but the different fabric meant I was showing a little more cleavage than I’m comfortable with for work. But I’m short and am self conscious in lower necklines as most people can look straight down my cleavage so I’d suggest trying it and then making up your mind like I did.
This is a non seasonal pattern, I’ve made it in two lighter weight fabrics suitable for the summer coming up but I’ve seen it made up in mid weight ponte and heavier weight merino which look awesome. I’m hoping that there will be a heavyweight raspberry merino in The Fabric Store when they stock for autumn/winter. Although looking at the Pantone predictions for 2016 I might have to settle for spicy mustard instead. I just know there will be a winter version in my future along with a mid weight white top version for work.
And you know what else is nice? In our new house we overlook the Miramar peninsula the dress is named for… pretty, like the pattern.