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Harriet’s Gingham Number

– By Harriet Johnson | @hobblinghandmades

I’m a big fan of planning, so when I saw the Sew Crafty project planner, I was on it straight away and started to plan what I was going to make with this month’s main fabric, a lovely yellow gingham.

I’d seen a photo on Instagram just before the box arrived of a blogger wearing a fitted dress over the top of a long sleeved shirt and had been hoping that whatever fabric the box contained would work for a dress like that. Lo and behold, the gingham was perfect! I printed out the photo and got right down to planning it.

After doing a little bit of research (which was done whilst I ate my drumstick lolly) I found the Vogue V9050 pattern. It’s designed for heavier fabrics than this one – I figured the weight was to help hold its structure – but decided to give it a go anyway; I was planning on wearing it over cable knit jumpers and whatnot, so risked the lighter weight fabric in order to save myself from overheating!

I chose to really push myself and add to my already-quite-overwhelming schedule, and attempt pattern matching. The sheath dress pattern I chose has princess seams along the front and back, so I couldn’t match it all the way, but think I managed to do quite a decent job overall! I managed it by putting the pin in at the very edge of one of the squares, and making sure that the pin hit the square in the same place on the second piece of fabric. I then left the pins in as I sewed to ensure that the fabric didn’t wiggle around, carefully hand turning the wheel as one approached so that I didn’t break my needle!

I found that this system worked really well, and although it was a little bit time consuming, I’m really pleased with the result!

As I was pressing everything, I noticed that the fabric is a little bit sheer in that you can see the seams on the inside of the fabric from the outside. This isn’t a problem for me at all with the dress that I chose as it won’t be right against my skin, but I might suggest opting for a slip or skin colour pants if yours will be – that would definitely make for a first day back at school kind of embarrassment!

The adorable little owl fat quarters hooted ‘pencil cases’ at me as soon as I laid eyes on them, so have put them aside to make into pencil cases for my step-sisters’ birthday at the end of October, with the grey and lime fat quarters as lining. I think that they’ll come out super adorable and to be honest, I might love the owl pencil cases too much and end up keeping them myself… we’ll have to see!

While the fabric was really lovely to work with, the dress didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it to. It happens, right? Not everything can go perfectly! I know that the dress is still totally wearable, it’s just that I was hoping for a slightly more snug fit on the waist, because at the moment it’s not super flattering! All I need to do is swap the zip out for a longer one, and take the waist in by the diddiest bit so that it can hug my figure a little bit better.

My vision of wearing a lovely thick turtleneck underneath might be a bit less likely, but after those alterations, I’m confident that it’ll become one of my wardrobe favourites – especially because of how pleased I am with the result of the pattern matching!