Juniper Dress - From Sew U Home Stretch

 

Finally catching up with the numerous fans of this book across blogland, I made a dress using Wendy Mullin's book Sew U Home Stretch.

Pattern Used 
Babydoll dress from Sew U Home Stretch. This was the first time I used this book.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Although not specifically a maternity pattern, I'd seen the lovely versions made by Melizza during her pregnancy. I loved that it looked comfortable but stylish.

I had a wedding reception to attend and decided that although I could still squeeze into some of my existing dresses I would prefer something purpose-made. I'll now be able to wear it for work and other occasions, as it's not so smart it needs to be kept for best so I should be able to get plenty of wear out of it. 

Fabric & Notions
2 metres of John Kaldor printed jersey from Mandors.

 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I added a bit of length here and there but otherwise followed the directions in the book, which require altering one of the patterns that come with the book.
 
Would you sew it again and do anything different next time? 
Yes I would make it again, it sews up really quickly.


Did you use any new techniques? 
The neckline is made by sewing elastic around the raw edge then turning and stitching. I'm not sure I did this right as I hadn't used this method before and wasn't able to find  much in the way of a clear explanation on how it was supposed to work. As a result, the neckline has a tendency not to sit properly.

I decided to make the bodice double layered as the fabric is pretty stretchy and when stretched it goes lighter in colour. As I didn't want the bodice to be under strain when the skirt was added, I used two layers of fabric held together, treating it like underlining. Rachel of House of Pinheiro gave me a great tip on Twitter, to cut the two layers of fabric with the grain running in different directions for strength. This worked an absolute treat - thank you Rachel!

Would you recommend the pattern to others? 
Yes! You don't have to be pregnant to rock this dress.

Cost
Fabric  £15.99
Thread  £1.40
Elastic  £2.50
Total  £19.89
Conclusion
I'm really pleased with this dress and will likely make another version, perhaps in a plain bright colour. I think this fabric is quite Autumn/Winter so a bright version for Spring/Summer would be perfect. 

K x

43 comments:

  1. really cute. i have this book but haven't done anything with it. i will have to dig it out!

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  2. It's a really nice make Kestrel :D I love the simplicity and elegance of it. Really nice fit, too!


    Bundana
    @ http://www.bundana.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Looks terrific - hope it accommodates your growing bump too. I do have this book but haven't made anything from it yet, so thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. Cute! This looks lovely on you! I really like that print.

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  5. This is so elegant, and looks like it will serve you well post-bump too. I love the print. It reminds me of v expensive Brora frocks.

    I have this book too, but haven't done more than just flick through it. I really must take a closer look!

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  6. Really cute! I love the print, and it seems like you would be able to wear it even as you get to med-large belly territory!

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    1. Thanks - yes I think I still have plenty of room to grow in it!

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  7. Cute! I love that fabric you chose. It would also look good as a top or tunic now that you've got the pattern made ;-)

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  8. I might have to but that book because that is JUST the sort of dress I love for work. Never tried sewing with jersey though and it terrifies me! You look lovely! xx

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    1. Don't be afraid! I'd recommend trying on a few scraps first to see what settings your machine likes for sewing jersey. My old machine was very fussy and I took ages to work it out but my new machine sews it without a hitch. There are loads of good blog posts written about sewing with knits/jersey too. Good luck!

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  9. Oh,I love this Kerry and must aim to make it soon! I love the stability that lining your jersey has given, it makes the dress look really sturdy, yet it still drapes beautifully. Wish I'd thought of it for my jersey dresses, but I'll be adopting this method for future makes. Your neat little baby bump looks adorable by the way ;o)

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    1. Thanks Marie, am really chuffed with how it turned out.

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  10. Your dress is lovely, I really like the fabric. I got this book last week, and can't wait to make something from it, I just need some stretch fabric first.

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  11. Love this! It really suits you! Never heard of the book, but will keep my eye out for it in future.

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  12. Ohhh don't you just look darling... Perfect dress to feel chic and comfortable...

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  13. Beautiful - it looks great on you!

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  14. Kerry, what a great first make from one of my fave books!! Perfect dress for you, you look gorgeous x

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  15. Beautiful dress! I've made a couple things lately from this book as well. It's really such a versatile book, I'm having lots of fun with it. This pattern is next for me to try. And great tip from Rachel, I've never heard that before about switching up the grainline.
    Also, yes, the elastic around the neckline? I was confused by it, too. I used it on one shirt and made my own bias for the next two. It just didn't feel necessary to me. But maybe I'll try it again.

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    1. Yeah the elastic thing was confusing - I can see that the point is to ensure the neckline keeps being stretchy over time (I think) But I just didn't understand the way it was written in the instructions.

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  16. Lovely dress, smart and comfy all in one, I'm sure you'll get lots of wear from it as it's so versatile. Just plucking up the courage to tackle a pattern from that book myself :)

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    1. Ah good luck, it's a great book.

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  17. Cute! I would wear that not pregnant =)

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  18. LOVE the fabric, and it ooks so awesome with your tights and boots too. What a great way to stay elegant through pregnancy :)

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  19. What a great dress! I have this book too, but havent used it yet, really need to give it a go!

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  20. Really cute dress. I have made a few items from the book. I like that it is written for people (like me) that don't have a serger progressing up to the uber-serger scale.

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    1. Yes, that's a real plus of the book that it is written for people with and without sergers.

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  21. Love the dress. I have tried to make 2 things from this book but both times it's been a total disaster ? First the Butterfly dress which looks really floaty in the pictures but was way to tight and clung to all the bits you really don't want clung too. Second the Breton top - the pattern suggested cutting 1 inch for the shoulder and I thought I'd cut 2 inches cos I read Scruffy Badgers blog about the same top. In the end I thought that after seam allownace and hemming the neckline there wouldn't be enough fabric?
    Not sure wheter to try anything else in the book.
    Can you tell what the secret of success is for this book. I really like some of the patterns.
    Apologies but I managed to develop quite a build up of confusion around the patterns in this book.
    Any advice or direction would be most greatfuly accepted.

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    1. Oh dear, sounds like you've had a frustrating time with the book. I've only made this one dress and found the sizing to be fine, plus being knits should make it easier to fit too. Have you measured the pattern pieces before cutting the fabric? That should give you a better idea of sizing before you cut.

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    2. Thank you ! Good advice. I will attempt to sew something from the book and hopefully be more successful.

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  22. This is super cute! It looks so comfortable - and I love the print :)

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  23. This is all kinds of awesome! I must admit to being a bit scared of stretch but the underlining and different grain tip is rather smart! Love it! (and great suggestion Rachel!)

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  24. Looks great and I love the fabric. I had a dress in the same style (though shop bought, the shame!) when I was pregnant with my first. It lasted until I wore a hole at the front from stroking my tummy so much! x

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  25. Ooh this dress is perfect, I just bought a really similar style from M&S and I love it! Would love to make my own tho... :)

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    1. They've got the book for £3.99 in The Works, I saw it in the Glasgow shop yesterday.

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  26. The fabric choice is perfect. It looks so pretty. Best part? It's totally wearable postpartum. Win!

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  27. That's a really lovely simple dress. Might have to get that book and have a go myself.

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  28. You look positively radient and the dress is fabulous too! I hope the pregnancy is treating you well

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  29. The dress looks great! I have Sew U Home Stretch book but haven't tried that dress yet.

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  30. red scoop neck dress I'd seen the lovely versions made by Melizza during her pregnancy.

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say