Hope you are all well and enjoying this festive period.
I have been doing quite a lot of sewing recently but nothing for Christmas! You may have seen the debate on Marie’s, of Stitch Odessey, Instagram regarding the use of the term “selfish sewing”… now I couldn’t agree with Marie more… I find it really stressful sewing for gifts. The actual sewing I find less enjoyable and then I just get so much anxiety whether the person actually likes their gift or if they are fake smiling! Which takes the joy out of the gift giving (and I absolutely love seeing my loved ones open their presents).
So you could say I’ve been doing a lot of selfish sewing recently and I am perfectly ok with that!
Many of you will know how much I love a simple jersey dress (**cough cough** too many to count moneta dresses **cough cough**). I think they are so easy to wear, hide all the cake (mostly) and they are actually so easy to sew. I know a lot of people are worried or scared about sewing jersey but I think it’s a real joy.
Now I have been on the hunt for another style of jersey dress. Not because I don’t love the moneta dress, but just to give me some variety to my wardrobe. I liked the idea of the Wren dress from Colette Patterns, but I found I was constantly tugging on the wrap top, trying to feel less exposed.
Years later, having given up hope on finding a nice faux wrap dress Sew Over It London released exactly that… the Georgie dress… a dress with a faux wrap top and either a gathered skirt or a ¾ circle skirt (photo below taken from the Sew Over It blog). The wrap style goes all the way over to the side seam, and it is advertised as having stay tape in the top to avoid gapping or gaping. Well this sounded absolutely blissful, so I immediately bought it and got my husband to print at work (he is a good egg).
I had some stretch velvet in my stash for years never finding a pattern worthy of the fabric (fabric was purchased from Fabric Godmother, and was blogged about in 2016!!). But with Christmas coming up I decided that a wrap velvet dress would be epic. I cut out within a few days of the pattern being released, but then it sat on our dining table for weeks. The impending Christmas party was definitely the kick up the bum that I needed to get this baby done.
The actually sewing of this pattern is really quite easy. I think it took me less than a day, but spread over a weekend. I think the instructions are ok, but the stay tape (or clear elastic) method for the bodice was not great in my opinion. I had to wing it in the end, and then either my elastic didn’t meet the edge of the bodice, or I had to stretch it which then gathered my bodice edge. I opted for the first option as the gathered bodice edge did not look good at all. The instructions even tell you how long you need your elastic, and takes in to account an added extra, so I have no idea why this was happening to me. That being said this did not take away from how lovely the bodice is once it’s sewn up. (You may have even seen me take process pictures on my Instagram as I was so happy with this faux wrap top).
I made two “alterations” to this pattern. Firstly, I added pockets to the skirt, because pockets are everything. Secondly, I opted to gather my skirt using the clear elastic, like what is done with the moneta dress. I find this easier than the suggested method of gathering with gathering stitches and then adding elastic afterwards. To me this is a bit of a time waster, and with sewing time being so precious I couldn’t afford to do the gather stitches.
I did take the time to hand stitch the skirt hem though. I machine hemmed the sleeves and you can see the white of where the stitches go in, which I was then no a huge fan of. So I spent a whole evening carefully hand stitching the skirt hem, while watching a Christmas movie. I think the result looks wonderful so I am so pleased I took my time to do this rather than just rushing on the machine.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to why my sleeve hem looks like this? Or would I always get this effect seen as the underside of my velvet is white?
Overall, I really do love this pattern. It’s a super-fast sew and looks lovely on. I do think that the bodice could have been lengthened by an inch, but this is also due to my fabric and its lack of stretch lengthways. I would not lengthen it on more fluid, stretchy fabrics.
I will definitely be making more of these dress (and maybe a couple of top versions too!).
Have you tried the Georgie dress yet? Let me know if you have one planned!!
Love, Abigail x