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Pattern testing is becoming something that I have really been enjoying just lately, and I was more than thrilled to be accepted as part of the pattern testing team for Nina Lee recently. Nina Lee is an independent pattern company based in London, and has an impressive range of patterns including dresses, tops, trousers and pyjamas which I would encourage you to check out if you are unfamiliar with her designs. Nina is a friendly and inspiring young designer who is incredibly talented and hard working and I look forward to working with her again.

So, let me introduce you to The Mayfair Dress.

This is a jersey dress designed to take you from day to night and is suitable for all occasions. It is incredibly comfortable, super flattering, and with the choice of skirt lengths and sleeve options you are bound to find a combination to make the dress of your dreams! It has a tie belt which can be tied at the front or the back, depending on your mood.

The dress is available in UK sizes 6-20, and you will need to use a knit fabric with a 25% crosswise stretch with a good drape.

I chose to use a viscose jersey, and opted for this stunning blush pink and navy fabric from The Sewing Cafe in Hinckley. It’s so pretty, and works with this pattern perfectly I think.

The pattern is really quite simple, and has no fastenings. The collar facing is attached to the dress using the ‘burrito’ method, which is such fun and ensures a beautiful clean finish with no raw edges to neaten. Don’t worry if you have never used this technique before, the instructions are really great – in their wording and with the use of clear illustrations.

I chose to make the knee length version with short sleeves. I love the depth of the flattering v-neck- it’s just right. Pleats are created at the back of the collar and softly create a lovely drape down towards the bust on the front bodice.

The pleats are created at the centre back neck seam.

I love how the fabric tie nips you in at the waist. This is attached at the centre front seam of the dress over your gathering stitches and secured along the upper and lower edges with two lines of top stitching. The length of the tie is perfect, and is long enough for you to choose if you want to tie it at the back or bring it round again and make a feature of the tie at the front of the dress.

The sleeves went in nicely with no puckering or gathers, and are fitted as one of the final steps before the dress is sewn up at each side in one continuous line from the end of your sleeves to the underarm point and continuing down to the hem.

I really enjoyed making this dress. I made absolutely NO changes to the pattern at all, and it fits like a glove. I have since made another version of this dress, which I had photographed during a recent sewing get-together which I blogged about here, and once I get the photographs back from the photo session there, I will add them to this blog post so that you can see another version.

Do you fancy making a version of this dress yourself? To celebrate the launch of this new pattern, I have one copy of this dress pattern (paper version), to be won, as I am hosting a giveaway over on my Instagram page. It’s really simple, you just need to head on over to my Instagram page and follow, like and comment on my post (pictured above), and a random winner will be chosen on Sunday 15th July 2018 at 3pm U.K time. This giveaway is open worldwide so, good luck everyone!

Happy sewing, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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I admit it, I cannot resist a blue floral dress fabric. But really, this fabric could not be ignored could it? It’s a medium weight stretch jersey knit with the most incredible bright orange and pink flowers. It’s hard to see the true beauty of the blue colour – but it’s somewhere between a navy and royal blue, so is really special. Currently at £4.99 per metre, it’s a bit of a bargain too!

This is The Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline Patterns and it is my latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. If you use this link you will be able to access my full review and all of the supplies that I used for it.

I’ll keep it brief today, as I always do with my Minerva Crafts blog posts, but do head on over to get all the details on how I love this dress, and also what I would do differently next time I make one.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to have attended the very first ‘Stitch Room Sewcial’ sewing get-together which was held at Loughborough University on June 15th and 16th.

It was organised by Lucy and Anne , who I know have been planning this for a very long time, and was attended by a small number of wonderful sewing enthusiasts that were a real pleasure to spend time with. Lucy and Anne were kindly helped by a friendly team of super assistants who were all keen to make sure the weekend ran smoothly and to schedule. I had met Lucy before and could not wait to spend some time again with this lovely lady, and although I hadn’t met Anne before I knew that she was going to be an inspiration to me as she has an impressive history of TV and theatre work, alongside her tutoring position at the University.

After we had all arrived, we were welcomed to ‘The Stitch Room’. We each had a domestic sewing machine to use over the course of the two days, and this was the first glimpse of all the the industrial machines that we could also take advantage of too.

I have never used a Bernina machine before, so it was a good opportunity to try something different. Lovely Vicky was my beautiful view for the two days.

Shortly afterwards, and after separating into two groups, we were shown around some of the textile work rooms in the University by the lovely Zara  who used to work at the University before setting up her own screen printing business down in Weston-super-Mare. If anybody is thinking of learning a fun new craft or wants an unusual party idea, and is in that area, then do head on over to Zara’s website for some crafty inspiration.

We started off in the print rooms and were shown a demonstration of screen printing and some wonderful examples of designs that had been produced by the students. Hila gave it a go and produced a lovely example on her very first attempt – impressive!

Next came a visit to the weave shed, a fabulous room filled with stunning wooden looms (and other equipment), and we were shown around by Rosy. She showed us how traditional looms worked, including sharing with us a stunning scarf that she is currently working on, followed by a noisy demonstration of a machine producing Rosy’s pineapple jacquard. Just beautiful!

Traditional weaving looms.

Following this, we were treated to a tour of the Stitch Room by Anne, who I quickly found out is the sweetest lady and just bursting with knowledge and kindness. She showed us how the industrial machines worked and how we could use them on the sewing projects that we had brought with us if we wanted.

Lunch was a very welcome break and gave us a chance to process everything that we had seen that morning and also gave us the opportunity to have a rummage through the fabric and pattern swap table that we had donated items for earlier on in the day. This fantastic cake was made by Becca of Calico and Cake – how talented is she?

Who doesn’t love a good fabric and pattern swap!

I am still a bit overwhelmed with the contents of the goody bags, and cannot thank all the generous sponsors enough for their lovely gifts. A list of all of the sponsors can be found later on in the blog post.

Friday afternoon gave us all the opportunity to have professional photographs taken. We each brought 1 or 2 items and had a bit of fun in the photo studio at the University. I look forward to sharing a couple of my latest makes with you when the photos come back. Amongst all these activities there was plenty of sewing and chatting and before we knew it, it was 5pm and time to call it a day. As I live fairly close to the University, I drove home that evening, but I know that those who stayed in the nearby accommodation had a super evening out and a comfortable night in their hotel.

Sunday started with a bang as we had the chance to wander around the Textile Shows and view the work displayed by the students as part of their open day exhibition. I feel any photos will not do these inspiring displays justice, but take my word that the whole experience was pretty special. It is easy to see how the University is so highly regarded in this field.

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I am so very lucky to have been gifted a couple of sewing patterns recently from Simplicity New Look and this is my review of the second. (the other review is for New Look 6449 and can be found here).  I first spotted this pattern last October during the #sewbrum meet up when a lady next to me won it as one of the prizes in the raffle. I quickly took a picture of it to remind me of the pattern number and when this opportunity came along recently I jumped at the chance to choose and sew a pattern that I have been interested in making for a little while now.

So as you can see from the image, New Look 6533 is a babydoll dress or tunic, for knit fabrics, with different sleeve options and length choices. It also has a legging pattern included.

I chose to make view D, but with a couple of small adjustments. I didn’t want the side slits so just went right ahead and sewed the side seams as a normal skirt. I also added my own in-seam pockets as this pattern does not include them. As usual I just used my favourite pocket piece from another pattern and measured where I wanted them to be placed, and added them at the time of sewing up the side seam as normal. I decided to reduce any risk of bulk by using a scrap of chiffon type silky fabric that I had in my stash. It has a geometric design, and thought it would be a fun pocket fabric for this make.

I also didn’t want the hi/lo hem that this pattern features. So I simply cut 2 skirt front pieces (rather than use the longer skirt back piece) ensuring a regular even hem.

I am so in love with the fabric that I used for this project. I’m quite keen to introduce more grey tones into my wardrobe and this pretty jersey has been in my stash for a few months now waiting for the perfect pattern! It’s a cotton jersey from Girl Charlee UK and has 5% spandex. I’ve had a quick look at their website to see if I can link it for you, and have found this gorgeous almond colourway . How pretty is this colour? – so tempting!! I’m not sure if the grey is still available, or maybe I have just missed it..

Take good care when choosing your size for this pattern. My finished garment measurements put me down as an XS size! ( which I would definitely not describe myself as – I am a UK size 12 ish). As you can see, the finished dress is still quite roomy, I probably would have sized down even more if I could, but I get that this relaxed fit is part of the babydoll style and I think it’s cute.

To complete the dress you need to add some clear elastic at the waist seam. (the skirt is already gathered before attaching to the bodice), and whilst I felt I definitely still needed this elastic, I wanted the bodice at the front to lie smooth and flat and didn’t want the elastic at the front to produce any gathers on the bodice, so I just added the elastic at the waist seam at the back of the dress as this seemed to be where is especially needed cinching in, and this worked for me.

I have made several jersey dresses in a similar style to this, but this one is a little different in that the waist seam sits higher due to the babydoll style. I like the different options that there are on the pattern – the tunic style with slits and leggings may be something that I could try as this is different to what I would normally go for, and I also think the elastic cuffed long sleeves shown in view B are cute and I will definitely use these another time.

The pattern comes with your standard tissue pattern pieces and step-by-step instructions accompanied with black and white illustrations. It was nice and easy to make (although the clear elastic may require some care if you are new to this method), and it was a quick and rewarding project which is always a winner! You can definitely play around with the pattern as I have, adding pockets, adjusting the side slits and sleeves. Patch pocket would be cute on this dress too don’t you think? Maybe ruffles on the sleeves…

I was happy with the neckline, it’s always a relief when these lay nice and flat, and as always I finished this off with the twin stretch needle, along with the sleeves and skirt hem.

Thank you to Simplicity New Look for gifting me this pattern to review. I had great fun making it and it gave me the perfect opportunity to pair it with this wonderful fabric that I had been waiting to use for so long.

Take care. and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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If ‘Me Made May’ has taught me anything, it is that my handmade wardrobe is huge, lovely, but isn’t very well planned and often doesn’t work together. For those not familiar, #mmmay18 is an Instagram challenge which offers you the opportunity to wear handmade clothes during the month and possibly use it as a chance to evaluate your me-made wardrobe during this time to see how it can be improved.

As if by magic, during this month the lovely Athina Kakou approached me and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at her e-book ‘Sewing Your Dream Wardrobe – a guide to creating a handmade wardrobe you’ll love’. The timing could not have been better. Athina’s book basically takes you through the process of creating a wardrobe that works for you, your lifestyle, and that you will love! I’m hoping that sometime soon I will be able to throw open my wardrobe doors and find a whole collection of pieces that I can mix and match and eliminate that ‘head scratching’ dilemma that I have ‘nothing to wear’.

The e-book contains 5 simple chapters taking you through ways to curate your closet, putting those ideas into place, lots of helpful tips and tricks for better and mindful sewing, and some examples of how Athina has put together wardrobe collections for herself using this guide. There is also a chapter dedicated to your maternity wardrobe which has been written by Athina’s great friend and business partner Hattie van der Krohn.

Chapter 1 and 2 made me realise that I have a ton of pretty clothes that I have made, but am really lacking in basic staples – the foundation that we can build a more wearable wardrobe from. I struggle to buy simple solid colours (as I am like a magpie and am always distracted by pretty patterns – usually florals), but have recognised that in order to tie my wardrobe together, particularly with my separates, I need to focus a little on this area. I am determined to try to do this.

The e-book also comes with a workbook which I used to help me when sorting out my wardrobe. Take a breath before I show you below what I have cleared out of my RTW wardrobe, a mixture of charity donations and maybe eBay listings will be the result of this clear out.

Eek! This lot has got to go!

Using the workbook allowed me to identify why I didn’t need these items anymore, to try to identify my personal style and gather inspiration for more wearable replacements. It’s genius! After I have finished with my RTW wardrobe I will then move on to my handmade wardrobe and do the same thing.

I loved chapter 3. This is packed full of tips and tricks to make your sewing process simpler, more cost effective and a better experience all round. There is a great deal to be said for slowing down and enjoying the process, and combining this with saving money and making the most of what you’ve got is a recipe for success.

The book is an easy read, Athina’s writing style is fun and encouraging and has certainly motivated me to change my sewing habits. It’s a book that you can pick up and put down whenever you like, and the colourful photographs throughout make it colourful and enjoyable to look at. Reading it felt like I was having a conversation with a sewing friend who knew exactly how to gently guide me through a more organised sewing situation.

I am very lucky to be able to offer you a discount code on the ‘Sewing Your Dream Wardrobe’ e-book. Athina is offering my readers a 20% discount on the book by using the code SEWDAINTY and this is valid for one week from today. The usual price is 15 euros, so with this discount you will be able to purchase it for 12 euros. If you head on over to Athina’s website, you can find the link in her shop.

I’m quite sure that many of you will know of Athina, as she is an incredibly busy lady! Also available on her website is her PDF download – ‘My Sewing Planner’ which is an incredibly useful planner in it’s own right, but something that I have been using alongside the e-book. I am going to be SO organised from now on you wouldn’t believe it!

Athina is also a co-host of the #smyly2018 challenge which she ran with Hattie and Lisa, which was hugely successful and has now lead on to the release of the smyly magazine! There is no stopping this talented lady and her sewing friends!

I hope that this review has been helpful to you. I think that especially now as we transition into Summer it is the perfect time to take a look at your wardrobe, sewing habits and how they can be improved. Thank you so very much to Athina for sending me the PDF downloads, I feel that my sewing journey will be a great deal more organised and relevant in the future!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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I’m just dropping by today to mention that my latest blog post for the Sewisfaction Blogger Team is now up on the Sewisfaction wesbite

Although I won’t go into too much detail here, I  would like to mention the pretty fabric which was kindly sent to me -what a fabulous colour and so perfect for Summer!

It is the first time that I have sewn anything by Chalk and Notch, and I really enjoyed making this dress. If you are familiar with this pattern you may notice that I chose to change the hemline to a regular horizontal hem rather than keep it as a shaped hem.

This year my #2018makenine pledge is to try to sew nine items using patterns from independent pattern companies that I have not used before, and this is my fourth make for this challenge.

Thank you for stopping by, and I’ll see you over at Sewisfaction!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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The beginning of the month means that it is time to share with you the link to my latest Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make. This month it is this McCalls M7406 wrap dress.

This is the first time that I have made a wrap dress, what took me so long? Its pretty, feminine and flattering, and I love the long belt and flutter sleeves on this dress.

The pretty floral crepe is set against a black background and this fabric is currently on sale at £6.99 per metre. Also, again at the time of writing this, the McCalls pattern is half price too – at £4.62! I’m not sure how long either of these items will stay at that price!

I’ll let you head on over to the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network to read the full review, if you would like more details.

I am also going to offer this as my #sewtogetherforsummer entry, which is a friendly sewing challenge to make a wrap dress,  hosted by SarahMonika and Suzy. So do visit these lovely ladies over on Instagram for all the details!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Oh my goodness me, you know when you make something and are instantly planning your next. This is it. Although the warmer weather may have thrown a big spanner in the works now and delay me from making more until it turns cooler again as this is certainly a dress for when the temperatures aren’t so great in my opinion – especially made in scuba!

So this is The Freya and it’s my second make from Tilly’s amazing Stretch! book. If you want to check out The Frankie Baseball T-Shirt that I made last month you can do so here. The Freya is a close fitting A-line dress (I feel we all know that Tilly is the Queen of all things A-line), and can be made up as a sweater or a dress. There are a ton of variations that you can make using the book including sleeves, necklines and ruffles but I kept things simple and made the classic dress with 3/4 sleeves.

You might have noticed, especially if you follow me on Instagram, that I am loving scuba fabric just lately. This absolute beauty is the Chaffinch Bough Old Gold luxury scuba which I purchased on a recent visit to Sewisfaction.  I think it is stunning and as you can see has a rich gold background covered in brighly coloured florals with pretty Chaffinch birds set amongst them.

I had not seen any versions of the Freya in scuba, so was concerned that the pattern might not suit this fabric choice, but after referring to the fabric suggestions for this pattern (which calls for knits with at least 25% crosswise stretch) I felt I should go for it.

It’s so quick to cut out, my version requires only 4 pattern pieces – less time cutting/tracing and more time sewing! Happy days!

The mock neckband fitted like a dream. Tilly had mentioned in her instructions that it needs to stretch quite a bit in order to get it over your head and this is true! I was careful not to use too short a stitch when attaching and finishing the neckband for this reason. Does anybody else love a bit of twin needle sewing? The neckband is of course finished with the twin needle, as are the cuffs and hem.

I really wanted to make the version with the ruffle, but felt that this might be too much with such a busy fabric choice. I am determined to make a ruffle dress later on in the year though and may choose a solid colour for that version. Shocking I know, as I have discovered whilst taking part in #mmmay18 that virtually none of my handmade wardrobe is made from a plain solid fabric! Have you checked out the hashtag #sewingfreya yet? It’s a great source of Freya inspiration.

I am happy with the length but does come up fairly short-ish.  I am 5’2″ and as you can see it sits just above my (knobbly) knees.

There is very little that hasn’t already been said on this dress, it’s wonderful in every way. Quick, easy and very wearable, I’m a fan.  Mic drop.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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This is an exciting blog post to share today – my review of the brand new sewing pattern from Cocowawa Crafts.

I’m incredibly flattered to have been chosen as one of the pattern testers for the Honeycomb and when the design details came through I could not have been more delighted. It’s right up my street!

I’m sure that most of you will be aware of the wonderful range of adorable patterns available over at Cocowawa Crafts, but if you haven’t nipped on over before, then I would certainly encourage you to check out this lovely independent pattern company which has the sweetest range of sewing patterns for women and children, available in English or Spanish, in your choice of printed pattern or PDF. Their website (linked above) allows you to access the Cocowawa blog where you can check out tutorials, sew-along’s and all round sewing inspiration.

It doesn’t stop there! The delightful Ana who is the owner and designer behind the brand can also be found regularly posting videos on her YouTube channel where you can find a mix of sewing tutorials, hauls and sewing chats! Most excitingly there is a brand new video especially taking you through every step of the construction of the Honeycomb Shirt and Dress!  For those of us who love visual instructions and sew-along’s, this is soooo helpful! It’s impossible not to be bowled over with Ana’s kind, sweet nature and this is totally reflected in her cute but wearable designs.

Ooh, one last thing here, Ana hosts a friendly sewing chat over on her Instagram page every Wednesday where you can join in with fellow sewists to discuss a sewing related question each week. Affectionately called the #sewinghourchat it’s a lovely way to connect with like minded members of the sewing community.

So, some of the features of The Honeycomb are a pretty Mandarin stand-up collar, front button placket, and pretty ties at the side panels to make fitting nice and simple. The shirt version comes with a cute gathered peplum and the dress option has a gently gathered midi length skirt. Four sleeve options give you the choice of sleeveless, short, regular long or long with bows. I can never get enough bows so it was always going to be the long sleeve version with bows that I made first, but no doubt further versions that I make will use different sleeve lengths.

The great thing about this pattern is that the many sleeve options allow it to become a dress for all seasons, choose a sleeveless version made in a lightweight cotton fabric for those warm summer months and step up to a long sleeved version (with or without bows) made in a cosy corduroy, velvet or denim for when the temperature is cooler. I chose to make my tester version using a wonderful viscose from Material Magic in Leicester. I love the colour warmth of the browns and burnt oranges and well, you know me, I am never far from a floral print!

The dress is finished really nicely on the inside, with the yoke and facing being neatly attached using the ‘burrito’ technique, ensuring that all of your raw edges are hidden inside the yoke. Don’t worry if you are new to this method, it is fully explained in the instructions or simply head on over to the YouTube video mentioned above if you would like some visual assistance with this.

I love that the Honeycomb has a Mandarin collar. It’s simplicity is what makes it so special and I must admit I am pretty pleased with how mine turned out. Again great instructions with illustrations will help you through this part as will the YouTube video. How did we ever manage before YouTube! Equally pretty worn buttoned or unbuttoned, the choice is yours.

Construction of the bodice before the sleeves were added.

Even though we are moving in to Summer here in the U.K I could not resist making the long sleeved version with the bows. I really like the length of the ties – when they are tied into a bow, they are the perfect length and you will NOT find the ends dangling into your food!

The side bows are not only sweet to look at but allow you to adjust an intentionally loose bodice to get a closer fit. Pretty and functional too!

The skirt of the dress has in-seam pockets. Yeeeeeessssssss!!!! So happy about this! Gentle gathers give the dress just the right amount of fullness without being too much.

This pattern offers the opportunity for some of us to try some new sewing techniques. Lots of lovely features such as princess seams, darts, plackets, burrito technique, buttons and button holes, mandarin collar and those ties offer the chance to try out new skills (or perfect old ones)! and whilst it’s not the quickest sewing project that there is, taking it slowly step by step will provide you with a very satisfying garment at the end. I will certainly wear my Honeycomb Dress with pride and will reach for this pattern again as I know one will not be enough!

I know as the weeks progress we will all be able to access lots of Honeycomb inspiration on social media by searching for #cwhoneycombshirt #cwhoneycombdress #honeycombshirt #honeycombdress and #cocowawapatterns and in the meantime I would like to share a link on the Cocowawa website which shows all the wonderful pattern tester versions where you can find shirts, dresses and various sleeve lengths. I was certainly in good company when making up this dress and am very inspired by all these lovely creations!

How lovely is this mustard linen dress that Ana has made?

Not forgetting the shirt! All the heart eyes for this one too!

I had great fun making up this dress, and it was such a privilege to work with Ana and alongside all the other talented sewists involved with this project. I look forward to admiring lots of lovely Honeycomb shirts and dresses popping up on social media over the coming weeks and can’t wait to see everybody’s makes.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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I am incredibly lucky to receive some wonderful work opportunities through writing this sewing blog, and a few months ago I was contacted by Figure Forms of Cape Town who told me all about their dressmaking mannequin business and in particular the Tailor’s Friend.

A hugely important piece of equipment for any dressmaker, whether you are a professional seamstress or someone who is sewing purely for pleasure, is a dress form. I am looking forward to sharing with you today some details and features of the beautiful model that was sent to me, and have enjoyed giving it a thorough testing over the past few weeks.

So firstly let me tell you a little about Figure Forms. They are a family owned business, established back in 1989, based in South Africa. They specialise in industrial/professional forms used by clothing retailers and manufacturers using industry standard measurements, and it is interesting to see that the more advanced models have been developed from anthropometric size surveys and even using casts from live fit models to ensure more realistic body shapes, proportions and anatomical details. So interesting and very impressive! All the models are hand produced by a small team of employees and the focus is very much on quality rather than quantity.

They have over 200 models that they can produce ranging from infants, children, teen, male and female forms right through to plus size adults.

O.k, so back to the Tailor’s Friend. At the time of writing any orders that are sent out to the U.K are dispatched directly from the factory in South Africa, and mine arrived in a little over 2 weeks. It was incredibly well packaged with cardboard and bubble wrap ensuring that the contents were well protected in transit and arrived in perfect condition.

Assembling the mannequin was very quick and easy. It has a strong steel tripod base which the dummy itself slots into and the height is easily adjustable. So I would mention that it is fairly heavy but this is to be expected with steel fittings and you cannot argue with the strength and stability that this gives! I can see how years of providing to the retail market has meant that Figure Forms have developed sturdy equipment that is often used in a busy retail or manufacturing environment.

How pretty is the beige fabric colour that I chose? Other colours are available and you  have the choice to select from black, red, pink or grey. The Tailor’s friend is currently available in 4 sizes – 8/32, 10/34, 12/36 and 14/38.

The fabric finish (nylon elastane) provides a ‘frictionless’ surface, limiting the amount of drag on a fitted garment and replicates how the fabric would feel against the human skin. The body is made from rigid polyurethane, it is fully pinnable and I have found this particularly useful recently for button placements and also on the occasions that I pin my paper pattern pieces to the form. It is worth mentioning that although I have only been using this dress form for a short while, the pins when removed have not damaged the fabric surface of the mannequin.

Over the last few weeks I have been able to test it using a number of different fabrics including crepe, gabardine, viscose and scuba. The crepe and viscose slide over the dress form easily, as does the scuba (which surprised me), and the gabardine has a little friction resistance, but nothing too drastic.

Amongst some of the fabrics tested are from top left: crepe, scuba, gabardine and viscose.

The size of the mannequins are not adjustable. As someone who is prone to regular weight gains and losses I did have concerns as to whether a non-adjustable dress form would work for me, as an ‘at home’ seamstress. A pattern maker or designer will  create their basic block patterns with a core size and grade up and down to achieve different sizes, incorporating ease into the fit and allowing for the fabric types and style of the garment etc. So whilst I can see that this set size is perfect for the retail and design market, I have now had the chance to consider how it fits into the ‘at home’ sewing situation. Whilst our measurements can fluctuate all the time I can see that the dress form can be useful as an approximate guide to your size, and is great when being used to design, pin and drape the garment. I know that before I hem an item I will always let it hang for at least 24 hrs and the difference between doing this on a 3-D dress form and a regular narrow clothes hanger is incredible.

With orders currently being shipped individually from South Africa, the cost of delivery must be taken into consideration and you will find an excellent customer service team  on hand at Figure Forms if you would like to discuss what these costs are likely to be, whether you are an individual customer or if you are considering larger order numbers.  I believe that retail outlets in the U.K are currently being sourced so that hopefully in the future they will become available to purchase in the U.K without the overseas postal costs.

I have been very impressed by the quality of this dress form, and have thoroughly enjoyed spending the last few weeks with this beautiful lady by my side in my sewing room. I have definitely got over my initial concerns about the fact that she was not adjustable and have found that on a day to day basis I am using her for everything that I need. I also think that she looks rather lovely at the same time!

As mentioned at the start, this dress form was kindly sent to me by Figure Forms for review. The thoughts and opinions shared in this blog post are solely my own.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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