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Introducing our new pattern – The Joy Dress

Say hello to Joy!

We are so happy to share a little Joy with you!

Our newest pattern Joy is the perfect easy-to-wear dress.
She’s a lovely versatile addition to your summer wardrobe, comfortable and yet smart enough for any occasion.

Style Joy with flip flops for the beach, trainers for sight-seeing or heels for cocktails on the terrace.
Your choice of fabric will mean Joy can be casual and fun or choose a luxurious silky fabric in a fabulous print to make a chic statement dress.

Joy has a scoop neckline and the option of a plain back or why not make Version B that has this delightful gathered back detail.

Joy is a slim A-line shape with a relaxed fit through the waist, frilled hem, and tie strap and, of course, I included in-seam pockets.

Version B has a little more ease at the waist and hips due to the gathering detail on the back bodice.

As always, we’ve made this pattern with the idea you may want to pattern hack!

Joy is midi-length, finishing comfortably past the knee, but it’s easy to lengthen using the adjustment lines on the pattern should you fancy a bit of swishy ankle length drama. Or you could easily make her slip dress style without the frill if you are short of fabric.

We have kept the neckline the same as The Simone Set, so it will be easy to interchange the straps. And keep an eye out for our upcoming joyful blog post from Jen Hogg with all the details on how she made her dresses (3 of them!) with a fixed strap instead of the tie option and added extra fullness.

| DESIGN FEATURES |

• Version A – plain back
• Version B – gathered back detail
• Adjustable tie straps
• Bust darts
• Scoop neckline
• In-seam pockets
• Frill hem

The Joy Dress is and Advanced Beginner pattern and is available in UK sizes 8-22 (see listing photos for more detailed info).

The Joy Dress is currently available in PDF only, but we hope to print her soon.


FABRIC DETAILS | Floral silk from Selvedge & Bolts // Linen from Ikea bargain corner stitched with Celofil Tencel thread from James Tailoring and machine dyed orange with Dylon dye.


As always, we will be donating 20% of the profit from our launch weekend. The charity we have chosen for The Joy Dress is Coram.org

Every day Coram offers direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families. They extend support through the Coram Group Charities to help children and young people access their legal rights and school children avoid harm by making safe and healthy choices.

I want to just make it clear we are not in any way linked to Coram.org but coincidentally my maiden name is Coram and Mr M and I have recently joined our business together and are officially called The Coram Group Limited!

Happy Sewing from Maven HQ

 

 

 

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The Joy Dress | attaching the straps and facing

Are you ready for some sewing Joy?! The Joy Dress, our latest pattern, will be live at 6pm tonight!

The one place that needs a little attention when making the Joy Dress is the front straps – a little attention to detail here can help to make your garment look really professional and avoid a lumpy step either side of that strap.

It’s the same method used for our Simone Set Camisole but who doesn’t love an extra photo tutorial? 

Ready for some lovely straps? Jolly good! Read on…

  • So at this point in the construction process you will have followed the instructions in your Maker Instruction booklet and your dress body and facing will be made up but still separate.
  • You will have made and turned through your straps.
  • Do make sure you give everything a gentle press before continuing!

ABBREVIATIONS | CB: centre back | CF: centre front | WS: wrong side  | RST: right side together | RS: right side | SA: seam allowance

ATTACH THE FRONT STRAPS

The dress has a 1cm SA on the neckline and armhole and back edge and 1cm SA on the camisole ‘peak’ to attach the front strap. I’ve drawn in the SA stitchlines with black pen for illustrative purposes. (I’m recycling photos for this tutorial from the Simone Set tutorial so if the seam allowance looks slightly smaller than I’m stating, it’s because in these photos they are 😉 but don’t worry because the construction is exactly the same.)

STRAPS – attach at front |

  • Place the strap to front camisole with RST (right sides together).
  • Align the top of the strap with the top edge of the camisole.
  • Staystitch in SA to hold strap in place.
  • Repeat for the other front strap.
  • Attach the back straps following the in the instruction booklet.

ATTACH THE FACING

  • Turn body so RIGHT SIDE is facing out and turn the facing so WRONG SIDE is facing out.
  • With RST slide the camisole inside the facing.

  • Align the neckline, armhole and back edges, matching notches and side seams and pin.
  • Make sure that straps are hanging straight down and not caught in the facing edge. The straps will be sitting between the body and the facing.
  • Anchor straps firmly in place by stitching straight across at the ‘peak’ at the notches and through all layers.

On this stitchline, mark the outside edges of the straps with chalk or fabric marker pen, it should be something that won’t leave a permanent mark.

  • Attach the facing to the body at the neckline, armhole and back with a 1cm SA. It’s important that you stitch through the intersect point you marked earlier (at the edge of the strap) to avoid a step on your finished camisole.
  • If necessary, adjust your line of stitching by taking more or less SA. I’ve drawn the original SA in black pen but I’ve adjusted my stitchline to make sure I stitch through the intersect point.
  • Press the stitchline to set the stitches and trim SA at the strap to reduce bulk. Trim the SA at neckline and armhole down to 6mm SA on the curved edges. I prefer to the trim SA, rather than clipping or notching, as it gives a smoother curve. (Also, I rarely grade a SA and only ever bother if it is necessary to reduce bulk for a thicker fabric.)
  • Turn through to RS and check you are happy with the straps!

So why am I being so pedantic about stitching to those intersect points?

Because I want to show you how to make a garment that you can wear and be proud of.  The straps are one area where a little bit of knowledge and extra care will make all the difference to the finished result. Does this mean that it has to be perfect. No. This isn’t couture. The aim is just for you to be happy with it. So let me show you what we are trying to avoid…

  • Stitching too wide and missing the intersect point = “steps” either side of the strap

  • Stitching to the inside of the intersect points = the strap doesn’t turn through to the right side properly and will reduce in the length slightly because it’s caught at the point where you have stitched over it.

| UNDERSTITCH |

To make the facing seam roll to the inside of the camisole the next step is to understitch.

  • Turn camisole to RS and pull the facing out so it is extended away from body.
  • RSU understitch through the facing and SA layers. (You may find it easier to press the SA towards the facing before understitching, but it can be done without).
  • Stitch as far as you can up to the front strap peak area, you will only be able to go so far because of your sewing machine foot.
  • Turn facing to the inside of the camisole.
  • Carefully press along the edge with the seam rolled very slightly to the inside of the camisole so it is not visible on the RS .
  • You can find our UNDERSTITCHING TUTORIAL HERE
  • And finally STITCH IN THE DITCH of the side seam to attach the facing and body together.

PERFECT! Now just tie your straps in a delightful little bow and you’ll be ready for the sunshine!

Posted on

The Simone Set | attaching the straps

The one place that needs a little attention when making the Simone Camisole is the straps – a little attention to detail here can help to make your garment look really professional.

We’ve done this photo tutorial to give you an extra helping hand. So, are you ready to get a lovely finish to those Simone Camisole straps? 

Jolly good! Read on…

  • So at this point in camisole construction process you will have followed the instructions and completed step 5 in your Maker Instruction booklet, so your bodice and facing will be made up but still separate.
  • You will have made and turned through your straps. Rouleaux straps – completed steps 6 & 7 in your Maker Instruction booklet. Wide strap option – completed steps 11 & 12 in your Maker Instruction booklet.
  • Do make sure you give everything a gentle press before continuing!

ABBREVIATIONS | CB: centre back | CF: centre front | WS: wrong side  | RST: right side together | RS: right side | SA: seam allowance

| FITTING THE STRAPS |

The strap pattern is a little bit longer than you really need. This in part because when the straps get turned through the ends can sometimes be untidy and look a bit ‘chewed’ up, but mostly because we are all unique so you may actually need your straps a little longer. Before cutting off any of the extra length, do a quick fitting so you can find your ideal strap length. 

  • Use the finished strap measurement charts in the instructions booklet (you will find one for each strap option) as a guide to give you a starting point.
  • The charts show the suggested FINISHED strap length WITHOUT seam allowances (SA).
  • NOTE | The double rouleaux strap option – the inner strap (STRAP A) will be placed closest to the centre front and is longer than outer strap (STRAP B).
  • Mark the finished length on your strap, don’t worry about the seam allowance for a moment, with chalk or a fabric marking pen.
  • Don’t cut the straps, keep the extra length so we can adjust if needed.
  • Pin or tack them into place. The straps can just be placed in position on top of the camisole, as in the photo above, making it easy to adjust the length.
  • Make sure the finished strap length marks you made are placed on the stitchline of the camisole, where they will eventually be permanently stitched.
  • See further along in the tutorial if you need help knowing where to position the straps. 
  • Try on your camisole and adjust the length of the straps to suit you.
  • To adjust the strap length pin the excess into a ‘tuck’, or shorten or lengthen by re-pinning at the front.
  • In this example I have pinned a ‘tuck’ that is 2cm deep in total when I measured it, so I will reduce my overall final strap length by 2cm.

In the picture above I have pinned the strap and the seam is showing, so that will be the WRONG SIDE of the strap. It really doesn’t matter at this stage for a fitting, but it is something to be aware of when you are attaching your straps later and you can make sure the seam is out of sight on the underside of the strap.

STRAP FITTING CHECKLIST

  • Check you are happy with how high/low your camisole is sitting.
  • Are the straps sitting comfortably on your shoulder without falling off?
  • Is it hanging straight at the side seams?
  • Does the hem look level?
  • You may find, for you, that each strap needs to be a slightly different length. That’s OK, we are all a little asymmetrical.
  • You can move the position of the straps at the back to suit you or to help hide a bra strap.
  • TIP |  Make a note of your ideal strap length and position. Amend your pattern so you are good to go for any future makes.

| CUT THE STRAPS |

Hurrah, you now have a finished strap length!  The photos show both the strap options but you’ll obviously be making one or the other.

  • Add the seam allowances. Add 1cm to the front strap and 2cm at the other end for the back of the strap.

  • Cut off the excess strap

TIP | “Why do the straps have a 2cm SA at the back?” I hear you ask. 2 reasons – It’s for extra strength & stability, so the straps don’t pop out after a few months of constant washing and wearing. Trust me when I tell you that is a very annoying repair to do. And I like a back up plan. It’ll give you an extra bit of length in reserve should you decide “Oh, I wish I’d made these straps a little bit longer”. You can always trim the SA a bit more if you want to…but you cannot add it back on!

| ATTACH THE STRAPS |

The camisole has a 6mm SA on the neckline and armhole and back edge and 1cm on the camisole ‘peak’ to attach the front strap. A 6mm SA is standard in industry for any enclosed seam as it turns better and negates the need to clip and trim the seam allowance. I’ve drawn in the SA/stitchlines with black pen for illustrative purposes.

BACK NOTCHES | The actual construction method is the same for both strap options, it’s just the back strap placement that changes. The strap placement is marked clearly on your pattern for each strap option so you can just clip the relevant notch. Should you happen to notch them all by mistake, as I have for this tutorial, don’t worry you can just ignore the ‘wrong’ ones for your strap option. I’ve marked the back notches for the wide strap in orange pen and the rouleaux strap notches in green pen so you can see which ones I’ve used and ignored.

| WIDE STRAPS |

WIDE STRAPS – attach at front |

  • Place the strap to front camisole with RST (right sides together).  
  • Align the top of the strap with the top edge of the camisole. 
  • Staystitch in SA to hold strap in place.
  • Repeat for the other strap.

WIDE STRAPS – attach at back |

  • With RST place the other end of the strap between the 2 notches on the back camisole. 
  • Align finished strap length on the stitchline of the back camisole. The 2cm SA extends beyond the camisole body.
  • Make sure the strap is not twisted before staystitching in the SA of camisole to hold straps in place.
  • Repeat for the other strap.
  • TRY ON! Now is a good time to try on your camisole just to check you are happy with the strap length and position.

| DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS |

DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS – attach at the front |

  • Place the straps to front camisole with RST (right sides together). Make sure the longer of the 2 straps (STRAP A – the red print) is closest to the centre front and the shorter (STRAP B the mustard print) is towards the side seam.
  • Butt the straps right next to each other so there isn’t a gap. (Unless you want a gap of course!)
  • There may be some variance in the thickness of rouleaux straps as different fabrics may give slightly different results, but just centralise your straps and align the top of the straps with the top edge of the camisole. 
  • Staystitch in SA to hold strap in place.
  • Repeat for the other side.         

 DOUBLE ROULEAUX STRAPS – attach at the back |

STRAP A – (the red print)

  • With RST, place the other end of strap A to the back camisole body.
  • Place strap centrally over the notch (notch closest to the CB) and with the finished strap length on the camisole stitchline.
  • The SA extends beyond the camisole body.

STRAP B (the mustard print)

  • With RST, place the other end of strap B to the back camisole body, but place centrally over the notch closest to the side seam
  • Make sure the straps are not twisted before staystitching in the SA of camisole to hold straps in place.
  • Repeat for the other set of straps.
  • TRY ON! Now is a good time to try on your camisole just to check you are happy with the strap length and position.

| ATTACH THE FACING – FOR ALL VERSIONS (but illustrated on the wide strap version) |

  • Turn camisole body so RIGHT SIDE is facing out and turn the facing so WRONG SIDE is facing out.
  • With RST slide the camisole inside the facing. 

  • Align the neckline, armhole and back edges, matching notches and side seams and pin.
  • Make sure that straps are hanging straight down and not caught in the facing edge. The straps will be sitting between the body and the facing.
  • Anchor straps firmly in place by stitching straight across at the ‘peak’ at the notches and through all layers.

On this stitchline, mark the outside edges of the straps with chalk or fabric marker pen, it should be something that won’t leave a permanent mark.

  • Attach the facing to the body at the neckline, armhole and back with a 6mm SA. It’s important that you stitch through the intersect point you marked earlier (at the edge of the strap) to avoid a step on your finished camisole.
  • If necessary, adjust your line of stitching by taking more or less SA. I’ve drawn the original SA in black pen but I’ve adjusted my stitchline to make sure I stitch through the intersect point.
  • Press the stitchline to set the stitches and trim SA to reduce bulk.
  • Turn through to RS and check you are happy with the straps!

So why am I being so pedantic about stitching to those intersect points?

Because I want to show you how to make a garment that you can wear and be proud of.  The straps are one area where a little bit of knowledge and extra care will make all the difference to the finished result. Does this mean that it has to be perfect. No. This isn’t couture. The aim is just for you to be happy with it. So let me show you what we are trying to avoid…

  • Stitching too wide and missing the intersect point = “steps” either side of the strap

  • Stitching to the inside of the intersect points = the strap doesn’t turn through to the right side properly and will reduce in the length slightly because it’s caught at the point where you have stitched over it.

| UNDERSTITCH |

To make the facing seam roll to the inside of the camisole the next step is to understitch.

  • Turn camisole to RS and pull the facing out so it is extended away from body.
  • RSU understitch through the facing and SA layers. (You may find it easier to press the SA towards the facing before understitching, but it can be done without).
  • Stitch as far as you can up to the front strap peak area, you will only be able to go so far because of your sewing machine foot.
  • Turn facing to the inside of the camisole.
  • Carefully press along the edge with the seam rolled very slightly to the inside of the camisole so it is not visible on the RS .
  • You can find our UNDERSTITCHING TUTORIAL HERE
  • And finally STITCH IN THE DITCH of the side seam to attach the facing and body together (see step 19 in your Maker Instruction booklet).

How delightful and well done! You have made a wonderful job of those straps!