Spots, Stripes and a Plantain Dress

There’s a bit of a theme going on with today’s post. These co-ordinating spots and stripes were part of my (quite extensive) haul from the recent Leeds meet up. I bought a metre and a half of each, I’d been planning a Breton Deer and Doe Plantain for a while so navy and white stripes were high on my shopping list. Leeds market is so good for fabric, I overdid it a bit but compared to the limited choice I have at home it was a matter of ‘get it while I can’. I kept asking myself ‘will I regret it if I don’t get it?’ the answer always seemed to be yes but I’m pleased I didn’t leave any of them behind!

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Anyway the Plantains were made exactly the same as my others, I think I have eleven now!

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I’ve been wanting to try the Maria Denmark Kimono Tee pattern for a while. The pattern is free when you sign up to her newsletter. I had a little under half a metre of each fabric left and just managed to squeeze the pattern on. The neckline is finished with either self binding or fold over elastic. I’d run out of fabric and didn’t have any FOE so I just turned the neckline and sleeves over twice and stitched them in place with a twin needle.

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The Plantains will of course get a lot of wear, they are perfect with jeans and a cardie for work, which is probably why I’ve made so many. I’m so pleased I got around to trying the Kimono tees though, they’re perfect little tops to wear with a skirt, something I realise my wardrobe is lacking. I will definitely be making more, especially as they use so little fabric and are such a quick make.

I wanted to make a dress out of the red stripy Ponte but couldn’t decide on a pattern. I contemplated making a Lady Skater but the curve of the waist would make the stripes off balance so that plan was shelved. As the Plantain fitted so well around the top I thought I’d have a go at lengthening it into a dress.

There isn’t any rhyme or reason to the following measurements, I just traced the original pattern and added a bit. I posted a picture on Instagram and was asked what I’d done so I’ve gone back, measured and taken a couple of photos and I’m hoping it makes sense!

I wanted more of a boatneck so raised the neckline by 8cm and reduced the width of the shoulders by 3cm.

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I lengthened the centre front and centre back by 24cm and followed the curve of the side seam down until it was 37cm from the centre. I also curved the hem slightly, the same as the original pattern.  I made the same adjustments to the back piece (but didn’t alter the back of the neckline)

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I added patch pockets using my trusty cardboard template and sewed the pockets on first. Once I’d sewn the shoulder seams I decided to take another inch off to widen the neckline a little more. I constructed the dress the same as the original pattern.

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I was a bit unsure whether it would work but once finished I tried it on and did a little happy dance! Like the tee, it fits perfectly around the shoulders and bust before gently skimming over the lumpy bits, the perfect little knit dress! I think it comes into the secret pyjama category as well as it’s so comfortable, without any restrictions around the waist.

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I think next time I will have a play around with the neckline, raising it higher and taking a bit more off the shoulder seams, just to make it more of a boatneck. There’s also the opportunity to vary the sleeve length which will make it useful for the cooler months.

So that’s all the tweaking that’s been going on. I’ve been planning to tweak the Deer and Doe Bruyere into a shirt dress since I made the original, I’ve got the fabric (a blue/grey Chambray) contrasting Liberty for the pockets and facings, I’ve even got the buttons and the top stitching thread but the poor thing just keeps getting bumped. Now I’ve got a stash of shiny new fabric I think it,ll be waiting a little longer. So much to sew – so little time!