If you haven’t seen this newly released pattern yet, here is a photo from the Nina Lee site, in all its sartorial glory:
I love my Nina Lee Kew dress and so when I got an email to say that Nina was looking for testers for her new pattern I leapt at the chance. I was excited about the chance to sew the new dress and also to be a pattern tester, something I haven’t done before.
So I have been waiting patiently to post about this gorgeous new dress ever since I finished it. And here it is, with flattering waist ties and lovely details at the neckline and bodice, giving it almost a Grecian feel in the slinky blue fabric I used from my stash. That I now wish I had bought more of! I think it was from Minerva Crafts, must see if they still have it in stock…
The lovely pleating detail at the back neckline
I found the testing process so interesting, a behind the scenes look at this stage of how a pattern is released. Nina was excellent at explaining what she needed us to do, which is not surprising given how brilliantly she explains things in her pattern instructions. Hmmm, I am doing a bit of fan girl gushing here I know, but honestly the instructions are superb and I found the pattern drafting to be well done, with everything lining / truing up where it should etc.
The dress is for knits and the instructions include an A4 page of tips for sewing with jersey. I’ve sewn a fair bit with jersey in recent months and can vouch for these tips distilling lots of the useful info I’ve come across previously, plus a few new (to me) bits as well. Obviously it doesn’t go into the book-length detail of Tilly and the Buttons’ book “Stretch” (a brilliant book, in case you don’t already have it), but it was impressive just how much info Nina has managed to include.
The diagrams and construction instructions are also top notch. The handful of bits that needed tweaking were picked up in the testing process so all will be nice and clear in the final released version of the pattern.
I made the short sleeve, knee length version, but there is also a maxi version plus a three quarter sleeve and full length sleeve option. I’ve already worn it out twice and have felt great in it, even receiving compliments from total strangers!
So anyway, here are a few photos of me in the dress. (I’ve recently bought a cheap tripod and remote for my phone in an attempt to take slightly better photos than my previous dodgy-looking selfies. So hopefully you can now see more details in these photos – and a bit more of me, gulp, you lucky things you.)
I am a big fan of sending my PDF patterns to a copy shop for printing (printyourpattern.com, for preference, but patternsy.weebly.com are great too) as I can’t be bothered with the time and frustration of sticking A4 versions together. No matter what I do I always end up with pages that won’t line up with each other, usually at a fairly fundamental part! But the timings of this testing meant it would work better to crack on and stick it together myself, so I tried a technique from Itch to Stitch that someone linked to on the Fold line Facebook group (a big thank you to whoever that was!). It worked brilliantly! The best PDF sticking I’ve ever managed. Here is the link if you are interested in trying it out yourself:
Anyway, Nina has very kindly sent me a hard copy of the pattern to give away.
I’m pretty new to this blogging thing and don’t have many readers / followers, but I would love to be able to give this pattern to someone in the sewing world who would enjoy making and wearing it, as I don’t really know anyone IRL who sews. So if anyone out there is reading and would like to have this pattern, please leave a comment below. If more than one person comments I’ll do some sort of random draw thing. Possibly involving the help of my young children. What could possibly go wrong…
I will list the winner on this blog next Saturday (14th July).
Right, I’m off to work out what other fabric I have lurking in my stash that I can turn into another Mayfair 😁