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MAVEN1832 – meet The Somerset1832 testers!

Hello Sewing Friends!

And we’re ending the year on a high the release of the third of our MAVEN1832 sewing patterns – The Somerset1832

To celebrate our latest release all The Somerset PDF patterns are 20% off until 17th December (*midnight GMT) and that includes the Somerset1832 in the new size band in sizes 18-32, the original Somerset pattern in sizes 8-20 and also The 2 PDF Somerset pattern Collection.

The Details

If you’re new to Maven let me tell you a few details about The Somerset T-shirt pattern. I designed her as I wanted a t-shirt to wear with The Good Times Skirt. I like a slim fitting t-shirt, that can tucked in or left out, but one that is definitely not clingy around my middle – I like my clothes (and sewing patterns) to cover a multitude of situations! I was having a terrible time trying to find a nice basic slash neck t-shirt on the High Street, so I started to make them. The joy of being able to make is always a bonus. I started with the 3/4 sleeve, which was a quick jump to a full length sleeve (or the sensible sleeve as I call her) and the bigger Bishop sleeve just seemed fun!

The Somerset t-shirt pattern is designed for Knits with about 40% stretch. There is a stretch guide included in the pattern so you can test fabric. If you’re a little nervous about sewing with knits, don’t be! Sew a few test seams first to get the hang of stitching with jersey. I’ve assumed in the Maker Instructions that you don’t have any special sewing machines, an ordinary sewing machine will do the job perfectly well. I like to use a twin needle to do the hem and an overlocker to neaten the seams but I talk you through a few alternatives. And I have extra photo tutorials HERE


I developed a whole new size chart for MAVEN1832 with a dressmakers D cup rather than our usual B cup. We then worked closely with a professional pattern house who has a lot of experience in plus size patterns and had them re-drafted and graded. And we also worked with a professional fit model to for several fittings to ensure the new patterns were up to Maven standards. We have added a bust dart to The Somerset1832 as we all felt it gave a much superior fit with a dart.

View the Size Chart, Garment Measurement Chart  & Fabric Requirements here

MAVEN1832 – meet The Somerset1832 testers!

Our testers for the 3 MAVEN1832 patterns were wonderful and I’m very grateful to you all! Understandably, not everyone wanted to be public or share photos outside of the test (that wasn’t a requirement of testing) but I do have permission to share these beauties, some of which are toiles / wearable toiles / early versions but already much loved.

I LOVE toiles. I love the testing and changing and fiddling about with the fit so Toiles are actually often my favourite garments. Wearable toiles even more so as there is no need to be precious and it’s a chance to get stuck in and not overthink. So I shall take this opportunity to say MAKE A TOILE!

Belen / @btxesews

Belen made a couple of Somersets and I do love her spotty sleeve version!

If you are looking for some inspiration it’s a perfect top to make for Christmas and very wearable beyond!

“This is the kind of pattern that has the ability to be very useful and applicable to many styles of dress. A quick seam, with an incredible result!!! Highly recommended!!!”

Belen @btxesews (Instagram)


Phil made her first Somerset in this lovely ditzy flower print, which looks great with the Bishop sleeve and deep cuff.


One toile – 2 sleeves!

“I loved testing this pattern. It’s such a simple classic style and added bonus, quick to make! I can see it becoming a go to pattern for me. Having avoided using jersey up until now, I found the tips and tricks included in the instruction booklet really helped me get to grips with the fabric and I’m pretty chuffed with the result.” Lorraine

Maggie @PeacockMaggie

Maggie was a fab tester and kindly tested both The Somerset1832 and The Rochester1832!


One toile – 2 sleeves. Katy made one sleeve with the long straight sleeve and one Bishop sleeve. This is a good idea to test a pattern out for fit and one of the sleeves can always be changed if you decide it is a success and want to wear your toile.

“I’ve not seen a Maven pattern before. The instructions were very thorough.”


Abigail / @cutandalter

“This was the first time making a pattern from Maven Patterns and the first time using knit fabric to make a t-shirt.  The instructions were so detailed and contained lots of information for a sewer new to dressmaking and also great tips on working with knit fabrics.  I really like the links to tutorials on the website which were able to go into a subject with greater depth.  The neckline on this t-shirt is so nice and was easier achieve than I initially thought – I went slow and followed the instructions!  All in all a great make and one which I definitely recommend.” Abigail

Another huge thank you to all of my lovely testers of The MAVEN1832 Collection! Currently the 3 patterns are all available (HERE) in PDF but we are hoping to have them in print in the Spring.


Share your makes by tagging us @mavenpatterns #SomersetMaven1832 #SomersetMaven

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MAVEN1832 – meet the French Dart testers!

The French Dart 1832 in extended size range of UK sizes 18-32. Plus sized sewing patterns

Hello Sewing Friends!

Today is all about the wonderful pattern testers that took the time to make and share their thoughts on the new extended size range for our French Dart sewing pattern.

It’s been a little while in the creating but The French Dart is now available in our new extended size range of (UK) 18-32. Hurrah! The Rochester and The Somerset patterns will be released in this new size range in the next few weeks.

As always I’ve given a lot of care and thought to these patterns. We’ve had them re-drafted and graded by a professional pattern house who have a lot of experience in plus size patterns having originally created the patterns for Dawn French’s range, and worked with a professional fit model to for several fittings to ensure the new blocks were up to Maven standards.

And then it was time to ask for help with a wider testing group. I must admit I was quite taken back with all the responses to the original tester call out – I really hadn’t expected so many. The generosity and patience of the sewing community really is something to behold and be part of!

With some difficulty I narrowed down to a few testers who were all wonderful! Understandably, not everyone wanted to be public or share photos outside of the test (that wasn’t a requirement of testing) but I do have permission to share these beauties, some of which are toiles / wearable toiles / early versions but already much loved.

Meet the testers!

Shelley / @shelburyuk

Shelley chose a gorgeous printed satin for her French Dart and made version C with a Bishop Sleeve. I’m totally in love with this version and this print!

Helga / @pyperscout

Helga made 2 wonderful French Darts. The first was a toile in an Ikea print and the second was the cap sleeve version.

“I am thrilled to be able to sew the lovely French Dart dress from Maven Patterns. It has been on my list for a while. When extended sizes where introduced, I knew I was finally going to get to sew one. The pattern is incredibly well drafted. For someone like me, who loves to follow instructions, it was flawless. The fit is lovely. That collar is my dream! Who knew a French dart could give such lovely shaping! I hope to make a cap sleeve tunic for over trousers, and a bishop sleeve dress for our harsh Canadian winters.” Helga

Corrie / @corriesfancygoods

I’m sure many of you will know Corrie from Instagram as her ceramic jewellery is now quite legendary in the sewing community! Corrie used a slightly stretchy cotton and left out the back darts for this French Dart.

“A timeless garment that works across seasons and personal aesthetics. Layering with heavy boots for winter and bare legs for summer. The French Dart Shift will fit into anyones wardrobe effortlessly.” Corrie

Heike / @crea_dele

Heike made version B with the cap sleeve in a glorious yellow viscose-linen

“The French Dart Shift Dress is a very versatile garment. Comfortable, smart casual. Many types of fabric can be chosen, the pattern/dress is suitable for a summer as well as winter dress. I love the adjustment tips given on the website. With these tips the French Dart Shift Dress will be perfect for ervery body shape. I will definitely sew many more dresses with this excellent pattern and I am looking very much forward to receiving totally different looks with it.” Heike

Gilly / @theappletonstitch_edit

Gilly made 2 wonderful French Darts and the first one is lined using our Lining tutorial.

“This is my first time testing a pattern for a designer & I was thrilled to be selected to sew the French Dart (FD). I’ve wanted to sew this for ages but to be honest, standard sizing & the need for a full bust adjustment had put me off. I decided to sew a couple of toiles first using a duvet cover because I had some gorgeous material lined up for my final lined version, I decided to try out both short & long bell sleeved versions. I kept closely to Maven sizing against my fluctuating measurements, the main adjustment was grading out the pattern at the hip. I am so pleased with my final fully lined FD, & will be going back to adjust my first toile which I made too large – based on original measurements. I will also re-sew a short sleeve for my second toile which is already cut out. I will also shorten the length on one of them to wear with trousers/leggings in autumn. They were a dream to sew as I used Maven’s tutorials throughout. I had never sewn a Maven pattern before & the tutorial were so helpful, I will use Mrs M’s techniques on other makes. I especially want to shout out the updated inseam pocket and lining tutorials. I can see that this pattern will become a favourite for me, I’d like to try a bound neck version next.” Gilly

Lone & Lykke / The Sister Act!

I was so happy when sisters Lykke (@Lykkenernu) & Lone (@lonekyllesbech) took part in the test together – such a fun idea!

Lou /@loudelve

The French Dart MAVEN1832 - meet the testers! LOU

Lou made this gorgeous wearable toile in Ankara fabric.

“I was so happy to be chosen to test this pattern. I would always look longingly at the pattern but it was out of my size range, until now! I loved making this up. It was quicker than I imagined and i will definitely be making more. It has clear instructions and pattern pieces. Thank you for Extending the size range!! The fit is really good and corresponded to my measurements. I thought i would have to make some adjustments, but not at all.” Lou


Ysabel made the cap sleeve version in a linen, which is always my favourite fabric for a French Dart! And who doesn’t love a close up pic of such beautiful stitching!

“I made a super simple version of this dress: ochre linen, cap sleeves and a bias neck. I’ve worn this dress 3 times so far, and every time someone has paused our conversation just to remark how much they love the dress. This is one of my new wardrobe staples and I can’t wait to make a funkier version in the future.” Ysabel

The French Dart MAVEN1832 - meet the testers! YSABEL

And a final thank you to my other testers that have chosen not to be included in the round-up but their contributions are equally valued!

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