PATTERN REVIEW – MAKING THE TAMMY HANDMADE – LEONA DRESS AND MY TIPS FOR SEWING WITH VELVET
This year Christmas and New Year were so up in the air. I wanted to make myself a fun party dress to wear, even though there were no parties to go to! I decided that as Makerist has such a great selection of dress patterns that I would use one of those. The Leona Dress was the perfect choice.
SELECTING A PATTERN
As is often the way, the fabric came before the dress. I saw this beautiful velvet at Fabric Godmother, and just fell in love with the geometric op art print! Now sold out, but I think it would look amazing in this stripe velvet. I didn’t buy it straight away, but once I saw the pattern on Makerist – I knew the perfect fabric. Tammy’s version of the Leona dress is made from beautiful navy velvet. Which I think is what influenced me to make my own velvet version.
LEONA DRESS PROCESS
This pattern calls for 2m of fabric, but I was making a smaller size I decided to just buy 1.5m. I also planned on making the shorter version. Once I had the pattern all laid out, I could see there was enough fabric for the longer version. So I decided to cut that one just in case. I cut a size 12 as I didn’t want it to be skin tight. At the last minute before cutting, I remembered that sewing with velvet you have to make sure the pile of the velvet runs the right way. Also, that you’ve kept it consistent throughout the pattern, so the front and back piles aren’t opposite. Luckily for me, I’d accidentally laid it perfectly. The Leona dress was a nice simple one to sew. After turning out the straps the facings are laid on and sewn. The side seams are then sewn down to the slit opening. I decided to try on at this point as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a long or short version. I actually really loved the long version of this dress. Then I just needed to turn up the hem and sew the side slits neatly.
So I didn’t make adjustments to the pattern, but I added a couple of steps into the making that I think really helped with the finish. So just after the facings have been sewn to the front and back, I under stitched the seam allowance to the facing, this helps it sit nice and flatly. It also stops the facing riding up to the front while wearing it.
I also added another step to keep the facing down which was to “stitch in the ditch.” Sewing in the side seam to keep the facing in place, I did this on both sides. I think with these two added steps you’ll send up with a more professional finish.
WOULD I MAKE THE LEONA DRESS AGAIN?
I do really love this pattern and the way it turned out. I also I love the fact I can layer it and make it more casual, especially as there are so many restrictions right now in the UK. Here I have it layered with my Alex Sweat from my previous blog.
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