Hello Sewing Friends!
This week saw the release of the second of our MAVEN1832 sewing patterns – The Rochester1832
And 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 new Rochester sewing pattern.
The Rochester pattern has some really nice details. Apart from the fact you can make a top or a dress, the neckline detail is interchangeable so you can make either with or without the frill depending on your fabric or preference. I designed The Rochester pattern with a deep back pleat because I wanted a garment that looks ‘tailored’ but I could move in and especially to drive in. And that curved hem is one of my favourite things I have made, it’s a pleasure to sew!
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.
And then it was time to ask for help with a wider testing group. 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.
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!
Meet the testers!
Emma / @theFabricBoutiqueUK
Emma is the owner of loveliest fabric shop – The Fabric Boutique in Ashby de la Zouch and for her Rochester Dress she used a perfect designer deadstock viscose called “Tiger Tiger” which is available from HERE from her shop.
Maggie / @peacockmaggie
Maggie made this gorgeous Rochester top in a modal fabric from Cloud 9, the frill neckline looks fabulous!
“This is a fabulous pattern. Deceptively simple and unfussy in design but very classic. The pattern comes together beautifully, sizing is very accurate and the instructions are detailed and very clear even for a beginner sewer. I loved my finished dress even more than I was anticipating! ” Maggie
Hilary made a wearable toile Rochester top in a cotton sheeting, which shows off the pleat brilliantly!
“I really enjoyed making this Rochester top – the pattern and instructions were clear, the fit was true and the finished blouse looks great!” Hilary
Lawratu / @seamesew
You may recognise Lawratu from The Sewing Bee – yes, I had an actual Bee as a tester!
“I found it a well drafted pattern to sew with thought that went into the instructions. A great pattern to sew with great details but not overly complex.” Lawratu
Hannah / @buffythesage1
Hannah made her lovely Rochester top in a really pretty quilt weight cotton and chose to make the frill neckline.
“Brilliant instructions – both for the beginner – with pictures – and the more experienced sewer – and goes together very smoothly. The pdf is easy to assemble and the layers feature means that you can select just the size you need. The marked seam allowances are very useful as the seam allowance is varied through the garment to allow for frills and facings. I look forward to making more in other fabrics/lengths and wearing my Rochesters lots.” Hannah
Francesca used a rayon blend with a nice heavy drape and made her Rochester top without the frill.
“This pattern is drafting perfection!!!!!! Never had an easier time setting in a sleeve. If you use a light linen, cotton lawn or chambray it is very easy to sew up. A little more challenging if you use slippery fabric. Sizing is perfect and I love it!!!!!!!” Francesca
Barbara was kind enough to share quite a few of her toile pictures, like I said I do love a toile and a peek into a lovely workspace!
“I’ve been waiting for this pattern for such a long time and this pattern doesn’t disappoint. There aren’t many patterns with this neckline which is what I liked about it and the faced hem is a nice feature and makes the garment look high end. It’s one of those patterns that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the fabric you choose. Comprehensive instructions make it a pleasure to sew up.” Barbara
And a final thank you to all my testers, including those 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 third MAVEN1832 sewing pattern – The Somerset T-shirt pattern in the new extended size band.