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!
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
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!
Keep an eye out for the release of The Rochester Dress and Top and The Somerset T-shirt pattern in the new extended size band.