Thursday 22 June 2023

Fabric Godmother's Peony Dress Pattern

Try to suppress your surprise at the fact that I've made a dress! This is my version of a brand new sewing pattern that isn't even available just yet. Fabric Godmother, where I've been working part time for nearly five years, has had this pattern in the works for yonks. It's named the Peony dress pattern and it'll be available to buy on 29th June. I have been only lightly involved in its production, however it's been super interesting watching its development behind the scenes. 

Pattern testing:

The point at which I got involved was when FG invited us members of staff to have a sewing day to test the pattern out. This was a very clever move on their part, because it gave them an opportunity to see how sewers with different levels of experience found the instructions, and how the pattern worked on a variety of bodies. We got to choose our fabric in advance, then we picked which view of the pattern we wanted to make and got cracking. We were asked to make notes on anything we found tricky or confusing with the instructions and pattern itself. About a week later, once we'd had a chance to finish up our garments, we each had a lengthy debrief to share our findings. 


Very generously, we were able to choose any fabrics we liked to make up our versions. However, because I didn't want to feel I was cheating my Last Sewist Standing challenge pledge, I chose a fabric that had a flaw in that wasn't actually on sale to the public. This is the Joni ECOVERO crepe, which looks and behaves a lot like viscose. The particular roll I cut mine from has a problem with the selvedge, which was totally fine to use for this project, but couldn't be sold as is. 

Despite florals really not being my thing, I have used a Joni print fabric previously to make this well-used Vali top. Therefore, I knew I was going to have to allot extra time and fabric to making a well considered print placement. I'm really pleased with how the print sits on this dress. I actually had to make the sleeve ruffles slightly narrower than the pattern, and the hem ruffle slightly deeper to fit with the dimensions of the print design.


It was a really interesting experience to be part of the production of this pattern. Despite it not being particularly 'me', I do love my finished dress. I have even managed to wear it already, to a talk I gave at the social sewing event at Fabric Godmother earlier this month about sewing more sustainably

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