The Heather dress by Sew Over It is just amazing! When the pattern came out I liked it, but I didn’t rush to buy it, but then like anyone you fall for, I just couldn’t get her out my head. Which was even harder as it was January and I resolved not to spend any money in Jan, meaning I couldn’t pick her up. As soon as February rolled around I’d bought her, sent her off to be printed at the copy shop, and had cut her out and sewn her up by the 3rd of February and worn her by the 4th.
Any jersey dress is always going to go down well at this time of year. It’s warm, it’s easy to fit, it’s quick to sew, it has POCKETS and it’s perfect with tights. The style lines of Heather also mean that there is the opportunity to do some colour blocking. I had some lovely royal blue ponte in my stash from last years Knitting and Stitching show, which I wanted to sew up as a Coco for my birthday, but I toiled the Coco before cutting into this fabric and I didn’t like it, so I didn’t get a new dress for my birthday and I added the fabric to my stash. Again I didn’t want to waste the blue fabric on a dress I hadn’t sewn before so I found some scuba (I think it’s scuba, and I think it was from Fabricland), and decided my first Heather would be in this beige fabric. The reverse of the fabric has is more cream coloured, so it also worked well for the colour blocking element which lots of sewers are doing with this dress. My plan was, if this looked ok, I would sew up the blue as well in time for the theatre and a meal out on the 4th. I knew I was cutting it fine, but 2 days to sew up 2 jersey dresses didn’t seem like too much of a big ask.
Because of the pockets and the style lines, there’s actually quite a few pieces to this dress, but regardless you can squeeze it out of 1.5m of fabric, if you fold the selvedges into the middle so you have 2 fold lines. With the colour blocking I had to really engage my brain about which pieces needed to be cut out where and what side of the fabric I wanted etc.
With this pattern the colour blocking has so many options. I chose just to colour block my side panels, however it suggests that you also colour block the sleeves, and of course you could do the neckband too. I think for these 2 colours having the sleeves a lighter hue wouldn’t have worked quite as well. I did try the dress with the sleeve the other way and pinned it together, but decided against it.
The sewing up of this dress is a mix of fairly easy bits, mixed with a little bit of head scratching around how to pockets, pocket facings, side front and centre front panels go together. It needs some precision sewing, and you must must must mark out the dots from the pattern pieces onto your fabric to have a hope in hell of doing it right. Once I’d overcome this little hurdle, the rest fitted together perfectly. The sleeve head is drafted perfectly, although I know I have large upper arms, and regularly have issues with the fit here, I had to sew with a narrow seam allowance down the whole of the sleeve seam to get a good fit.
The neckband is quite narrow, and although I tend to like a slightly wider neckband, I think it looks balanced for the style of the dress, and I’m so pleased with how even I have sewn it on.
I also used my twin needle a lot on this make to give it a lovely finish. The hem, the sleeve hems, and the neckband all have been top stitched using my twin needle, which I think gives it a real RTW feel.
Although this dress was only going to be a toile for my blue fabric, and I wasn’t hugely keen on the colour, I loved it so much I wore it out for a meal and the theatre with my nan. She loved it too. The blue didn’t get made up in time, but it didn’t take long for it to become a Heather, so watch this space for that make coming to the blog soon as well.