Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pattern testing the Chai dress

This is the Chai dress from Itch to stitch and I love it.  It certainly helps that it is in my favourite ever liberty tana lawn  bought as seconds for only £9 a metre. 

This is my first time ever as a pattern tester.  I was very pleasantly surprised to be picked and just a little nervous.  The process was to sew the dress in about 5 days, which was fine as I was on holiday.  The were around 30 testers and the  process was incredibly thorough with 3 versions of the pattern produced.  It was great to see everyone's finished garments and how different they looked.  Originally I thought this might not be a dress to suit all figures, but actually it did!  The pattern is a PDF and although I will never really love PDFs you are able to just print the size you want.   What I really liked is that the pattern has different cup sizes and I had the most amazing fit straight away.

I cut a size 6 bust graded to a 4 at the waist.  The only adjustments I made was to raise the waistline by 1/2", as I usually have raise waistlines by 1" this may make it a little high for some of you.  I also added 2" to the length.  But that was it.  This is probably the best fit I've ever had, it is pretty snug, but actually comfortable.  I had intended to make the version with the sleeve, but it has a gathered sleeve and I'm not that keen on gathered sleeves.  I usually avoid sleeveless makes, because I don't really like showing the tops of my arms, but I really preferred  the sleeveless look and I've decided just to go with it. 

Jo at my sewing class just showed me a tip to sew a collar the other way round if you know you aren't going to button up, that is machining the collar to the inside and then doing your slip stitching on the right side, and I love this technique.  It means the part of the collar that shows is really neat.

The other thing I loved is that you can make the insides really neat.  I used French seams throughout.  The only thing I would really do differently is to interface the waist band.

A definite winner, and I would genuinely recommend this pattern.  The blouse version is lovely too and I will be making it again.
I've also been to Cambridge for the Sewing Weekender with sewing friend Gary and we had a great time.

There are many descriptions around about what happened, but basically 60 sewers talked ... sewed .... swapped stuff .... talked some more  and had a very wonderful time.  We stayed at the College for 2 nights and I would definitely go again, if we can get the tickets.  It was surreal meeting lots of the people I watch on vlogs and admire their makes on blogs and I was just a touch starstruck. 

Here I am with Harriet and her mum, both such lovely people (and wearing my GBSB colour blocked dress, which got loads of complements).  It was particularly lovely to meet Rachel and Kate from the Fold Line and Charlotte from An English Girl at Home who organized the weekend and Fiona from Dairy of a Chainstitcher, one of my favourite blogs.  The only thing that went wrong was my sewing!  I was making a Seamwork Sonia and the fit was so awful that is has ended in the bin!

I would recommend you go to the Weekender if you can, but as tickets are so limited that they sold out in 20 minutes and I want to go again next year .... I won't!  And just to prove that I do wear what I me, here I am in my Chai dress outside the College at Cambridge.