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March 27, 2018

Hello!  I can’t quite believe that I haven’t posted since November!  I have been sewing, but mainly things for other people.  I’ve also put on lots of weight, so I’ve been wearing a lot of comfortable, casual clothes like hoodies, hoodie dresses, stretchy jeans and dungarees.  One day I decided to go through my wardrobe and get rid of everything that made me feel shitty.  I filled two bin bags.  I was left with mostly a collection of pretty dresses.  A few weeks later, I tried all the dresses on, and discovered that 80% of them didn’t fit any more!  It seemed sad to put them all the loft, but I haven’t really missed them at all.  My style has changed and I’m gravitating towards STRETCHY EVERYTHING.

As soon as I found out about Tilly’s new book ‘Stretch: Make Yourself Comfortable’, I knew I had to have it, and the more sneak peeks I saw of the patterns in the book, the harder I fell for it.  The Joni dress is probably my favourite of all the patterns in the book, but really I envisage making ALL of the patterns.

Although I think the dress will work in most stretch fabrics, I was keen to try this stretch velvet in teal for my March project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.  I love the richness and depth of colour, and the feel of the fabric is beautiful.  It’s exceptional quality given the price (£6.99/m!).  The reverse side is so smooth and it has great drape.  I would describe it as medium weight – not too bulky to present any difficulties sewing through several layers.  I would definitely order more of the fabric for future dresses, it really is delicious!  I could totally see myself making a red stretch velvet Joni for Christmas.

The pattern is simple enough to make up.  The only alteration I made was to lengthen the skirt as Tilly’s patterns often come up quite short on me.

I had a bit of difficulty with the neck facing, though.  I had already made another Joni dress before this one, and I had a few issues with the neckband on that one, too.  On my first Joni, when I attached the neck band, I attached it with the standard seam allowance.  This meant I ‘lost’ a lot of width for the band and it was tricky to turn it under.  This time, I sewed the neckband on with a smaller seam allowance, but probably too small, as when it is lying flat or on the hanger, it looks ‘bumpy’.  Luckily, when I’m wearing it, the shape of my body means it all lies flat and in the right place, and it looks fine.  Tilly does say to use a lighter knit for the facing, and I’m sure that would have helped.  Take heed, people!  She knows what she’s talking about!

The other issue I had with this Joni dress which didn’t happen with my first one, is that when I pressed the hem from the wrong side, it altered the pile of the velvet on the right side.  That’s why you can see a kind of ‘ironing stripe’ at the bottom of the dress!  I don’t know if it will wash out or not.  It’s mildly irritating, but I still LOVE the dress.  I’ll just have to be more careful next time I press stretch velvet.

I used my overlocker for the majority of the sewing, except for topstitching and hemming.  I even applied the stabilising elastic (Hemline swimwear elastic) with my overlocker, which to be honest was a bit of a faff.  I would just zig zag it on with my regular machine next time.

Thanks to Minerva for the beautiful fabric and matching thread.  I love my new dress!  Oh, and it is super duper comfortable to wear!  Yay!

  1. March 27, 2018 11:03 am

    The color looks great on you and you look great too! Don’t beat yourself up about putting on weight, I am there too. But like, you I have changed my style to more stretchy garments as well. Thank goodness for knits!! Good job!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      March 27, 2018 1:28 pm

      Yes indeed! Thanks. The colour is really lovely 💙💙💙

  2. March 28, 2018 5:54 pm

    I love this dress! I’ve been intrigued by the Tilly stretch book, and I think I might have to get it.

    Also, those shoes are adorable! Might I ask where one might find them?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      March 28, 2018 7:09 pm

      It’s a good book: I like all of the patterns! The shoes were from Ness several years ago. They are so lovely aren’t they? Great colours x

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