Designer Stitch Patterns is celebrating their 1st anniversary, and I was lucky enough to jump on the blog train this go around. I’m excited to participate. Ann is a really encouraging, kind lady who makes some really lovely patterns with great directions, and the women that sew her patterns are so creative and talented. Today, I get to feature the Designer Stitch Jenny Dress.
Fabric Choices – Light to Medium Weight Cotton, Cotton Types, Silk and Silk Types.
The Jenny dress is an extended cap shoulder dress with front and back contoured darts. It is semi-fitted and has a center back invisible zipper with a back hem vent. My favorite feature about the Jenny dress is the tie front overlay. The ties really add a lot of interest to this simple silhouette.
When this pattern first came out, I loved the styling but passed on it because the smallest size available is a 6. On closer inspection, Australian sizing is different than US and European pattern sizing (AU 6=US 2=EU 34), and I’m right within the pattern range. Another problem solved by reading the pattern! I couldn’t have been more delighted.
I did make a muslin to test out the general fit in the size 6 (size 1 on the pattern). I shortened the whole dress by 2.5″ which is about right for me so that it sits just above my knee as is intended. In addition, I decided to flare out the hem just slightly. My goal was to add just enough for comfort without losing the look of the slim skirt. I’m just barely a pear, and sometimes I need to have a little more room. This is especially my preference on summer dresses. Since I’m bending down often with all my kids, being able to do so without the skirt feeling tight and without flashing is key.
I look forward to making this again with the slimmer silhouette in a fabric with a little more give than what I used. Speaking of…
Cutting into precious yardage!
I was really excited to finally find a pattern for this Milly silk/cotton voile. I bought it from Elliott Berman on sale so long ago I couldn’t even find the order information! 🙂 This fabric is so light and airy, but it has a huge pattern. I’ve set it aside every summer for the past 6 years because I didn’t know how to handle the print. The Jenny dress is perfect because it has no horizontal seams that might break up the pattern too much.
Because my fabric is semi-sheer, I decided to fully line it. There’s no allowance in the pattern for a lining, but it’s not difficult to add one. I simply omitted the facings and cut the lining 1.5″ shorter. If you have a heavier fabric, don’t hesitate to use the facings. Ann has some stellar directions for an all-in-one facing that will give you a beautiful finish!
My lining fabric is a yellow cotton voile. It might seem a little unorthodox to have chosen a yellow, but I liked how the yellow warmed up the bright turquoise. That slight color change is a welcome gift to my personal coloring which always requires a little warmth.
I kind of like the contrast the yellow brings to this dress. It occurred to me that in theory, you could wear tie the ties in the back and wear the front plain. I don’t think I’ll wear it like this, but it was fun to mix up the style.
Since I eliminated the facings in favor of the lining, I wanted to have a nice way to finish the edge. You could use bias tape or keep the facings (just sew them to the lining), but I went for piping. I thought it’d be a nice way to break up the large pattern just slightly. The piping is made from a lightweight pale aqua rayon/cotton shirting I bought from JoAnn just for the binding.
2 happy anniversaries
Not only is Designer Stitch celebrating their anniversary, but my husband and I are celebrating our 10th this week. I was delighted to have such a happy occasion to wear this dress out for. It’s been some time since we’ve been able to go out to a nice dinner that requires a pretty frock!
Happy anniversary sale
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