Saturday, 26 July 2014

I-calypt, eucalypt...

Pattern: Eucalypt tank dress by Megan Nielsen
Size: M
Fabric: Viscose from Goldhawk Road; Chiffon from Mason's

I rather took myself by surprise with this one. I had seen this pattern before but thought it was rather dull and didn't give it a second thought. Then, recently, I had a chat with my good friend and sewing guru, Elena, about being more focused in our sewing: working out what we really need in our wardrobes and what we will wear. This was a very useful conversation for me, because there is a part of me that wants to hope one day I will grow up and start wearing pencil skirts and crisp white shirts. But, I'm 32, have massive hips and spill food on myself regularly, so that's probably never going to happen. I realised that something I was missing was a cool (as in temperature, not hipness) floaty, "what this old thing?" style dress for those summer days when you just want to feel relaxed and unrestricted but still pretty. And my searchings led me to Eucalypt. How wrong I had been to ignore her.

I've had this viscose in my stash for a while now and was never quite sure what to do with it. Until now. It is the perfect partner for this dress. I've not had a great history with Megan Nielsen patterns. My Kelly and Banksia attempts have never seen the light of day. But this being a reasonably unfitted garment, I figured I couldn't go far wrong.

Help! There's a bike coming out of my nose!

The fit, it turns out, was good, with the exception of the armholes which ended up indecently massive. I actually felt a bit sick looking at them as they resembled some rank old stretched out wife-beater. So, I took the sleeves in at the shoulders by about 1.5 inches which solved the problem. It did, sadly, make the dress shorter than I had planned so it does now need to be worn with leggings for decency, but I can live with that. 

As you probably know by now, I hate facings, and as I'm overlocking anything that passes my way at the moment, I simply overlocked the hem and armholes and then folded them over once and hand stitched in place. Niiiice.

I enjoyed the process so much that when I saw this incredible chiffon in Mason's, I immediately decided to make the tank version.

Chiffon has always been a great fear, but as this is such a simple design with no darts or faffing, I thought it would be a safe zone. And the fabric had to be purchased. The colours are so vibrant it makes me think of that incomparable quality of light, in the early evening on an autumn day. Heaven! 

I rather overcompensated for the armholes on this version and had to let them out a bit! I also cut it a bit too short. so the front isn't quite as long as I would usually opt for. However, being chiffon i have to wear it over a tank anyway, and I think it looks quite cute and floaty. What I love about the fit of this pattern is that it in no way looks like a maternity dress and hangs nice and flat down the front. 

I made my first attempt at hand rolled hems for the neckline, hem, and armholes of this version. They're not the tiniest or neatest, but they will certainly do and it was fun to do whilst watching the epic double bill of Phantom of the Opera and Happy Go Lucky!


  1. Ooh, they're gorgeous! The time spent on those hand-rolled hems was totally worth it. And wit-woo, looking hot on those shorts! xx

  2. They look great AND you've given me something to try - would never have thought of sewing whilst watching TV!

    1. Thanks, Joanne! Once you start sewing in front of the telly you'll wonder how you ever just sat and watched something before! :-)