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The Rochester – a new pattern!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS FEATURED IMAGE

We have a new pattern release to share with all of you lovely sewing ladies… MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

I’m so pleased to put this style out, I’ve loved working on this new pattern so much!

The Rochester has been designed with simple, understated styling in mind. She’s an easy to wear style with a relaxed fit and a slight A-line shape, but fitted at the shoulders for a flattering look. She has a deep centre back pleat, curved hem and side splits with stitched facing and elbow length sleeves.

You have the option to make a top (approx. mid hip length) and a knee length dress. The neckline is elasticated and gathered, so NO ZIP needed – you’re welcome! The top has a small frilled edge on the neckline and the dress has a clean edge but as the pattern is exactly the same and the difference is in the construction they are totally interchangeable – even as you are making them!

We’ve set the sewing skill level as intermediate, the tricky bit is stitching the hem (see the tutorial here) but if you have a little experience and like a challenge, do join in the fun!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS 05

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

 

DESIGN FEATURES:

  • SEWING SKILL LEVEL: intermediate
  • Version A: The Top (mid hip length approx)
  • Version B: The Dress with tie belt  (knee length approx)
  • Elasticated and gathered front neckline
  • Elbow length sleeves
  • Curved hem and side split with feature topstitching
  • Centre back pleat
  • In-seam side pockets (dress only)
  • NO ZIP!
  • Easy to shorten or lengthen, with guides on your pattern
  • Unlined

PATTERN FEATURES:

  • LAYERS FEATURE: select and only print the size(s) you want
  • MULTI SIZE PATTERN: UK SIZES 8-18
  • SEE PHOTOS FOR SIZE CHART & FABRIC REQUIREMENTS
  • Illustrated guide (ENGLISH ONLY) to printing your pattern and sewing your tunic
  • Fully supported with PHOTO TUTORIALS
  • Includes seam allowances.
  • Can be printed on either A4 or US letter paper, using ADOBE ACROBAT READER
  • A0 copyshop file (2 sheets)

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

This lightweight linen has worked really well for the top, choose a woven fabric that will be happy to accommodate that gathered neckline…linens, chambrays, lawn or viscose. The dress is made in the most wonderful crepe but it wasn’t happy with the frill – hence the 2nd neck option.

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

This hem detail is one of my most favourite things – there is a template included in the pattern to give you a topstitch guide line to make life easier! I’ve also added ‘length/shorten your pattern here’ guidelines on the pattern for The Rochester so you don’t have to worry about the curves and the facing if you need to make any length adjustments. The dress is approximately knee length (Eve is 5’4″ as a guide).MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

Oh and pockets…always need pockets in a dress. Looks good without the tie belt too!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER_DRESS

I hope you all love our new pattern, The Rochester, as much as we do xxx

You can get 20% off the usual price until midnight (GMT) on Sunday (21/5/17)

no code needed, just head straight to Etsy!

MAVEN PATTERNS_THE ROCHESTER

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Sneak Peek!

THE ROCHESTER SNEAK PEEK

The Rochester sewing pattern sneak peek | MAVEN PATTERNSThe sun has popped out this morning so I was able to take a quick photo of the next pattern!

She’s called The Rochester.

It seemed a fitting name as I went to college in Rochester, Kent and studied design and pattern cutting, and recently returned for the first time in about 30 years -while wearing one of my test samples as a wearer trial!

I love this hem detail, and it’s just the right length to wear with your jeans! There is also a dress version with a tie belt. I’ve been wearing them both constantly while I’ve been working on this pattern.

And not going to show you today, but a fab neckline too – I’m such a tease 😉

I’ll announce the release date as soon as I have one, just a little finalising on the instruction booklet to go!

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Sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey!

|SEWING THE FRENCH DART SHIFT IN JERSEY |

I may have mentioned I like to get some mileage out of my patterns and when I was asked about sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey, a Ponte Roma knit to be specific,  I thought let’s see! (And Elfi did make a rather splendid jersey one.)

A few things to remember…

Firstly, this pattern is not designed for a jersey. So the darts are staying and the knit fabric is more for cosiness and comfort, rather then body con type fit!

Second point…I bought this Ponte online and I’m not a huge fan of it. It feels very acrylic-y but for a toile type garment, it does the job. This particular Ponte reminds me of my girls’ school uniform sweatshirt fabric, although it actually sewed up quite nicely.

I chopped my dress pattern shorter (by 12″) so it would be a hip-length top without pockets and made with a 3/4 length sleeve (tutorial here). I had ideas of looking Audrey Hepburn-esque. I stitched the hem in red so it would show up, but school uniform Ponte combined with red stitching actually makes this top look less Audrey in Paris and a little more like British Airways crew outfit. Enough of the styling tips and on with the tutorial…

Sewing The French Dart shift in Jersey

| SEWING JERSEY TIPS |

jersey machine needles

correct-needle-fds-jersey-tutorial

  • Always use a ballpoint needle so you don’t get skipped stitches.
  • I used a walking foot, which helped but I don’t think it was essential.
  • Use a stretch or ballpoint twin needle to create a faux coverstitch for the hem.
  • Use a stretch stitch.
  • Test your stitching on a scrap bit of fabric first. Stitch in both directions, along the selvedge and across the width of the knit, to make sure your stitches don’t crack when you pull them. Tension and stitch settings will vary dependant on your machine and your fabric. Sorry, but you need to get friendly with your manual!
  • Don’t pull and stretch your fabric as you sew.
  • If your seam goes a bit wavy after stitching, very gently steam and press flat.
  • My machine tried to swallow the garment into the footplate at the beginning of a seam, so I placed a piece of paper under the garment before stitching. I had some heavy tissue paper handy but the off-cuts from printed Indie sewing patterns would be perfect!

| STITCHES |

jersey-stitches-fds-tutorial

There are a couple of options for stitching your seams.

  • stretch stitch (sometimes called lightning stitch)
  • zig zag on a narrow width and 2.5-3mm length (I used this as was quicker than the lightening stitch, and set my stitch width to 0.5 and stitch length to 2).
  • I also tested just using a straight stitch, and it was OK on this fabric, but probably not very reliable on a stretchier jersey.
  • Overlocker – you can cut, sew and neaten your seams all in one go.  3 threads are usually just used for neatening seams, 4 (or 5) threads for all in one seam stitching as it makes for a stronger seam. The pattern has 1cm allowances for the body and 6mm at the neckline so be sure not to cut off more than you should!
  • To neaten your seams either use a zig-zag or overlock together. You could in theory just stitch and leave them raw as the fabric doesn’t really fray, but it seemed a bit lazy.

| Sewing The French Dart shift In Jersey |

| METHOD |

RST: right sides together  CB: centre back  S/A: seam allowance  

FDS: French Dart Shift  WS: wrong side

(Refer to your Maker Instructions for detailed descriptions of general methods.)

 

FDS JERSEY TUTORIAL

Pre-wash and press your fabric, lay up and cut out carefully.

The collar would normally be cut on the bias for a woven cloth. For a knit fabric cut instead on the straight of grain with the shortest edge of the pattern parallel to the selvedge.

Tape the neck as described in your FDS Maker Instructions. (This style has a wide neck and we don’t need (or want) it to stretch. If you are ever making a t-shirt style that stretches to pull over the head DO NOT TAPE the neck!)

Make all the darts.

| TAPE THE SHOULDERS |

fds-jersey-tape-shoulder

Measure a piece of stay tape against your pattern by laying on the shoulder line, including the seam allowances. Pin the shoulders with RST and place the tape in place on the stitch line and stitch the shoulders together through the stay tape. Press the shoulder seam open.

Close the side seams and underarm sleeve seams. Neaten together.

Set in the sleeves.

| ATTACH THE COLLAR |

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

Stitch CB collar seam, do not neaten. Press seam open.

Fold collar in half with WS together, so raw neck edges are aligned and the seam allowance is enclosed inside the collar.

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

With RST pin collar onto the body, align collar and body notches and CB collar seam with CB neck.

THE FRENCH DART SHIFT JERSEY TUTORIAL

Stitch together with a 6mm S/A, neaten and press S/A towards the body.

| OPTIONAL |

fds-jersey

Ready to wear t-shirts and sweatshirts often have a row of stitching at the neckline to hold the seam allowance flat. You can twin needle or edgestitch the neckline to mimic this if you wish. Confession: Proceed with caution, I broke my only twin needle when I hit the CB seam, so I continued with an edgestitch. Both look good!

| HEM |

The pattern has a 3cm hem allowance, press to the WS.

Twin needle the hem (I overlocked the raw edge first), again follow your machine guideline and test. My machine and a twin needle meant not using the walking foot and sewing at a slower speed.

| POCKET |

fds-jersey-pocket-1As I made a top it was too short for pockets. Side pockets in jersey generally ring alarm bells for me. It’s perfectly possible to do the pockets but also possible the weight of the jersey bag will be lumpy or droopy under the dress or the pocket mouth will stretch and not sit flat. The final result is really going to depend on your fabric and your sewing skills.

If you made a dress version and want to add pockets, I did a test sample. I’ve followed the basic instructions for the FDS pocket but overlocked the side seam together rather than open. I also didn’t fuse the pocket mouth, unlike the woven version, just to see what would happen really. It was OK but this Ponte is very stable, although next time I would put a small spot of interfacing at each pivot point for extra reinforcement. Again test your fabric to see what works for your jersey, and remember to use the knitted kind of interfacing.

FDS JERSEY POCKET

  • Attach the pocket bags to the body, but don’t overlock.
  • Understitch the front pocket bag
  • Pin front and back with RST and stitch side seam and around the pocket bag. Reinforce at pivot points.
  • Neaten the side seam and around the pocket bag together.

Overall I’m rather pleased with sewing The French Dart Shift in jersey. The collar is lovely in knitted fabric and it makes a very cosy and comfortable little top now that Autumn is upon us!

Sewing The French Dart shift in Jersey