So if you follow me on FB or Instagram you know that I left it bloody late to sew and entire 1940’s style frock for a themed party (which has already achieved epic status!) last weekend.
Jim bought me the Sew Over It pattern from Duxford Museum (where all good men do their shopping!) over a year ago for my birthday. My birthday treat was a day, alone, meandering in London, and ended in Liberty buying fabric. Both pattern and fabric had sat neatly in my cupboard waiting for an excuse…
Have to admit, I was pretty darn terrified cutting the most expensive fabric that I’ve ever purchased, but once I got over that fact, it was fine.
In terms of instructions and layout, the pattern was very straightforward and clear. I think you would have needed some skill to start with (you have to be able to insert a zip and there are sleeves which are a bit of a fiddle), but for someone who gets their sewing machine out now and again, it was fine. Specific terms are explained in the front (such as ‘under-stitching’) and there are diagrams throughout.
The pattern paper is brilliant quality, and heavier than traditional patterns -which prevented ripping and it really stayed put on the fabric.
It really was important to measure yourself before deciding upon the size to choose. I’m awkward and a size 10 across the boobs, a 13 waist and a 12 hips, so I went for a 12 all over, then reduced the seam allowance slightly around the waist sections. This did result in the dress being slightly too big across the back, but with some crafty seam work it was easily remedied. Pay attention to the seam allowances given -they are generous and unless you want acres of spare fabric all over, do as they say!
I was really chuffed with the end result -a comfy, nicely fitted frock that I will definitely wear again -not just to 1940’s events.
If they could improve on anything, I would say a cotton quantity guide (I used 1 1/2 reels of Gutermann thread, but none is suggested) would be a big help when purchasing. I’d also ask them to look again at the pattern piece layout -with some careful adjustment I managed to save nearly a 75cm stretch of fabric at the bottom which I can use to make my daughter a skirt (well chuffed I was too). Luckily my pattern didn’t need matching specifically so this might not always be possible, but in the spirit of 40’s ‘Make Do and Mend’ saving the scraps is essential!