14 February 2019

Pattern testing: The Love Dress by Sewera

This post refers to a sewing pattern, which I received for free as part of the testing. 

Looking for a slim fit knit dress with a great shape? Do you have big differences in your circumferences and often struggle to get a good fit with knit patterns? Then this might just be the right sewing pattern for you!

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts

In the last few months I wished to have a nice 'winter dress' quite often, but I just couldn't decide on a pattern. Nothing fully inspired me. I wanted it to be warm, though also fine for colder spring/autumn days. When Sewera called for a pattern test I quickly applied, as the first pictures of her new sewing pattern look so great. This was the perfect opportunity to finally make that winter dress.

As part of the testing I was given the sewing pattern from Sewera for free. As usual you will find only my honest opinion here. You can find the pattern in the Sewera shop here.

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts

About the Love Dress

At first look it seems like a quite standard slim fit dress. Similar patterns for knit dresses often solely rely on the negative ease for all the "shaping". This makes it a bit hard, especially for people with higher circumference-differences (e.g. small waist, big hips), to get a good fit. 
And this is where the Love Dress shines, as it features back waist and curved bust darts. Wait, curved darts?? Yes! And they make such a great shape. You do not want to miss out on that. Now if you just started to sweat a bit and can't imagine how on earth you are supposed to sew a curved dart: Do not fear it - the instructions suggest how to sew them in an easy to understand approach. 

Even more for the shape, there are two versions of the front pattern piece included, one up to a C cup and the other one for D+. Be aware though, the D+ version starts at size 38. 
The pattern features a few other elements as well: Above knee length, neckline facing, and three different sleeve lengths (short, 3/4 and long). The neckline sits a bit higher as mine, as I've removed some fabric there during the sewing process.

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts

How about the instructions
All the information I normally expect is included. I love, that the measurement chart contains the lengths from shoulder to bust and from bust to bust. Explanations for some adjustments are also included, which is always great to have - it just saves time compared to having to google how to make a certain, new to me adjustment. 
As I already said, the darts section is particularly great, especially for those, who are not yet very experienced with those special tailoring tricks. 

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts organization maps
My new organisation system!

And the pattern pieces themselves? 
The pattern contains no seam allowances, so you'll have to add them yourself. I want to point that out, because I am not used to, not because it's good or bad. Some people like that, others don't. It was surprising for me, as I've only dealt with them added to the pattern before. Honestly though, it doesn't make much of a difference, you just need the right techniques/mindset for either method. What I appreciate is that it is mentioned on every single pattern piece with suggestions on how much s.a. to add. 
I just hate it, when I have to read through 10+ pages over and over again, because I can't remember how much the seam allowance is for the Xth time. This won't happen here! 

There are two things that have been changed between my version and the final pattern. Please keep that in mind when checking my photos for the fit.
The shoulder seam is now 1cm further to the front. And do you see those bulges at the side seams? Nope, that's not too many chips, just fabric! Those bulges, they should be gone now. So please ignore them here and imagine a nice smooth line instead.  😉 

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts
Apparently I've hidden the bulges of the side seams pretty good, though unaware. You can see a bit of it here, right below my left arm. 

My make

I used a soft sweat knit from Stoffcorner, which sadly isn't available there anymore. It has 30% stretch in the width and 50% length-wise, but 40% stretch is recommended for this pattern - it's the reason my sleeves are a bit tight, but they are still comfortable enough for me. 

According to my measurements I chose size 34 at the bust and graded out to 36 at the waist. As you can see my dress fits me as it's supposed to, so the sizes are accurate. 
I've made the following adjustments on the paper pieces, before cutting into my precious fabric: 
  • After thorough measuring I moved the bust dart 1cm towards the center and 1cm down. I have made this with other dresses, so I guess you can call this a typical adjustment for me. 
  • I also widened the back waist darts for about 2 cm. I have a sway back and a prominent bum and as you can see in my photos, there is still some excess fabric in the (back) waist area, which would need more adjustments here for a better fit. 

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts

During the sewing process I made more changes: 
  • Removed 1cm on the shoulder front of the bodice part, where the sleeve is inserted, as there was too much fabric there, because of my forward shoulders. I did not adjust the sleeves themselves to this, luckily it turned out great. 
  • I also removed 2cm of the center front neckline, just because I felt the designed neckline was a bit too high for my preferences. Of course a new facing was needed, but it's only a matter of minutes to make that yourself. 

When it was time to do the hems, I just couldn't break up the beautiful fabric pattern with a seam. I remembered how well the hem tape on my skulls n' roses pencil skirt worked, so I decided to try the same with this dress. I really love the outcome! Only time can tell how many washes that will hold. 

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things knit darts hem tape no sew
Detail of the "seamless" hems
My conclusion for this make: 
My main goal for 2019 is to sew only items I actually need and will wear. This dress definitely fits the need, as I wanted a winter/cold weather dress for quite some time and slim fitted garments are my favourites anyways. The sewing pattern is thoroughly tried and tested and I definitely recommend it.
I'm just not sure wether I will wear my dress as often as I planned to. I feel like it misses something and this keeps me from wanting to put it on every day. Maybe I'll embroider the birds, or add a pocket in another fabric. Maybe putting on a waist belt is enough. We'll see what I come up with! 

Sewera Love Dress sewing pattern minn's things side view

Over to you:
Do you have a favourite winter dress pattern? Or do you wear dresses only in summer? 


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