Monday, 22 April 2013

Tova Dress


Ok, so unlike the jersey batwing tops I recently made, this is the first garment I have to show you that is a definite pregnancy-directed diversion from my usual style of clothing. As I warned might happen: shit just got pretty tunic-y up in here!

Pattern: 

I mentioned in my Mild-Maternity plans post that I was considering buying and making the Tova tunic/dress pattern by Wiksten. It received a lot of love in the comments section of that post so I was convinced! Also, it's available as a printable PDF which I tend to prefer because they are often cheaper and I don't have to wait for it to be delivered. Plus, if I totally mess it up I can print off another copy.

So first up, I have to say I really enjoyed making this dress. Despite sewing being my main passion and something I love to do, some projects can be a bit of chore to get through, can't they? This was not. Even though I tend to wear jersey or stretch/knit garments more often day-to-day, and firmly appreciate the comparative quickness of sewing such a garment, I also sometimes LOVE to get my teeth into a project like this: that requires lots of super-neatness in the form of pressing every damn step and careful top stitching. Although I don't wear them much, from time to time I adore creating woven garments with a really clean finish. That was kind of my niche when working at TRAIDremade, although I did of course turn my hand to jersey, knit and sweat makes whilst working there, especially when my boss left to go on maternity leave. Anyway, I digress. I think with this type of project the trick is to not be in a rush and to take your time. I wanted to get this dress made before I went away to Berlin a couple of weekends ago because I thought it would be really comfy to travel in (it was), but I gave myself a good few days to finish it without stress.


Fabric Choice: 

I made this using the same fabric I used for my first attempt at the Ultimate trousers, a super-soft pale grey something-or-other! This dress is therefore made from stash fabric, but I can't say I've busted it out of there because there is STILL enough remaining for at least one more dress or pair of trousers. I have to say, this fabric works way better for a dress than it did for the fitted cropped trousers, although I think the rest of it may be destined for a pair of looser wide legged trousers at some point, post-pregnancy. I'm thinking something like these but with black buttons.

Pattern Sizing and Changes:

I cut out the medium for the top section but added 1 cm to each side seam from the waist area down to accommodate my growing belly and bootay a bit more to get as much wear from this make as possible before I become enormous. Being that it's not a maternity pattern, I'm sure I'll get lots of wear from it post-pregnancy too, however perhaps not for a while because if I am able to breast feed, this dress'll be pretty useless whilst the baby is boob-dependant.


The only other change I made was to add a little popper about a quarter of the way up from the bottom of the placket (after I took the above photos) to stop the opening from flapping open too much. I'll be tempted to make button holes and apply buttons along the placket for my next version.

Construction:

Normally I use sewing pattern instructions as a mere suggestion, but I followed them pretty closely this time because I liked the explanations and order of construction. The only time I diverted from the instructions was to complete the neckline before inserting the sleeves, just because I wanted to avoid the raw neckline stretching out of shape. Oh, and I also took some advice from one of the reviewers of this pattern on patternreview.com to stitch the gathered section to the inset panel and then stitch the two sides, rather than doing it in one continuous and scary process. Next time I'll add some interfacing to the placket and collar, especially if I use a thinner fabric, which I probably will because I think this fabric's thickness is the upper limit of appropriateness for this pattern. Thank goodness I didn't make it in denim like I originally intended!


Conclusion:

Even though I am not convinced this dress is what I'd consider to be 'my style', I do really like it and have worn it heaps since its completion. I thought the smock style might look a bit 'farm-hand', but Pat actually declared it to be sexy, in a sophisticated kind of way. Hmm, are anchors not sexy then?! I'll ponder that another day I think... Anyways, the pattern is a 'win' and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who has been considering purchasing it. Expect to see this dress crop up a lot in the documentation pics during MMM'13!

23 comments:

Jo H. said...

You look great in this! The drape of it is perfect - my two tovas are a bit stiffer, I might have to make another one in softer fabric now! They're indeed great tunics for covering a post-maternity mid-section.

And, THANK YOU for the tip about sewing the gathered part to the panel first. What a genius way of making it a bit easier!

Amy said...

Ooh, Tova was next on my shopping list anyway after seeing two gorgeous versions IRL at the weekend, and now this! It looks really classy in your choice of fabric. And thanks for the maternity adaptation tips - I'm sewing in the same category at the moment!

Philippa said...

You do look sophisticated in your picture :) pregnant and sophisticated, I call that a win!!

Amanda said...

This is all kinds of awesome! Nice work on sassy maternity gear :D

becstitches said...

This looks great, love the sleeves :)

Crab and Bee said...

Your Tova looks great!

Bri said...

Your tunic dress turned out very pretty, and versatile for whether you're prego or not :-)

Jen said...

This is a great maternity piece! I think it will also wear well sans bump with come tights and a cute pair of shoes :)

Sew little time said...

lovely. i've never been much of a fan of this pattern until i saw shivani wearing a gorgeous one on saturday! might have to reconsider!

Sky Turtle said...

I like the simplicity of this. Lovely to make in linen: beige, grey, white. I want one :)

Laura Arhire said...

I think this looks pretty awesome. I was thinking of getting that pattern myself - maybe I'm thinking a bit more about it now.

Rebecca King said...

What a great looking dress!

Bonnie James said...

Really a classy looking dress! I think it would look great in a number of fabrics and colors.

Tasha @ Stale Bread into French Toast said...

Lovely! You made me want to make this, and I'm not even pregnant!

Kestrel said...

Lovely version, it looks really comfy

Adrienne said...

Clean finish indeed! Whole guacamole. I look forward to seeing your MMM'13 Zoe. :-)

Masustak eguzkitan said...

Love your Tova! It looks cute and comfy, perfect for your pregnancy ;-)

Toni-Louise said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! It is beautiful and extremely inspiring! I've only been sewing since January this year and feel totally inspired by your blog to try more! Thanks so much. :)

Lemon-freckles.blogspot.co.uk

Eddie Roued said...

Yeah for bumps and maternity sewing. The whole nesting period is a wonderful period sewing-wise I think.
I was just catching up on your 'being self employed' posts. Fascinating reading. I was very surprised when I saw that your husbands book was the Banksy one - I just spotted it the other day at the book shop around the corner from where I work, in Munich. Funny coincidence!

Eddie's room on Facebook for crafty ideas and conversation

Lisette said...

You certainly make it look elegant in the photo where you are sporting it! I've made a top and a dress with this silhouette and they both just looked...smock-y. I think you were smart to make yours in a solid color.

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

The dress looks lovely on you Zoe. (I like it so much I had to buy the pattern myself too :)! )

Cecili said...

How could I miss this one? It's a beautiful garment and you look great in it!

Becky Butler said...

I love Tova's, I like to shorten the pattern by at least 3 inches or more to make it into a blouse to wear with jeans. And I found it great for breast feeding, the front opened far enough down that baby and I had no issues!

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