Pattern:Sew To Grow - Fremantle Frock Pattern Test
My first attempt at pattern testing and I actually learnt A LOT! What a great way to learn about how things sit on my shape and how to alter a garment so they actually do fit and all the while helping a friend release their new pattern!
So I was on my way cutting into my first ever piece of Liberty Tana Lawn for a pattern test, not sure if this was a wise idea, but it all worked out in the end! Ah ha!
Sewing this up was a breeze and has really nice finishes – bias binding neck line, a great facing on the hem and lovely princess lines with concealed pockets. And the best thing is (besides the pockets) is that there is no zippers or buttons. It just pops straight over your head. How easy it that! I sewed the Fremantle Frock up in no time at all with no great issues with the pattern, so it was great.
I try it on; unfortunately not so great...the neck line was huge on me. I instantly emailed Lindsay from Sew to Grow and rang my Mum for some advice. After some discussions and back and forth we had realised it was a combination of two things. The fit on the test pattern might have been a little off as another on tester had had the same issue. Two - Lightweight cottons like cotton lawn and voile can manipulate quite easily so when attaching bias binding be sure not to stretch and pull the fabric to fit the bias binding as it may stretch out the fabric.
Let’s give this dress the fixing shall we! Ok, so we decided the best thing to do was cut away the excess at the shoulder seam, add a box pleat to the back neck of the dress and gather the sleeve.
After shelfing this project and putting this off for a few weeks I finally returned to it this week, which by chance is the week the pattern gets released!
Game face on I was ready to hack into this and make some changes. I basted where I needed to take up the shoulder first on both sides to make sure I had the adjustment right, it was a great big 9.0cm evenly distributed from back shoulder and front shoulder measured from shoulder seam at the top of the arm scythe.
I cut and discarded shoulders where I had basted and was left with no neck drop at the back....hmmmm..I re did the shoulder seams and tried the dress on, except for looking a little straight at the back it sat fine so instead of adding the box pleat I reshaped the back neck line and it worked out great.
Next for the sleeves, I thought some pleats would be a little smoother than the gather and add a point of difference to the garment. I added 2 small pleats either sides of the shoulder seam to get rid of the excess fabric in the sleeve and sewed them in. This did not look great, the pleats sat fine except it was like there was nowhere for them to go and they ended just sticking out half was down the sleeve length, making the sleeve look very pointy. I don't think this would have necessarily been the case if the discrepency was only a few centimetre, but becasue the discrepency was so big it altered the whole sleeve shape.
Next I tried the gather and the same thing happened. The only other thing I could come up with was to reshape the whole sleeve by adding a dart at the shoulder seam ending at 0 at the sleeve hem. This worked and sleeves sit fine now but I just have a sleeve with a top seam. This is fine and you can’t tell with the fabric I used so I don’t mind it.
I attached the bias binging again and made sure I did not pull the fabric at all through the sewing machine and we were onto a winner!
What a great way to start my pattern testing career, I say. It was so exciting helping Lindsay with her new Fremantle Frock pattern test, I really enjoyed nutting out all the complications that came about and it made me question a lot of my own issues with my fit and the way things look on me. All the while helping out Lindsey perfect her pattern so she can bring the final perfectly fitting and amazing released pattern to you!
Thanks so much Lindsey for giving me the opportunity to pattern test for you, it was really a great experience and hopefully not the last!
Love this dress now so much and I can’t wait for some warmer down in Melbourne so I can frock it out! This truly is such a comfortable dress that can take you from the office into the night. Or pair it with some thongs and pop it over your head and it is the perfect casual weekend dress.
Lindsay has some awesome discounts and prizes to be won while she releases not just one but 3 brand new patterns. Please click on the photo to check out her new patterns and enter the amazingly awesome competition where you can win all 3 patterns plus the new Cotton + Steel Thread by sulky. She is also generous enough to offer 25% off any of her new patterns with the code WIN on her website!