Testing the new Dorothy sewing pattern.

As always before launching a new dressmaking pattern I like to have it tested to check for any mistakes and also check to see if anything could change to improve it in anyway. Luckily I have a fantastic group of testers who most of which have now tested my third pattern. They always give me great feedback, always very polite but honest! This is perfect for ensuring I deliver the best product I can. I always look forward with slight trepidation to seeing the results and hearing how they got on. So far I have made a few changes to pattern instructions based on their feedback before going live, however never anything too drastic. Its lovely to see how they interpret the pattern and see it made in different sizes too.

The latest pattern is Dorothy, a girls sleeveless dress with a gathered skirt, finished with a sash at the waistline.

Abi’s young model is looking just the cutest in this fun rabbit print dress. Abi reported needing to chose a different age size based on the measurements, which I think is quite common with kids as their sizes can vary massively.

I think the results are truly adorable and the dress looks like a perfect fit.

At the other end of the age scale Karen made this gorgeous version for her young model, she described it as “the perfect dress for a sunny weekend”.

I love the way she has mixed two simple prints for this dress.

The bodice is fully lined giving a very neat internal finish.

I’m loving the attitude from Debbie’s young model. Debbie chose to make her sash in matching fabric, a good idea especially if you are struggling to find a coordinate that works with the main fabric.

I think she is looking pretty happy with her new dress!

Emma’s model was reported as saying “I don’t like it …I love it!” Lets face it children are THE most honest people around, so I think this is the perfect comment and compliment to Emma’s lovely version!

I love these colours the clean orange band picking out the colours from the flowers in the print looks so good.

Lastly but by no means least, I think Shelia’s model is looking wonderful in this stunning blue swallow print version.

Shelia opted to leave the belt off, which still works really well and keeps things nice and simple.

There is some serious swishing going on here, I think that is another nod of approval.

A big thank you to all my testers, all comments and feedback taken on board and the final draft is now published and ready to go. You can buy Dorothy in pdf format or in paper format. I would love to see your versions, if you feel like sharing on social media use #releaseyourhandmade so I can find you.





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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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