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Charlotte Dress – Sew Over It

My sister is going to a wedding in May and asked me to make her a dress for the occasion. She complains that RTW clothes don’t fit her properly – so she wanted a dress that fits the bill. After trawling through many patterns, we finally decided on the Charlotte Dress by Sew Over It (which is ironically my sisters name!). The dress is a PDF only pattern, which I am not a huge fan off, as they take such a long time to tape together. I also wanted to try another  Sew Over It pattern as I was quite disappointed with the 1940’s Tea Dress pattern (which  I will post about soon).

Charlotte

According to the website, the Charlotte Dress is aimed at intermediate sewists. It has a number of features including kimono sleeves, lapels, pleats and facings.

The pattern calls for a medium weight woven fabric with plenty of drape and recommends crepe or viscose linen. My sister wanted a more structured dress which held the pleats well and therefore we opted for a cotton poplin. The material I used for the dress was a blue leaf pattern cotton poplin. I brought the fabric from a stall at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in London, it was £6 pm. You can get the same fabric in different colours from here (at £7.99 pm). I brought and used 4 metres.

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The pattern is not lined. It has facings for the front and back and a self lined waistband. As the fabric was slightly sheer, I wanted to fully line the dress. This also gave it some much-needed weight. I used the same fabric to line the bodice and some white sheeting from John Lewis to line the skirt.

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Inisde of the dress – front view

I was a little disappointed that I ran out of material to line the skirt, however I actually quite like the contrast between the pattern and plain white fabric for the lining.

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Inside of the dress – back view

I ended up grading down the pattern by two sizes. This is because my sister wanted to have a much tighter fit on the dress – especially at the waist. As the waist does not have much ease, we decided to omit the tie waist. This ended up creating a much sleeker silhouette. However, If I was to make it in a softer fabric such as crepe I would definitely add a tie to the waist.

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Sorry for the poor lighting! This shows off how nicely fitted the waist is

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Best parts of the dress

  • The instructions were very good and well laid out.
  • The fact I didn’t have to insert any sleeves!
  • How easy it was to change the facing to a fully lined dress
  • The neckline is extremely flattering for larger busts
  • It has pockets!
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As my sister did not want to wear a slip under the dress, I top stitched the neckline closed

Challenges

  • I had to reduce the shoulder seams by an inch and reduce the back neckline by an inch.
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pockets!

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Other than that I had no other challenges. The dress was a simple cut and the neckline design makes it a very flattering dress. My sister is really pleased with it and she will look amazing at the wedding 🙂

Katherine x

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Thoughts at Christmas

I am sure you can agree, life for many of us has been very hectic! My sister had a beautiful baby in October and work  has been super super busy. Luckily I have still managed to get some sewing in – which I will be blogging about soon!

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My beautiful niece/ elf at christmas!

Over the Christmas break my dear old nan passed away (my mothers mum). She had battled with dementia for a number of years and was in a nursing home for the last two years of her life. Although we were kind of expecting it, it doesn’t make it any easier. She was a wonderful woman who has influenced my life in many ways, and will continue to inspire me in years to come.

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My darling nan at her Christmas party last year.

As a result of this family heartache, I havent really felt the need to socialise with friends. Instead, I have wanted to be close to my mum. My mum lost her dad in the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster in 1987 and I could only begin to imagine how painful it must be to lose your father at such a young age, and in such devastating circumstances.

My thoughts over this Christmas period have been extremely reflective. I feel grateful for having my family so close to me and ever so grateful for experiencing new life in our family. Sewing has at times taken a back burner, which in all honesty I do not feel guilty about.

I have however reflected slightly on my sewing journey. I feel that I am making too many “safe” choices when it comes to my sewing projects. I am hoping to challenge myself in 2018 and embark on a journey which will not only test my ability, but teach me new techniques, whilst creating a capsule wardrobe.

Watch this space for my  Me Made 2018 choices!

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In Loving memory of my dear Nan.

Katherine x

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Welcome!

Starting this blog has been on my to do list for quite some time!  As I had been sewing on and off for a year, my New Years resolution in 2017 was to make all of my own clothes and not buy a single item!  I quickly failed that and only then did I realise how silly I was to make such a commitment.  It did however make me appreciate how much I enjoy sewing.  Since January my sewing skills have grown rapidly and it is here I hope to share my sewing journey with you!